The best greyhounds in this part of the world were on show at Shelbourne Park on last Saturday night as the Bresbet Easter Cup got underway.
By Michael Maher
In heat six, Fast Fit Paddy owned by John Quinn of Gort was perfectly positioned on the fence and he made full use of his opportunity when it arose. Sadly, Jacob Tashadelek seemed to pick up an injury when in front off the second turn. As he retreated, he held up both Monraud Thunder and Cnoc Abbie. Ballymac Fairone was left in front on his comeback run but he looked short of a run and was joined on the third turn by Fast Fit Paddy and the advancing Priceless Jet. The latter was cut off as he attempted to go between his rivals, leaving Fast Fit Paddy and Ballymac Fairone to square off.
Importantly, the Declan McDonagh of Liscannor trained Fast Fit Paddy was on the fence and in no mood to surrender his advantage. Driving to the front between the final two bends, John Quinn and Paul Horig’s son of Ballymac Vic and Rosmult Martha eased on to record a fine four and a half length success in 30.00.
The opening round of the Deerjet Sydney at Stud A3 525 was the main attraction at Limerick Greyhound Track on last Saurday’s night card and of the three heats on offer, it was Coolavanny Palm who set a very high bar heading into next week’s semi finals.
Running in the last of the three heats on offer, Coolavanny Palm hadn’t tasted victory since July of last year but the David Hogan of Quilty owned bitch produced a statement of intent as she went much quicker than the other two heats to cement her title as the one to beat going forward. Coolavanny Palm crossed the line with three lengths to spare over Flyers Iniesta, who ran on well to claim second, in a time of 28.69.
There was also a brilliant treble on the night for Sixmilebridge handler Stephen Murray. The first to come home in front was Arrowhead in race one. Owned by Kevin Ryan of Ruan the July 20’ son of Pat C Sabbath and Krystalise tracked the early leader, Willowdale Lexi, for large parts of the event as he nestled into a good position in second. However, taking charge at the penultimate turn, Arrowhead stayed on gamely in the closing stages to come out the right side of a three-way photo as he claimed a neck win over Rememberthebird in second. The time was 29.60.
The double was completed in race four as Non Stop landed a 350-yard event in fast-finishing style. Owned by Niall O’Riordan, Non Stop was chasing back-to-back wins and she broke moderately from trap one to tuck in behind Cuala Kid early doors. However, after running the bottom two bends expertly, the daughter of Shaneboy Lee and Raficky took charge in the closing stages to claim a length victory and bring her career tally to a brilliant fifteen wins in total. The time for the 2/1 shot was 19.25.
The treble was completed in fantastic style in the penultimate race of the night as Risky Reward dominated her rivals to run out a convincing winner. Owned by Sean O’Riordan, the September 19’ daughter of Quietly and Galloping Bibi took no prisoners early on as she rattled from trap six to take a commanding lead into the opener, From here, it was all one-way traffic for the Stephen Murray-trained bitch as she drew clear to cross the line with ten lengths to spare. The time was a rapid 28.58.
Friday nights card at Galway Stadium was the original card from the previous Saturday which was abandoned due to water logging. In race five, the John Maloney of Clarecastle owned Poles Apart arrived very late on the scene to land this A5 graded contest running down the pace setting Bumblebee Lana close home to score by a length and a half in 29.32. Bumblebee Lana showed plenty of early place to lead by over three lengths entering the back straight and by six at halfway. From the third bend though Poles Apart (Coolavanny Gap-Ciss Baby) began to sprout wings before sweeping through close home to score readily.
Race six was another A5 graded contest that went in emphatic fashion to the Gary Pepper of Feakle owned Tuckeys Jet who eased home six and three quarter lengths clear of Shammer Dubh in 29.47. The winner came away well towards the outside and although maintaining a wide berth on the run to the opening bend led the red jacketed Shammer Dubh by over a length at the bend. Racing along the back straight the gap remained about three lengths but the winner then eased away from the home turn for a facile success for the Donie Duggan of Tulla kennel.
The chief supporting contest on Saturday night’s Galway card was the A3 graded tenth contest and from traps Marlay Star showed pace along the inner to lead on the run towards the opening bend from Astro Podge in the centre of the track. Turning down the back the Madden -Pepper Syndicate of Feakle owned Astro Podge took over in front and he quickly opened up a three length advantage on his rivals passing halfway . Railing well around the final two bends the Donal Duggan trained son of Ballymac Best & Dynamic Cool Sky scored by five and a half lengths over Bridgepark Jack in 29.27.