Aptly named Lillies Joy brought smiles to the faces of her Clarecastle owners after claiming victory in Galway over the weekend.

The opening contest of Friday nights at the Galway Greyhound Stadium was an A8 graded affair in which the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained Lillies Joy made just about all the running to record a neck success over Grandadsprincess in 29.93.

Owned by Clarecastle duo Michael Corry and Michael Daly, Lilles Joy broke well and headed a closely bunched field as they rounded the opening bend. Turning down the back the daughter of Ballymac Vic & Brookeville Dash led from Grandadsprincess and Killanin Vic as the trio began to dominate. Rounding the home bend Grandadsprincess went on for a stride or two but Lillies Joy edged back in front on the run to the line to claim the victory.

In the second heat of the back to sports A6 525 stake Killanin Star, Its My Saint, and Barnagrane Dylan all enjoyed a few strides at the head of affairs before the field turned down the back straight where the Tony Brigdale of Ennis trained Blaze Bam Bam took a narrow advantage over the improving Some Way Out as they passed the halfway mark. Approaching the penultimate bend the Blaze Trio Syndicate of Ennis owned Blaze Bam Bam held a narrow advantage over Some Way Out as the contest developed into a match but with the benefit of the inside line off the home bend Blaze Bam Bam(Lenson Bolt-Blaze Flame) stayed on well to prevail by a length and a quarter in 29.66.

Friday’s card also featured the two semi-finals of the Welcome Back To Sport A4 graded 525 Yards Stake sponsored by John Grimes. In the opening semi-final all six runners came away pretty much on terms with Ougham Tubber prominent out wide as Astro Abby and Own Spice showed pace along the rails. At the opening bend there was plenty of scrimmaging but the Pepper-Williams-Murray of East Clare owned Astro Abby somehow managed to hold her position to lead her rivals into the back straight.

Racing down the back the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained lady set sail for home chased hard by Own Spice who closed to within a length at the penultimate corner but Astro Abby kicked clear off the home bend to score by two and a half lengths in 29.03 with Ougham Tubber claiming the third qualifying slot

The opening contest on Saturday night was an S6 graded 350b Yards contest in which Shes Scotty along the inside and Newchapel Lad out in the centre of the track were both away smartly but as the leaders approached the opening bend the Maria Browne of Cree owned Burnpark Pluto swept right round the outride of his rivals to take command of the contest. Five lengths clear on the crown of the home bend the son of Tommy Brislane & Ballyea Beauty extended his advantage to nine and a quarter lengths over Newchapel Lad at the line in 19.31.

There was a thrilling climax to the A3 graded ninth contest as the Sean Meade of Miltown Malbay owned Paradise Asia got off the mark at the fourth time of asking as he proved a neck too strong for the gallant pace setter Pinnacle Blue with Baylin Leader a length back in third place in 29.26.

From traps Pinnacle Blue began smartly and showing pace on the run to the opening bend she grabbed the rails berth to lead from Paradise Asia who moved to her outside entering the back straight as they kicked three lengths clear of their rivals. Leaving the back straight the front two were now locked in combat as Baylin Leader closed with every stride. Off the home bend they were lined across the track but Paradise Asia just proved the stronger in the final strides to claim the spoils.

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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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