The English Derby dominated the week’s racing, with the Irish dogs to the fore once again showing their class. By Derby final time expect to see over half the boxes filled with Irish dogs. Plenty of action around the Irish tracks as well, this week, with numerous final being decided.
Early Week Racing
The first final of the week was in Enniscorthy the ON2 Elite Canine Genetics Unraced Stake. The winner was Sovereign Boy (Pat C Sabbath - Chaotic Lynda) in 28.89 (20 slow) by six lengths. The winners cheque for €2.6k went to trainer Jim Scully and owners Micheal Organ and Michael Egan. One for the notebook here as well.
Five Offaly winners in Mullingar on Monday week. There was a double for Daingean owner Eugene Glennon: Coolree Speck won an S6 400 in 22.07 (20 slow) by one length at 6/4 favorite and Coolree Joy an S6 330 sprint by a head in 18.63 (20 slow) at 3/1. Lingrawn Lola was first across the line in an A8 grade for Moneygall owner Mary Jones in 30.25 (50 slow), by a large ten lengths, at 3/1. Edenderry owner/trainer David Hanlon had Muffin in top form for the second week in a row when this time winning an A5 race in 29.66 (50 slow), by three lengths, at 2/1.
Our final winner and probably the most impressive was Uimhir A Do for owners Paul Corrigan and the Ruislip Syndicate, who won an S3 400 in a fast 21.78 (20 slow), by three lengths, at a well backed even money with Cappincur trainer Charlie Colgan at the helm
In Kilkenny, in the quarter-finals of the Sports Information Services Unraced Stake, Sawdust Hondo was easily the fastest on the clock - this well bred son of Dorotas Wildcat won by eight lengths for local Kilkenny trainer Murt Leahy at a very short 2/5.
In Shelbourne Park, in the final of an A2 sweepstake, Garr Hero (Ballymac Vic- Pykehill Patch) won the €1.6k first prize in a slow 29.08 by one length at 5/2 with Georgina Gibbons training.
Curraheen Park in Cork hosted the final of the O’Leary Driving School Open 750. The outstanding dog of the stake, Silverhill Karen (Ballymac Eske-Silverhill Joyce), once again showed her rivals a clean pair of heels, winning every round and the final by nine lengths in 41.20 (40 slow) at a short 4/7. The €4K first prize went to trainer Graham Holland and local owner Beverly Lockhead.
In Limerick, in the final of the Greyhound and Petworld Golden Muzzle A1 550, Blastoff Harry (Tarsna Havana- Blastoff Khalesi) also won €4K first prize for trainer Paul Hennessy in 29.83 by one length at 3/1.
Some great racing in Tralee with the semifinals of the Race Of Champions AAO Stake. Liam Dowling had two of the heat winners in his local track, Ballymac Belvult won in 29.88 by a neck at 4/1 and Ballymac Merlin in 29.55 by three lengths at 2/1. The final heat was a sensational run by last week’s Irish Produce stake winner, Explosive Boy, in a track record run of 29.22, by nine lengths, at 1/2. The Pat Guilfoyle trained youngster will be hot property heading into all the major events over the next few years.
The semi-finals of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks were the highlight of a top class card in Shelbourne Park. Two outstanding winners here, Billys Diva for John Kennedy by one length at 4/6 in a time of 28.14 that we thought would not be surpassed until Front Amani stopped the clock at 27.94, winning by seven lengths, at 7/4 for Robert Gleeson. Gerry Merriman’s Highview Magnet qualified for Saturday’s final but in truth it looks well beyond her to win, however hope springs eternal. One Offaly winner on the supporting card, again for Merriman, as Highview Secure won an AO 525 in 28.75 by one length at 3/1.
Sixteen heats of brilliant action in Towcester over Friday and Saturday night in the second round of the Star Sports and TRC English Derby. Friday, proved to be tough work for the Irish with only one winner Ballymac Fairone for Liam Dowling. Saturday, was much better with four winners, Ballymac Wild for Dowling, reigning champion Deerjet Sydney for Pat Buckley, Unlock Unlock for Brendan Mathews and Bandicoot Sammy for Robert Gleeson. Of the forty eight dogs remaining, seventeen are Irish. Most of the best known trainers are still represented with Holland having five left, Dowling with four, two for Buckley, two for Mathews and two for Gleeson. Saturday’s third round will be interesting.
There were three Offaly winners at the matinee meeting in Mullingar. Our first was in an A5 contest as Lingrawn Jet won in 30.23 by one length at 3/1 for Moneygall owner Kevin Jones. In an A2 race Another Place was a eye catching winner for Clara owner Bernard (Sonny) Walsh in 29.41 by five lengths at 5/2. Our final winner of the week was in an A3 race as Paddy McCormack had his weekly winner as Fahy Jim won in 29.91, by six lengths, at 6/4 favorite. All races in Mullingar were rated .50 slow.
Friday, semi-finals of the Sports Information Services Unraced in Kilkenny. Saturday, third round of the English Derby in Towcester, final of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks and final of the Race Of Champions in Tralee.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week
For the first time in 2021 the nod is going to a dog that didn’t win, however Highview Magnet getting to the final of one of the classics, the Irish Oaks deserves this award for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman.
There were nine Offaly winners this week. Well done to all involved.
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