2023 Con and Annie Kirby Memorial 4th Quarter Final winner, Ryhope Beach with Mark O’Donovan, son of trainer Michael O’Donovan. Also included are Margie and Declan Murphy representing Hospital Herbertstown GAA, the nominated Limerick GAA Club. The Semi-Finals take place on Saturday 15th April. Picture Brendan Gleeson

THERE WAS a big shock with the exit of favourite Clona Duke from the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial while Stephen Murray kennels dominated the Good Friday racing in Galway.

By Michael Maher

Friday night’s ten race card at Galway Greyhound Stadium was an all graded programme with the concluding A3 graded 525 yards contest the top graded contest. Training honours in the night though went to Sixmilebridge handler Stephen Murray who recorded a treble courtesy of Wilbrookj Sydney, Chicuitita and Groves Joy. The highlight of the trio was the game success of the Groves Syndicate owned Groves Joy (Droopys Sydney-Astro Abby) who recorded his second career victory by three lengths over Lissatouk Sox in 29.40. Trapping well Groves Joy showed pace along the rail to lead round from Nephin White and Lissatouk Sox, at halfway Groves Joy led by two lengths and although Lissatouk Sox closed on the crown of the home bend the winner was in command racing up the home straight.

The treble was initiated in the opening A7 graded contest Mahoonagh Best along the inner and Wilbrook Sydney in the centre of the track were both away well with Wilbrook Sydney taking a definite advantage as they rounded the opening bend. Racing along the back straight, the Stephen Murray trained Wilbrook Sydney led her rivals by over a length as Rocket Blade and Mahoonagh Best gave chase into the this bend. Off the home bend the Claire Davoren and Jimmy Harte owned Wilbrook Sydney (Droopys Sydney-Killinan Reina) led by a length and a half a lead she held to the line to defeat Mahoonagh Best in 29.58.

Race three saw the middle leg of the treble as all six runners were away in terms for this S8 graded sprint contest with Chiquitita on the wide outside just about shading the issue as they raced towards the opening bend. Rounding the bend Chiquitita led by a length from Fast Fit Wilma with Lakeside Maggie in third place as they negotiated the turn. Turning for home the Rachel Murray owned Chiquitita(Pestana-Shady Pam) extended her advantage to two lengths and she maintained that lead to the line to score her maiden success at the twelfth attempt and complete the Stephen Murray kennel double in 19.52.

In Race 6 the entire complexion of this A5 graded bitch 525 contest changed dramatically approaching the third bend as the Shane Flanagan of Ennis owned Rockmount Mia(Droopys Jet-Rockmount Royce) cut through her rivals like a hot knife through butter as she powered clear to route her rivals by upwards of twelve & three quarter lengths in a superb 29.07. From traps Menmal Princess broke best and she led from Erril Star rounding the opening bend. Racing down the back Menmal Princess continued to lead but at the third bend the winner swept through the field and quickly took command as she raced right away for an impressive victory.

Saturday night card was dominated by stakes contests with the semi-finals of both the Ann Cheevers Memorial A5 & Connect 6. A7 Stakes down for decision as well as the First Round Heats of the Great Blue Shark/WGOBA A2 Tri Distance first round over 525 Yards.
As the traps rose for the first semi-finals of the Ann Cheevers Stake Springwell Denny was best away along the inner with Hit The Diss prominent towards the outer as Lissatouk Gena just in behind the leader along the fence rounding the opening bend. Turning to run down the back Lissatouk Gena poked her head in front along the fence and racing towards the halfway mark the James McMahon of Cooraclare owned last led by two lengths as Claudegreengrass made ground behind. Tracking well around the third bend Lissatouk Gena(Laughill Blake-Lissatouk Dolly) shot clear and she scored by five lengths from Springwell Denny and Cklaudegreengrass in 29.45.

In heat three of The Great Blue Shark Stake, the John Quinn and Kate Cantwell of Gort owned Fast Fit Lucky claimed the third heat as the Declan McDonagh of Liscannor trained son of Doratos Wildcat and Fast Fit Maeve headed by Crokers Burko form traps Fast Fit Lucky took over along the inner rounding the opening bend. Tracking well, Fast Fit Lucky led by three lengths from Call Me Quick and Crokers Burko and in command virtually throughout he scored by two and a half lengths at the line from Call Me Quick in 29.15.

Racing opened with an S7 garden sprint contest in which all runners came away in teems with Ronans Warrior first to break rank towards the outside but on the run towards the opening bend the Thomas Keane of Kilmihil owned Glynnscross Phil swept down the wide outside to take command of the contest. Cutting inwards at the bend the son of Droopys Sydney & Glynnscrosstyler quickly opened up a commanding advantage as he raced clear to defeat Show No Fear by six & a half lengths in 19.24.

Down Limerick way the four quarter finals of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial served as the highlight on and there was no shortage of thrills and spills with the main talking point the shock exit of outright favourite, Clona Duke.

Indeed, the Graham Holland-trained Clona Duke had lit up the Classic in recent weeks and his 27.95 clock last weekend was the quickest time ever recorded since the inception of the Kirby. However, such as greyhound racing, seven days later the Juvenile Derby winner was to fluff his lines at trap rise and was to miss out on qualification in a photo finish for third place. In contrast, Ryhope Beach, who had been workmanlike in his performances thus far at Limerick, finally put it all together in the final quarter final to record a fastest of the night 28.05.

Related News

doonbeg playground 1
Doonbeg Playground Group giving away a Volkswagen Tiguan to raise funds for redevelopment
broadford village
'No shovels will be in the ground in Broadford or Cooraclare by next election' predicts Clare TD
liam conneally mary mcgann liam carroll liadhan keady vincent lyons 1-2
Deadline nears for Cathaoirleach's awards
mid west hospital campaign 21-05-22 18 marie mcmahon
Measures announced by Health Minister are 'sticking plasters'
Latest News
Chamber
Hyperbaric Oxygen - A Key to Cellular Health and Well-Being
liam conneally mary mcgann liam carroll liadhan keady vincent lyons 1-2
Deadline nears for Cathaoirleach's awards
bridge utd v kilrush rangers 20-08-22 ronan tuohy 1
Three of four semi-final places claimed in Clare Cup
killian roche
Cooraclare's Roche enjoys league success with Laois
tim lucey noreen mcmanus frank nyhan 1-2
Double for Ennistymon's Flanagan & shocks aplenty in Con & Annie Kirby Memorial
Premium
Clare Pyrite Action Group Meeting at Treacy's West County Hotel-9231
Green Senator says Ennis Data Centre is not in line with Government policy
garry miley fiona mcgarry barry o'donovan páraic mcmahon 1-2
The Electoral Chair: Will East Clare back same reps for third term in a row or opt for change
clare v limerick u20 03-04-24 niall o'farrell 3
Clare U20s fall to Cork by the River Lee
gerry Flynn pat hayes-2
Flynn & Hayes refuse to scale back in argument over standing orders
Minister announcement Limerick 005-2
UHL nurses & doctors 'burnt out' admits Health Minister who says reconfiguration has failed in Mid-West

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