SIXMILEBRIDGE’s Stephen Murray recorded another double win in Galway in the weekend while all eyes will be on Fast Fit Paddy in Saturday’s Open 600 Stake in Shelbourne Park.
By Michael Maher
The A2 graded eighth contest was the feature contest on Friday night’s card at Galway Greyhound Stadium on the ten race programme that also featured the second round heats of the Ann Cheevers Memorial A5 525.
As the traps rose for the A2 graded feature contest Fast Fit Felix was very smartly into stride in the centre of the track and he led the charge towards the opening bend rounding which the red jacketed Astro Podge railed well and took over in front. Racing down the back, Astro Podge showed the way to Fit Fit Felix with Danmar Daniel and Moyolla Miss next. Leaving the back straight Astro Podge still led by two lengths but off the home bend the Leo McNulty of Shannon owned Moyolla Miss who came in as a reserve swept through her rivals to collar Astro Podge and prevail by a length in 29.16
In race two, the Martin Griffin of Lissycasey owned No Risk took her career stats to four wins from nine starts as she just withheld the late thrust of Orbsen Olive by a diminishing head in 19.50. The winner was headed from traps by Killeshil Star who led by two lengths approaching the opening bend. Rounding the turn both runners took a wide route allowing Orbsen Olive to close rapidly. Off the home bend No Risk went two lengths clear but she just lasted home as Orbsen Olive closed with every stride.
The opening contest of the night was an A5 graded contest and from traps Crimson Blue showed pace in the centre of the track to lead on the run towards the opening bend from Peteles Duke along the inner and Pigeons Nest on the wide outside. Racing down the back straight Crimson Blue opened up a four length advantage on his rivals but nearing the third bend the Ms Eleanor Hackett owned Pigeons Nest (Ballymac Eske- Playmistyforme) began to closed out wide. Rounding the home bend, the leader was beginning to tire as the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained Pigeons Nest swept by close home to score by a length and a half in 29.51.
The Sixmilebridge handler went on to completed a double in the A6 graded ninth contest as the Kevin Ryan of Ruan owned Arrowhead put up a career best performance on his fourth start as he registered career win number two by eight lengths over Nationwide Fury in 29.09. Third best from traps behind Nationwide Fury and Bumblebee Martin the winner outpaced his rivals on the run to the opening bend which he routed a length clear of Nationwide Fury. Turning down the back the lead was quickly extended as Arrowhead put his rivals to the sword drawing right away from halfway for an impressive success.
In heat four of the Ann Cheevers Memorial Stake, Ticking Along out wide and No Shift in the centre of the track with showed pace to lead a closely bunched field and rounding the bend though the John Quinn of Gort owned Fast Fit Drop slipped through along the rails to lead and tracking superbly into the back straight the Declan McDonagh of Liscannor trained runner set sail for home down the back. Drawing further clear of his rivals with every stride the Son of Doratos Wildcat and Fast Fit Maeve eventually crossed the line seven & a half lengths clear of No Shift in 29.20.
The concluding A3 graded contest saw the Michael Casey of Mullagh and Martin Fahy owned Menmal Prince trained by Martin Fahy make virtually all to defeat Danmar Corona by a length and a half in 29.13. The winner a son of Paddy Magic and Cottage Brandy came away well and racing toward the opening bend led Danmar Corona by just over a length. Cutting towards the inner rounding the bend Menmal Prince extended his advantage to over three lengths racing down the back straight. From the crown of the home bend Danmar Corona did close but the bird had well and truly flown as Menmal Prince took the honours.
In the opening A8 graded contest on Saturday night’s card, Bumblebee Jordan and Blackies Shift were prominent on the run towards the opening bend rounding which they were tracked by Kosmos Star along the inner and Heathlawn Darci. Racing along the back straight the front four really tightened up with Bumblebee Jordan still holding the call. At the third bend Heathlawn Darci went for a run in the inner but the door was shut and this allowed the Marie Corbett owned Kosmos Star to swoop round the outside and take command as the Donal Duggan of Tulla trained runner raced on to defeat Heathlawn Darci by a length and three parts in 30.00.
John Quinn’s Fast Fit Paddy goes to traps in the final of the Open 600 Stake in Shelbourne Park this Saturday night. Trained by Declan McDonagh of Liscannor, Paddy who filled second spot in the semi-fnal is well fancied to go one better on Saturday night.