A CLARE SYNDICATE celebrated freedom in Tipperary on Sunday.

By Michael Maher

The VHR Syndicate of Feakle duo Gary Pepper and Damien Pepper, Clarecastle native Tommy Hegarty and Seanie McMahon of Newmarket-on-Fergus won the Hotel Minella A3 525 sweepstake on Sunday evening. Freedom Reader finished in a time of 28.98, the 6/4 favourite trained by Paraic Campion won it the hard way coming from behind to win by a length and a half.

Friday night’s Galway card featured the semi-finals of the Galway Greyhound Stadium Novice 350 on a ten race card that had the A3 graded eight over 550 yards and A3 tenth contest over 525 yards as the twin features .

In the A3 graded 550 Ballyea Scrutiny was very smartly into his stride and racing towards the opening bend he led Balroebuck Smokie by two lengths with Rattling Ya Ya in third place as they turned down the back. Racing down the back, the Noel Gavin of Ballyea owned Ballyea Scrutiny set sail for home passing halfway and although Balroebuck Smokie tried to close leaving the back the son of Droopys Buick & Flandys Hawkeye eased home three and a half lengths to the good in 30.20.

In the Novice 525 yards contest race number four, Inagh owner Noel Hehir introduced a really taking newcomer in the shape of Ivy Hill Bonnie who never saw another rival as she romped to a seven length success over Fantasy Tuppence in 28.97. Very smartly into her stride from her trap six berth the daughter of Laughill Blake & Coolavanny Chick led Fantasy Tuppence bob two lengths approaching the opening bend but cutting to the rails the winner quickly set sail for home entering the back straight. Tracking well throughout she powered further clear with every stride for a convincing debut success .

In the opening semi-final of the Galway Greyhound Stadium Novice 350 Stake, the Joe Keane of Carrigaholt owned Jomac once again led his rivals a merry dance as the son of Broadstrand Bono & Frost Nixon powered to a five and a half length success over Cappaneale Rocky in 19.40. Very smartly into his stride Jomac quickly opened up a three length advantage over Millroad Victory racing towards the opening bend. With trouble behind Jomac extended his advantage rounding the home bend as Cappaneale Rocky kept on for second place.

Rockandrollmarty trained by Ennistymon’s Thomas Connor made it three wins from four career starts in race five, an S7 sprint contest as the Top-Toi-Toi Syndicate owned son of Bull Run Bolt & Togher Blue Leah led on the crown of the home been in his way to a three length success over Ocean Blake in 19.50. Ocean Blake was away well and led by two lengths at the opening bend. Rounding the crown of the home bend the leader ran wide which allowed the winner to slip through to lead off the home been and draw clear on the run home.

The S3 graded contest went to the John Browne of Ballyea kennel as the Thomas O’Doherty of Cooraclare owned Own Lullaby tracked well throughout as she proved two lengths top good for Liam Be Slick in 19.24. In the early strides Ballygrauge Ros shared pace towards the outside with Own Lullaby and Liam Be Slick prominent along the inner. Rounding the bend Own Lullaby took command as his two nearest rivals with ran wide and this allowed the daughter of Droopys Sydney & Droopys Lullaby draw clear to score by two lengths from Liam Be Slick in 19.24.

The A3 graded sixth contest at the College Road Venue went in all the way fashion to the John Quinn of Gort owned Fast Fit Felix who never saw another rival as the Declan McDonagh of Liscannor trained son of Doratos Wildcat & Fast Fit Meave recorded his sixth career success by five and a half lengths from Mater Of Magic in 29.33. Very smartly into stride Fast Fit Felix led from Master Of Magic and Breaghmore Rob as they round the opening two bends. Racing down the back Fast Fit Felix had his rivals in the stretch as Master Of Magic tried to close nearing the third bend but the winner was gone beyond recall as she strode clear up the straight.

The owner and trainer completed a double in the very next contest an A7 graded 525 yards contest as Fast Fit Lucky who John Quinn owns in partnership with his granddaughter Kate Cantwell got up in the dying strides to collar the pace setting Burnpark Sabbath to prevail by a neck in 29.40. Burnpark Sabbath led rounding the opening bend and at halfway was two lengths clear of Drombeg Darcy and Fast Fit Lucky. Approaching the home turn the winner began to clear on the leader and delivering her challenge in the centre of the track the daughter of Doratos Wildcat & Fast Fit Maeve led in the final five strides to deliver the kennel and litter double with the Sean Hayes owned Miss Scion the first to break rand as they raced towards the opening bend. Rounding the bend the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained Miss Scion kicked two lengths clear despite running very wide in the track as Erris Holly closed in second place . On straightening for home though Miss Scion was in command as the daughter of Ballymac Best & Droopys Scion stayed in well to score by a length & three parts in 19.51.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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