*Gary Cooney. Photograph: Eamon Ward
A career best was recorded by Border Electric in Limerick on Saturday night while Flyers Iniesta was the only Clare dog to reach the next round of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial.
Owned by Gary and Donal Cooney of O’Callaghans Mills, Border Electric is firmly back to her best, she is very much on the comeback trail following her last two starts which were her first after a year absence.
She pinged the lids from trap two to take a comfortable lead into the opening corner, sretching clear thereafter, the result was never in doubt for the daughter of Skywalker Puma and Borna Gem as she stayed on strongly to win by six lengths from Ballyelan Josie in second. The time was a slick 28.61.
Indeed, just as the night started with a Cooney winner, the night also ended in similar fashion as Runontheinside produced a trap to line display for connections. Bolting from trap two, Runontheinside put the contest to bed early as he showed brilliant speed down the back straight before staying on expertly to grab the win in an excellent time of 28.64.
Knockdine Blake showed impressive back straight pace to double his career tally in the third race of the night. Owned by Patrick Conlon of Cree and Helen O’Brien of Miltown Malbay, Knockdine Blake was led into the back straight by Slanan Yum Yum but showed a fine turn of pace from bends two to three to storm to the front and take control. From here, the son of Laughil Blake and Mikeys Lass powered home and he crossed the line three lengths clear of Horsepound Gold in second in a time of 28.77.
Flyers Iniesta owned by the Fitzgeralds of Kilrush became the only Clare representative to reach the next round of the Con & Anne Kirby Memorial. The West Clare dog took second stop in heat seven on Saturday night’s second round heats.
Cloneyogan Blaze was first home in the A1 graded ninth contest over 525 Yards in Galway on Friday. Owned by Siobhan Garraghy of Lahinch, Cloneyogan Blaze railed superbly and the son of Kinloch Brae and Tiermana Rum took two lengths out of his rival entering the back straight. Racing along the back straight Cloneyogan Blaze was making the best of his way home and staying on powerfully drew further away off the home bend to defeat Boyneside Bobby by five and a half lengths in 28.76.
The opening contest of the night was a Novice 350 Yards contest in which Rathmeehan Blake out wide and Room To Stop along the inner were both smartly into stride and they disputed the lead just ahead of Breaghmore Rob as they approached the opening bend. Rounding the bend the John Collins and John Browne of Ballyea owned Rathmeehan Blake took a definite advantage. Turning for home Room To Stop switched outside to challenge but Rathmeehan Blake held him at bay by half a length in 19.76. The litter double was completed in the S9 graded third contest as John Browne’s solely owned Rathmeehan Kane proved two and a half lengths too good for Kylea Star in 19.53.
In the early strides of the A6 graded contest Glynnscrosschris and Ginnys Girl both showed pace as they raced towards the opening bend where the Thomas Keane of Kilmihil owned Glynnscrooschris railed well and took a couple of lengths out of her rival. Turning down the back Glynnscrosschris led Ekimov by over three lengths with Ginnys Girl in third place but approaching the penultimate bend Glynnscrosschris was in command as she stayed on well to defeat Ekimov by a length and three parts in 30.04.
Astro Fionn owned by Feakle duo Damien and Gary Pepper made all the running in race 4 on Saturday nights card which was a A8 graded contest as he proved two and a half lengths too good for the staying on Way Out Caprice in 30.04. Away smartly on the wide outside the winner led Dynamic Twinkle and Talansky by two lengths rounding the opening bend. Racing along the back Talanasky gradually closed the gap and looked danger off the home bend but the winner found plenty on the run home to win in good style at the line.
In race eleven the James McLaughlin of Shannon owned Only A Pound showed great determination in this A6 graded contest as he recorded a second career success by getting back up close home to deny Rosshill Holly by a head in 29.48. Smartly into stride the winner led by almost two lengths at the opening bend as Ballylean Rogue and Rosshill Holly gave chase. Rounding the third bend Rosshill Holly came through to challenge and off the home bend she edged to the front but in the final stride Only A Pound rallied gamely to land the prize.