There was a big turnout at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last Saturday night for the final of the €5,000 to the winner John Whelan Memorial Kennedy Cup which went the way of the favourite Steam of Sydney.
Kindly sponsored by the family of the late John Whelan, the Kennedy Cup has produced some brilliant racing at Limerick over the past month and how fitting it was that North Clare owner Austin Whelan, a brother of John, emerged as the winning owner. Trained in Doon, Co Limerick by Pat Buckley, Stream of Sydney put her rivals to the sword in emphatic style in this decider. Tromora Rocket owned by David Hogan of Quilty filled second spot.
In the opening heat of the 90th birthday July Festival A4 Stake at the Galway Track on Friday night last, Nephin Dubh showed pace in the centre of the track with Three Canons also prominent on his inside. At the opening bend, the Joan Browne and Conor Keating of Ballyea owned Three Canons slipped through to lead and although drifting slightly wide entering the back straight she kicked three lengths clear of Krystaline entering the back straight. Passing halfway the lead was now over four lengths as the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Coolavanny Spice powered clear of her rivals to defeat Krystaline by six and three quarter lengths in 29.05.
In the second semi-final, all bar the slow starting Tiger Queen were lined across the track approaching the opening bend with High Heels just about leading out wide. Rounding the bend, the concertina effect forced the leader very wide as Burnpark Twinkle tracked well to lead Nationwide Jess into the back straight. Passing halfway, High Heels began to close again out wide as the front three had it between them at the third bend. Off the home bend, Burnpark Twinkle (Pat C Sabbath-Burnpark Leanne) led by a length and the Maria Browne of Cree owned lady prevail by three parts of a length from High Heels at the line in 29.74.
The second contest was an A6 graded contest in which the Browne family was again to the fore this time, it was the turn of Emily Browne owned Burnpark Maggie who made it two winds from two starts with trap to eleven lengths romp from Bumblebee Jordan in 29.29. The daughter of Pat C Sabbath and Burnpark Leanne trapped well in the centre of the track to lead by two lengths rounding the opening bend. Turning down the back Burnpark Maggie set sail for home and passing halfway it was simply a case of how far as she drew further clear with every stride for a most impressive success.
Race eleven was an S4 graded contest in which Croaghill Blake broke smartly on the wide outside toned early from Room To Stop along the inner and Nephin Tommie between runners. At the bend the leader drifted wide as Room To Stop took over along the rails. Off the home bend though the Martin Griffin of Lissycasey owned Room To Stop drifted very wide allowing Nephin Tommie to close but Room To Stop(Laughill Blake-Nebraska Scot) held him at bay by half a length in 19.58.
The two A1 contests over 525 and 550 Yards were the twin feature contests on the Saturday night card which also featured the July A2 Stake Semi Finals and the A4 525 Opening Round heats.
On the long run towards the opening bend in the A1 550, Arrowhead showed pace to lead from Fast Fit Vic and Honkwhenyourhome. Rounding the opening bend Arrowhead and Fast Fit Vic went in with Arrowhead starting to gain the upper hand passing halfway. From the third bend, the Kevin Ryan of Ruan owned son of Pat C Sabbath and Krystallise steadily increased his advantage and the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained runner saw off the challenge of Knockmeale Star by a length and three parts in 30.68.
In the early strides of the Novice 350 Burnpark Max and Danamesbuzz were both away smartly with Burnpark Max shoeing slightly the better toe to lead by half a length at the opening bend. Tracking well, the Michael Browne of Cree owned son of Pat C Sabbath and Burnpark Leanne led by a length rounding the home bend and although he drifted wide he still done enough to see off the challenge of Danamesbuzz by a neck in 19.64.