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05 Oct 2022

Greyhound Racing: Wichita sails through Dapper opener at Thurles

Racing took place at Thurles track on Saturday evening

Local greyhound training ranks thinning, but the Donegal Dynamo provides plenty to get excited about, writes Joe Carroll

Greyhounds action. was from Thurles on Saturday evening

The 24-runner Dapper Kennels A3 525 Yard Stake was the feature of the Saturday fixture at Thurles last weekend and seeking further competition glory having claimed final victory in the same grade on Tipperary Cup final night, Sean Kenny’s Gunboat Wichita (Droopys Sydney-Group Supergem) commenced his event campaign with a fastest of the night performance for the standard trip.


Pleasingly progressive in just an eighth career start, the July 2020 whelp broke on level terms from trap 4 in the first heat but with superior early dash, reached the opening bend with two lengths in hand before leading Bumblebee Seamus to the top of the backstraight. That rival gave game pursuit thereafter and lost little in defeat when only going down by a length and a half but entering the semi-finals as the fastest runner, Gunboat Wichita improved to a new best of 29.34 (-20) in his fourth race win, with Listen Ava Lou qualifying in third.


The following heat of the A3 stake delivered an impressive maiden victory at the fourth time of asking for the Feelgood Racing Syndicate’s Classy Diva (Lenson Rocky-Clonkeen Class) in what was a graded debut following her run to the final of a smart novice stake at Cork.


Following a moderate break from trap 2, the December 2020 pup crucially secured command of the rail in a tight early tussle but would be forced to cede a lead to Swift Fellowship as that rival swept the opening turn from further out. Duelling with Ballymartin Gary for second approaching halfway, the winner rushed up on the inside of the leader at the third bend and took command of the race on the run for home.


Extending to a three and a half length winning margin, Killenaulespirit caught the eye when staying stoutly for second as Ballymartin Gary retained third behind Classy Diva in 29.74 (-20).


The concluding heat of the stake returned another strong running winner and doubling her win tally in impressive style was Eamon Lloyd’s Knockroe Serena (Farloe Blitz-Rosmult Racer). Breaking in mid-division, the April 2020 whelp tracked the early pace in third position to the backstraight before proving strongest beyond halfway. Striking the front entering the third bend, she extended readily clear for a three-length verdict over fellow strong runner Ballymartin Rory, with Moorstown Buster third.


Hasty completes Cabra treble
The remaining heat of the A3 525 stake was claimed by Ava Scally’s Cabra Hasty (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) as the consistent kennel stalwart completed a smart Saturday treble for connections when sharing the spoils with the Feelgood Racing Syndicate’s Skackleton (Budgie Marbh-Trying Times).


Connections of the latter winner will be double handed to semi stage as the September 2020 whelp emerged best from first bend bumping to lead into the backstraight. Advancing to just show second when four lengths off the leader at halfway, Cabra Hasty continued to close on Shackleton to the home straight where the pair could not be separated in a photo-finish, posting 29.74 (-20) while seven lengths in advance of Fancy Tulip.


Sparking the Scally Family treble on the night when maintaining a wonderful strike-rate in her early career, Paddy Scally’s Cabra Astra (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Ebony) claimed her fifth win from nine starts in the night’s S3 330.


Bouncing back from a brace of defeats, the September 2020 whelp broke on level terms from trap 2 before displaying the best early pace for a one length lead at the opening bend when in advance of Assarula Eoin. The latter would retain second thereafter despite a bump but holding a comfortable four lengths in hand at the line, Cabra Astra posted a smart 18.10 (-10).


The following Rathdowney Errill GAA Buster Draw Race A4 525 provided the second winner for the kennels within this Saturday trio as Cabra Veyron (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) secured the ninth victory of his career in typical early paced fashion.


Quickest to stride from trap 4, the September 2019 whelp swept the opening bend with a length in hand of Knockalton Conor before settling the race when streaking clear to halfway. Heavens Dexter emerged from the chasing pack to fill second when staying stoutly thereafter but never under serious threat, Cabra Veyron posted 29.97 (-20) with two and a half lengths to spare.


All Smiles for Feel Good treble
Adding to the A3 stake exploits of Classy Diva and Shackleton, the second of Saturday’s A5 525 events would prove the catalyst for a treble of victories for connections of the Feelgood Racing Syndicate on the night as Smiling Minnie (Lenson Panda-Pantone Minnie) shed her maiden tag at the third time of asking.


Finding an improved start from trap 3, the December 2020 whelp immediately took command in the initial exchanges and leading by two lengths to the opening bend, would never sight a rival thereafter. In behind, Murlens Mustang impressed along the backstraight but was no match for the winner late on as Smiling Minnie scored with four lengths to spare in 29.63 (-20).


Commencing the Saturday action, the opening A5 525 delivered a third win from seven career starts for Kim Taylor’s New Sensation (King Elvis-Difficult Choice) when leading on the run to the bend before completing a facile ten length defeat of Ellies Knight in 29.74 (-20) while the remaining A7 525 saw the Limekiln Lads Syndicate’s Foxrock Abbey (Farloe Blitz-Carters Dream) shed her maiden tag at the seventh time of asking when leading throughout a five and a half length defeat of Rathmoyle Linda in 29.87 (-20).


Top Dog
In sparkling form following recent stake victory, Gunboat Wichita (Droopys Sydney-Group Supergem) lay down his marker in the opening round of his A3 525 stake, going fastest in 29.34 (-20).


Best Bitch
Bouncing back to form for a fifth win from her nine career starts, Cabra Astra (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Ebony) impressed when dominating Saturday’s S3 330 in 18.10 (-10).


One To Watch
Crowded out of contention at the opening bend when chasing home Classy Diva in their 29.74 (-20) clash, the Jack Russell Syndicate’s Killenaulespirit (Ballymac Best-Milestone Pearl) very much caught the eye when recovering ground to rush up on the winner’s tail at the third bend before further crowding, and can prove a big player in the A3 stake going forward.

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