The two semi-finals of the 2024 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial 525 took centre stage at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on last Saturday night and they produced two exceptional displays from Knockeen Dazzler and Merits Inclusion.

By Michael Maher

Such is the theme of the €80,000 renewal, rarely has it been straightforward to select a winner and this so proved in two top-class semi-finals, which were landed in terrific but albeit unpredictable fashion.

Knockeen Dazzler came into the Kirby as a relative unknown, however, after landing both his opening round assignments, 17-year-old Castleisland trainer Daniel O’Rahilly’s charge is now firmly on everyone’s radar. Displaying explosive early pace, the 5/1 chance needed to produce one of his ping starts and he did just that to quickly reel in the fast-starting In Good Time in the opening yards.

Creating daylight between his rival by the time they reached the finish line, Knockeen Dazzler was two and a half lengths clear of Romeo Kingpin in second, while Epic Chick claimed the final qualifying position some six lengths further back. The time was an outstanding 28.23.

Merits Inclusion (Dromana Bucko & Million Dreams) shot to prominence last Saturday night when going quickest in the quarter finals and the Brendan Matthew’s runner made it back-to-back wins as he handed his Newry handler another Kirby finalist.

Despite winning in 28.31 one week prior, Merits Inclusion was still offered at generous odds of 7/2 as Scooby Pacemaker went off the 6/4 favourite from what looked a lovely makeup in trap one. However, one thing that was reasonably certain was that the Ian Reilly-trained Phoenix Tyson was going to take some leading and this proved accurate as he was on the receiving end of a lightning start from trap six.

The leader was nothing if not game for his Northern connections and he pulled out all the stops in the closing stages to hold off Scooby Pacemaker by a mere half length. The final qualifying position went to the gallant Phoenix Tyson, who was a further seven and a half lengths back in third. The time was an exquisite 28.24.

The concluding A3 graded Slan Abhaile 525 was the feature contest on Saturday night card at Galway Greyhound Stadium on a ten race programme. As the traps rose for the A3 graded finale Hit The Diss, April Rain and Derra Bear were all away well and were lined across the track passing the judge first time. At the opening bend Hit The Diss used the inside line to his advantage and racing down the back Hit The Diss opened a two length advantage over April Rain. Approaching the penultimate corner though the Master Robert Shanahan and Thomas Flanagan of Ennistymon owned April Rain moved up to deliver a challenge on the leaders outside and surging to the front rounding the crown of the home bend the Tommy Flanagan of Ennistymon trained daughter of Romeo Recruit & Trembling Juliet drew right away in the home straight to defeat Hit The Diss by six lengths in 29.15

Racing towards the opening bend in the A5 graded contest Rossies Flossy led the charge in the centre of the track to Evetheapple along the rails who close to join issue entering the back straight. Racing along the back the Joseph Kelly of Cooraclare owned Evetheapple opened up a three length advantage on her rivals no headed by Nanny’s Star. Rounding the home bend the leader began to empty and although all out the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained daughter of Burgess Bucks & Crokers Wish held Nanny’s Star at bay by a neck in 29.58.

Friday nights Galway card featured the three second round heats of the Ann Cheevers Memorial A4 525 Yards Stake .

In the opening heat of this Stake Brickhill Fayla was just about best away leading form Balroebuck Smokie and Springwell Kobe approaching the opening bend. Cutting to the rails the Cyril Collins and Kate Comerford of Gort owned Brickhill Fayla extended her advantage to over six lengths at halfway as Blacklabel Rose moved into second place. Rounding the home bend the leaders stride began to shorten and the daughter of Good News and Twentylittletoes was searching for the line as Blacklabel Rose closed to within three parts of a length at the line in 29.04.

There was a thrilling finish to the third heat as the John Quinn of Gort owned Fast Fit Pennie arrived late and fast down the wide outside to collar the ace setting Lissatouk Peggy close home for a one length success in 29.35. Lissatouk Peggy broke smartly and led Kai and Fast Fit Pennie around the opening bend . Racing down the back Lissatouk Peggy and Kai went a couple of lengths clear of the eventual winner but rounding the home turn Fast Fit Penny(Doratos Wildcat-Fast Fit Maeve) swept down the outside to land the spoils for the inform kennel.

In the A3 graded ninth contest Creevy Bird and On The Radio disputed the lead racing towards the opening bend where Creevy Bird held a narrow advantage on the inner as Knockanoura Kate closed right up in behind to move into second place entering the back straight. Early in the back straight the Martin Williams of Quin owned Knockanoura Kate(Buegess Bucks & Crokers Wish) moved to the head of affairs and approaching the third bend she led by over three lengths and the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained lady drew further clear between the final two bends to score by six & a half lengths over Creevy Bird in 29.28.

The Donie Duggan of Tulla owned and trained Doughuisce Lad recorded his third career success in the S9 graded 325 yards contest as he proved two lengths too good for Springwell Henry in 18.67. The winner broke smartly on the wide outside as Springwell Henry shaped pace along the rails approaching the all-important opening turn. Rounding the bend Springwell Henry briefly led but regaining the lead on the cordwood of the home turn Doughuisce Lad (Ballymac Best-Believer) eased away for victory.

Related News

jimi coughlan bruce springsteen 1
'Springteen shows are better than politics' - barber Jimi says politics won't cut it as he opts against election bid
save ennis town 10-10-23 gearoid mannion 1
Save Ennis Town to hold public rally opposing 'destruction of our historic town'
carmel kirby kevin corrigan pat dowling 1
Councillors claim cancelling of Ennis 2040 briefing was illegal & accuse Chief Exec of 'chasing Ministers'
rowan tree ennis
Abbey Hostel getting rid of Ukrainian residents & apply to house international protection applicants
Latest News
save ennis town 10-10-23 gearoid mannion 1
Save Ennis Town to hold public rally opposing 'destruction of our historic town'
carmel kirby kevin corrigan pat dowling 1
Councillors claim cancelling of Ennis 2040 briefing was illegal & accuse Chief Exec of 'chasing Ministers'
rowan tree ennis
Abbey Hostel getting rid of Ukrainian residents & apply to house international protection applicants
gort courthouse 1
Security issues at Gort courthouse must be addressed ahead of Minister & farmer 'cow dung' assault case
shane o'donnell 1-2
O'Donnell named hurler of the month for April
Premium
joe floyd tulla 18-05-21 2
Floyd takes aim at 'scandalous & disgraceful' expenses claimed by councillors as he throws name back in ring for election
fursa kavanagh 1
Green Cavanagh puts Shannon Airport rail link at top of agenda
ennistymon lea debate 1
The Electoral Chair: Ennistymon local electoral area debate
knappogue castle 1
Knappogue Castle to open as private residence this year
garda
Woman sustained broken eye socket, broken ribs, collapsed lung, stitches to face from alleged assault by then boyfriend

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.

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.

Scroll to Top