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Ballyea Sydney claimed the spoils in the Michael Tobin Memorial Sweepstake over the weekend.

It was another busy last weekend at the Limerick Track with the Final of The Michael Tobin Memorial Sweepstake on Saturday Night the main focus of attention.

The Michael Tobin Memorial A4 525 has provided some brilliant racing at the Dock Road circuit in the past three weeks and Saturday night’s €1800 decider saw Ballyea Sydney follow up on his terrific semi final victory with another emphatic display on the night that mattered.

Owned by popular Ballyea man Noel Gavin, Ballyea Sydney went to traps a 7/2 chance in the market and he was quickest into stride wearing the black jacket where he immediately drifted wide on the run to the opening corner. A closely run contest entering the first bend, Blastoff Butch was making swift progress in trap two but as Ballyea Sydney swooped the corner, both greyhounds came together and it was ‘Sydney’ who rode the bump better to go clear.

Taking a length advantage into the back straight, the son of Droopys Sydney – Sarista, trained by Tom Flanagan of Ennistymon, maintained a good gallop down the back and he extended his lead entering the home straight. Staying on powerfully thereafter, Ballyea Sydney stormed across the line to seal a four length win, The time was 29.04.

Friday night’s card at the Galway Track saw the semi-final of the three Welcome Back To Sports Stakes. The starter got them away as one for the opening Semi Final of the A2 525 Stake but as they raced towards the opening bend the Jack Browne of Ballyea owned Cascade King showed the best early on to lead by a length from Springwell Thomo as they approached the opening bend. Tracking well out front Cascade King opened up a two length advantage on his rivals heading towards the halfway mark. Leaving the back straight the lead was still a couple of lengths but off the home bend Springwell Thomo and Come On Charlie began to close but Cascade King(Droopys Sydney-Coolavanny Spice) held off Springwell Thomo by half a length in 28.95.

In the early strides of the opening semi-final of theA3 550 Stake, all six runners were lined across the track but on the long run towards the opening bend the Michael Costello of Ballyvaughan owned Pinnacle Rio showed pace towards the inner to lead by over a length to Springwell Janey and Upandatit with Millrose Brandy in fourth place entering the back straight. Out front though Pinnacle Rio set sail for home racing towards halfway and gradually increasing his advantage racing along the back the son of Rio Quattro and Fawn Samantha routed his rivals headed by Upandatit and Millrose Brandy by upwards of five and a half lengths in 30.38.

Both Croaghill Linda and Ballylean Rogue were smartly into stride in the second semi-final and the pair matched strides on the long run to the opening bend where Ballylean Rogue kicked on to lead by two lengths entering the back straight. Racing along the back Ballylean Rogue led from Croaghill Linda as the Colm Fitzgerald of Kilrush owned Hazlehill Hare began to close on the pair on the wide outside. Off the home bend Ballylean Rogue still led but Hazlehill Hare swooped late to score by half a length from Ballylean Rogue in 30.45.

In the opening heat of the Grangeeview Ten Stake on Saturday night’s card, Grangeview Best came away well in the centre of the track but on the run towards the opening bend the Hey-You-Sir Syndicate of Ennis owned Askingforafriend surged through on the leaders inner to take command rounding the opening bend. Turning down the back Askingforafriend opened up a three length advantage over Grangeview Ten and Raha Ranger. Approaching the penultimate corner the lead was still three lengths as Raha Ranger began to close but the Shane Flannagan of Rockmount, Ennis handled Askingforafriend was still three parts of a to the good at the line in 29.13.

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