27 Sept 2022

Greyhound Racing: Old boy is top of the bill at Thurles

Racing took place 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

A busy spell of sweepstake action over recent months continues to entertain at Thurles Greyhound Stadium and semi-finals in the RCETS A3 525-Yard Stake were the feature of the Saturday fixture last weekend where Bernie Hogan’s Old Bill (Droopys Sydney-Starry Display) entered this week’s showdown as the sole unbeaten finalist in a fastest of the night performance over the trip.

Back to winning ways in 29.22 (-20) on opening night, the July 2020 whelp faced a stiff task in the second heat which housed the three fastest winners from the first round but breaking in mid-division from trap 4, the Hogan charge would lay down a big final marker in typically strong running manner.

It was Lemon Gavin who put the pace to the race when leading throughout the early exchanges and he was pursued on the run to halfway by heat winner Bull Run Bison as Old Bill duelled for third with Hollyhill Sonny. With the lead reduced to the third bend, the complexion of the race would change when Old Bill’s backstraight pace saw him secure second before joining the leader on the inside off the final turn.

Extending readily clear to a three and a half length verdict when staying powerfully to the line, Old Bill matched his career best of 29.17 (-20) in defeat of Bull Run Bison with first round winner Wave Me On thoroughly impressing in third, staying very strongly from the second bend.

Having chased home Bull Run Bison in second a week earlier, the opening semi-final provided a third career win for Rian Dunne’s Youve Been Dunne (Oriental Warrior-Hell On Wheels) as the strong runner over the standard trip promoted himself to final contention in a most taking performance.

Slow to stride from trap 5, the March 2020 whelp would reach the backstraight with a strong four length margin to recover as Private Jet cut out the running when a length in advance of Palace Hill on the run to halfway. Another contest that would change markedly beyond that point, smart pace to the third bend saw Cresent Tibet briefly hit the front before bumping with the early leader left a gap on the rail for Youve Been Dunne to swoop.

Powering to the lead on the run for home, Youve Been Dunne held two and a half lengths over the staying-on Kilara Zoe in 29.35 (-20) with a rallying Cresent Tibet claiming the remaining final berth.

Over in a Flash
The Saturday action at Thurles featured just a sole sprint contest but returned a very impressive winner indeed as Terence Delaney & Michael Ryan’s Rifles Flash (Droopys Sydney-Black Maria) found the fourth win of her career in a very smart personal best time.

Held on return from a layoff last time, the Michael Delaney trained March 2019 whelp progressed for that comeback effort when swifter to stride this time and getting the better of an early tussle with Clonfert Stan to her outside, drew clear to a two-length lead at the opening bend. Retaining that advantage to the home straight, Rifles Flash galloped powerfully to the line for a two and a half length verdict over the running-on Singalong Stacey in 17.94 (10).

Without clear passage when held last time following A3 victory, a very well graded Kilvil Arnold (Ballymac Best-In A Heartbeat) bounced back to winning ways on Saturday when securing his sixth career victory while leading from the opening bend in his A4 525 event.

Contesting the early lead with Knockalton Conor, the March 2020 whelp rounded that rival at the corner before skipping clear into the backstraight. Still two lengths to the good at the third turn, the Pete Pattinson winner would be forced to repel the strong late effort of Classy Diva but not for catching, Kilvil Arnold was full value for his one and a half length winning verdict in 29.30 (-20).

Next best on the night when claiming the Kasko Dog Foods A5 525, Tomy Morrissey’s Errill Magpie (Premier Fantasy-Geelo Lu Lu) secured the third win of his career in highly impressive fashion.

Last successful in A4 grade, the November 2020 pup was more forward in the early stages this time when contesting the lead on the run to the bend with Da Crazy Bean. Ceding a one length advantage to that rival at the top of the backstraight, it was from that point where the Morrissey winner stamped his authority on the race, bounding clear to a five-length verdict in strong running manner to post 29.41 (-20) over On The Wildside.

A runner in sparkling form at Thurles, the concluding A1 525 contest was next fastest on Saturday and securing a third win from his latest four outings was Philip Heffernan’s Its My Mystery (Droopys Biker-Nice Mystery).

Breaking in an even line of rivals behind the fast starting Breathtaking, the Heffernan winner crucially secured command of the rails on the run to the corner and squeezing through on the inside of the pacesetter, asserted on the run to the second bend with space at a premium for all in a keenly contested early battle. Two lengths to the good nearing halfway, Its My Mystery retained that same margin over the fast-finishing Borna Barney in 29.42 (-20).

The first of Saturday’s A4 525 events was a keenly contested affair and doubling her win tally for Declan & Keeva Lynam was Luner Lestrange (Zero Ten-Skywalker Gail) as the September 2020 youngster bounced back to form for trainer David Flanagan. Swifter to stride from trap 5 this time, he came out best from an entertaining buckle with Zoos John, asserting from the closing bends for a two-length verdict in 29.56 (-20).

Commencing the Saturday action in the opening A6 525, James O’Connor’s Tracys Rolex (Good News-Send The Answer) doubled her win tally when leading from the first bend in a five length defeat of Its My Syd in 29.85 (-20) before the following Irish Retired Greyhound Trust A5 525 saw Denis Ryan’s Freedom Odin (Good News-Freedom Dream) double his win tally in a fifth race start, striking the front in the home straight for a one length verdict over Colmyaro Ace in 29.84 (-20).

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