The 2022 Matchbook Betting Exchange Irish St. Leger may have been deferred by one week at the Limerick Track due to weather but it was certainly worth waiting for as the €30,000 decider was landed in exceptional fashion by the favourite, Bobsleigh Dream.

By Michael Maher

After five weeks of the most incredible action at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, the final classic of the year came to a close on Sunday night and it was fitting that Bobsleigh Dream, who landed the very first heat of round one, brought down the curtain on this year’s Irish St. Leger with a breath-taking display.

Trouble all round at the first bend left Mustang Jet in the clear Jointly owned by Paul Horig and Sean Bourke and trained by Dolores Ruth, Mustang Jet was now in full control entering the back straight and his chances increased passing the pick-up as Trinity Junior checked off the back of Mustang Jet, which in turn hampered the improving Bobsleigh Dream.

Now some eight lengths clear of both Wi Can Dream and Bobsleigh Dream, even the most loyal of followers of Pat Buckley’s star would have questioned her ability to bridge such a gap, given the talent that Mustang Jet possessed out in front. However, approaching the penultimate bend and it was clear that patrons were in for a power-pack finish with Bobsleigh Dream getting home at the line with a length to spare.

Friday night’s Galway card featured the semi-finals of various stakes sponsored by the Western Greyhound Owners & Breeders Association and once again credit must go the track ground staff who ensured racing took place on both nights this weekend despite the terrible weather endured throughout the week.

In the third semi-final of the Stephen Murray Top Kennel 2022 A3 Stake, Danemesbuzz and Insidethehuddle were both away well towards the outside of the track with Danamesbuzz taking a definite advantage rounding the opening bend. Racing down the back straight the front pair began to leave their rivals toiling as the Lads-Dayout-In Dublin syndicate of Clarecastle owned Insidethenhuddle took closer order as they reached halfway. Striking the front heading for the exit from the back straight the son of Ballymac Best & Ballydoyle Grace quickly set sail for home as he scored by five & a half lengths in 29.46.

The second semi-final of the Sean Scully A5 Stake went to the Gerry O’Donoghue of Tubber owned On The Radio who made all the running to see off the late challenge of Springwell Sugar by three parts of a length in 29.97. The winner led Aulton Lucy by a length approaching the opening bend and with trouble behind him at the turn the son of Candlelight King and Pinnacle Blue opened up a four length advantage racing towards halfway. Exiting the back straight the lead was down to three lengths but On The Radio was always in command racing up the home straight.

In the opening semi-final of The Remembering Our Friends S7 Stake Ballyfort Sky was best away ahead of Charmed and Astro Keva and racing towards the opening bend lull separated the trio in front. At the bend the red jacketed Astro Keva railed well and took two lengths out of her rivals who both ran slightly wide. On straightening for home the Damian and Gary Pepper of Feakle owned Astro Keva(Droopys Sydney-Astro Abby) extended her advantage as she raced clear to defeat Sports Sky by two and a half lengths in 20.08.

The second semi-final of the Non Winners 525 Stake went to the Rachel Murray of Sixmilebridge owned Derra Viva who got off the mark at the seventh attempt as she proved three and a half lengths too good for French Fury in 30.22. The winner took over in front form the early paced Jimmys Gadgets rounding the opening bend and racing down the back the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Playmistyforme led by over a length form Tall Paul but from the crown of the home bend the Stephen Murray trained lady began to assert as she drew clear all the way to the line.

The outcome of the A7 graded 525 yards contest was in little doubt from early on as the Jack Browne of Ballyea owned Cascade Phoenix had already put her rivals to the sword. Very smartly into her stride the daughter of Skywalker Logan and Couldkevinbewrong was three lengths to the good over Copper Swood and Wilbrook No Deal rounding the opening bend. Racing along the back Cascade Phoenix drew further clear of her toiling rivals as she raced to a five length victory over Copper Swood in 30.21.

Saturday night’s Galway card featured the Semi Finals of some Christmas Sweepstakes as well as the three heats of the Paul McKenna Memorial A3 575.

In the final heat of the Paul McKenna Memorial A3 575 Stake Bumblebee Sally was away well on the wide outside with Ballygibbo Lad and Burnpark Crash showing pace along the inner as the opening bend loomed . At the bend the Maria Browne of Cree owned Burnpark Crash just got the better of the argument to take a one length advantage entering the back straight. Racing along the back Burnpark Crash was closely attended to by Ballygibbon Lad who tried his best to get on terms but Burnpark Crash(Crash-Ballyea Beauty) gamely saw the challenge off by a length and a half at the line in 32.52.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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