*Cambridgeshire Round 1, Michael Killihan with Sporting Pat winner of the 1st Heat. Photograph: Michael Cowhey
Tubber owned Sues Newhall was one of the winning newcomers in Galway at the weekend while Sporting Pat was the highlight of Saturday’s racing in Limerick.
The opening contest on Friday night’s Galway card was for N3 graded race for newcomers and from the traps Sues Newhall broke smartly out wide but she was outpaced on the run to the bend by Knockard Dylan who eased into a two length lead approaching halfway. Leaving the back straight both Sues Newhall and Rathmeehan Ruby closed right up on the leader and rounding the home bend the Johnny Burke of Tubber owned Sues Newhall eased away to defeat Rathmeehan Ruby by two and three quarter lengths in 29.91.
The second contest for A9 graded runners went in all the way fashion to the Leo McNulty and Donal Cooney of Broadford owned Kiluran Rastama who came home a length and a quarter clear of Ringroe Rascal in 30.02. The winner led by three lengths over Peteles Lady rounding the opening bend and by halfway that lead was four lengths as Ringroe Rascal joined Peteles Last in second spot
Having not enjoyed the best of luck in running his two outings, Burnpark Vulturi made it third time lucky in the A5 graded fifth contest as he defeated Karakal Jon by two and three quarter lengths in 29.31. Lakeside Caoimhe shoed pace early to lead the winner owned by Maria Browne of Cree before Derrymoyle Pat joined issue entering the back straight along the inner. Approaching the penultimate corner Lakeside Caoimhe led by half a length but Burnpark Vulturi found room along the rails to edge through to lead off the home bend and striding on well the son of Vulturi and Burnpark Dolly was certainly gaining a deserved success.
In the A4 graded eighth contest Bumblebee Love showed pace from her trap six berth to lead her rivals by over two lengths rounding the opening bend from Puck Out and Paradise Mission. Turning down the back the Sean Meade of Miltown Malbay owned Paradise Mission moved through on the inside to join issue with Bumblebee Love approaching the halfway mark. Approaching the third bend Paradise Mission went to the front and asserting between the final two bends the son of Native Chimes and Paradise Geneva drew clear to defeat the staying on Dana Point by two and a quarter lengths in 29.11.
On The Wireless owned by Gerry O’Donoghue of Gort came in as a reserve in the A4 graded fifth contest on Saturday nights card and having finished runner up on debut the son of Skywalker Puma and Coolavanny Spice made no mistake as he made almost all from his trap three berth to defeat Drombeg Davy by six lengths in 28.97.
The Rachel Murray of Sixmilebridge owned Lady Blue Eyes never saw another rival in the S8 graded fourth contest as she recorded her second career success by four and three quarter lengths over Newchapel Bones in 19.18. The Stephen Murray trained runner was away like the wind from her trap three berth and approaching the bend the led Heresour Paddy by two lengths and when that rival ran wide on the bend the winner settled the contest as he drew right away off the home bend for a convincing victory.
Without doubt the highlight on Saturday nights Limerick Greyhound Stadium card was the opening round of the ‘Emerald Isle Casino Irish Cambridgeshire Open 750’ and it was Sporting Pat who stole the show.
It was the heat that oozed class and one where 2019 winner Redzer Ardfert was expected to dominate proceedings. From the break Sporting Pat lay in fourth place but this wouldn’t have concerned connections massively given her strong running abilities from halfway. Skywalker Logan set a frantic gallop out in front and Redzer Ardfert could not make an inch on trainer Pat Guilfoyle’s greyhound entering the penultimate corner.
However, making eye-catching ground in behind, Sporting Pat was beginning to rev her engine for owner Michael Rowe and there was a certain inevitability about the result given previous exploits.
With the winning line in sight, the Jerry Griffin trained Sporting Pat swept past both Redzer Ardfert and Skywalker Logan to storm to a length and half success. Redzer Ardfert stayed on strong to take the second spot, while Skywalker Logan ran a cracker despite running out of steam to take third. The clock read an exceptional time of 41.79.