Another great week for the faithful dogs, trainers and owners with numerous winners around the country. Some big stakes were completed with others getting down final stages.
Early Week Racing
Monday, in Enniscorthy, in the final of the Horse and Hound ON2 unraced stake, Dysert Secret (Ballymac Best - Dysert Anna) backed up her semi-final win with another fine display when winning by four lengths in 29.14 (20 slow) with the €1.3k cheque going to local trainer Marie Byrne.
Tuesday, in Shelbourne, Croghan owner Mick Lynch’s great form continued as Sallagh Frank won an A4 525 in 28.94, by five lengths, at 5/2.
Two Offaly winners in Newbridge. In the first race on the card, Coolree Speed won an S7 sprint in 18.01 (10 fast) by two lengths at 2/1 for Daingean owner Eugene Glennon. In an A4 550 contest, Korando was a comfortable two lengths winner in 30.33 (20 slow) at 5/2 for Rhode owner P.J. Cocoman.
In Clonmel, in the first round of the Explosive Boy ON2 unraced bitch stake with five heats in total, Crafty Kokoro went fastest for Peter Divilly in a fast 28.42 by nine lengths.
One Offaly winner in Galway, Planet Perfecto made it two wins from two starts in an A4 grade in 28.91 (10 slow) by six lengths at a well backed 4/6.
Kilkenny hosted the semi-finals of an A3 sweepstake that has been progressing for three weeks now, Beaming Numan won the first and remains unbeaten in this event in 29.45 (30 slow), by one length at 2/1, for Northern Ireland trainer Willie Connolly. The second semi went to Lemon Tossy in 29.37 (30 slow) by a neck, also at 2/1 for local owner and long time greyhound enthusiast Tom Lennon.
In Shelbourne Park, in the first round of the Lodgefield Kennels A3 stake, four heats with Droopys Gambler having the fastest of the four in 28.52, by two lengths at 4/6, with Robert Gleeson at the helm. In the semi-finals of an A2 bitch sweepstake, both heats were won by same owners Shiela Spillane and J.J Fennelly, Burgess Hannah won the first in 29.15, by one length at 5/1, and Burgess Cassie the second in 28.39 by four lengths at even money.
Another bumper Saturday night with high value prize money, totalling in excess of €30k going home with various owners. There was some top class fare in Cork's Curraheen Park, culminating in the semi-finals of the 2021 Laurels. Ballymac Fairone was first past the post in the first in 28.58 (10 fast) by a neck at 3/1 for Liam Dowling. The second semi went to One Time Only for Thomas O’Donovan in a faster 28.33 (10 fast),by four lengths, at a decent 12/1. O’Donovan will be the only trainer to have two representatives in Saturday’s final with Dowling, Holland, Mark O’Donovan and Owen Mckenna with one each. Loads of other stake finals in Cork Saturday.
The second round of the SIS Mullingar Fair Warrior, with six heats dominating what was a decent card in a very wet Westmeath track. The track looked extremely slow until Ela Supremo stopped the clock in 21.26 (20 slow) when winning for Peter Cronin by nine lengths at 1/2. Next fastest was Farranrory Megan in 21.34 (20 slow) for Sharon Hunt by five lengths at 6/4. Sadly, there's not one Offaly dog left in the competition in a stake we have dominated annually.
In the final of the Sonny and Mary Murtagh A2 tri-distance stake, Bawn Farloe (Skywalker Farloe-Ripley Diana) was a one length winner of the €1.1k first prize over the 600 yard trip in 33.86 (80 slow) at 4/5 for local owner Dan Byrne. Totally deserved winner here as he won his three heats over the three different distances. One Offaly winner on the supporting card as Fahy Farloe won an A5 race in 30.14 (70 slow) for Paddy McCormack, by four lengths, at 6/4.
Shelbourne Park didn’t fare much better with the rain as the whole programme of racing was run in terrible condition. In the final of one of the last big stakes of the year in Shelbourne, the SIS Juvenile derby, the €20k first prize went to Droopys Gloss (Coolavanny Jap- Droopys Talia) in 28.49 (20 slow) by six lengths at 5/2. For Kilkenny trainer Murt Leahy this is probably his best win of his career but expect plenty more from this exciting young dog and some of the other stars Murt has in his kennels at the moment. Serene Ace was second for Mark O’Donovan and won himself €6k.
In the final of the RCETS open 600 Allforthebest justified it's even money favourite status when demolishing the field to win by nine lengths in a fast 32.46 (20 slow). The €5k first prize going to the H.D.J syndicate.
Another Offaly winner earlier in the card as Highview Moment won in a heat of an AO stake for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman in 28.71 (20 slow) by one length at 7/4 favourite.
Just the one Offaly winner at the matinee meeting in Mullingar, which is a rarity. Lingrawn Elody won an A3 contest in 29.72 (50 slow) by a short head at 5/4 fav for Moneygall owner Mary Jones.
Friday, final of an A2 bitch stake and semifinals of the Lodgefield Kennels A3 stake in Shelbourne. Kilkenny, final of the A3 stake, semifinals of the Explosive Boy ON2 bitch unraced in Clonmel. Saturday, quarterfinals of the SIS Fair Warrior in Mullingar, semifinals of an AO sweepstake in Shelbourne and the big race of next week, final of the Laurels in Cork.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week
Gerry Merriman’s Highview Moment gets the nod this week. Always tough to win in Shelbourne on a Saturday night and he won an AO grade in 28.91 (20 slow) and is a well deserved winner.
Just seven Offaly winners this week. Congratulations to all involved.
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