Double Dawns for Cabra clan at Thurles greyhound stadium

Noel Dundon


Noel Dundon


Three Tipperary greyhounds remain in contention for Easter Cup glory at Shelbourne Park

Racing was from Thurles on Saturday evening last

All the racing action from Thurles on Saturday evening last

A high quality and action-packed Saturday session of racing at Thurles Greyhound Stadium returned an array of wonderful performances last weekend and never far from the winner’s circle, the local kennels of Paul Scally delivered vctories for young siblings Paddy & Ava Scally as the latter’s Cabra Dawn (Over Limit-Cabra Millie) set up a hattrick with a second A2 570-yard win on the spin.

Adding to her consistent profile, Cabra Dawn was back to winning ways the previous week and a same draw on the fence proved ideal for a repeat when the September 2018 whelp gamely defended the rails on the run to the bend following a level break.

Retaining the inside line to the backstraight, she would be forced to surrender the lead when Colmyard Pulse rushed up on the outside for a one length lead on the run to halfway. Rallying on the approach to the closing bends however, Cabra Dawn bravely regained the lead and drew clear of that rival in the home straight as Kevinsfort Tiger stayed strongly to fill second when two lengths adrift in a smart 31.70 (-40).

The Scally double was sparked in the earlier A2 525 when Paddy Scally’s Cabra Luna (Good News-Cabra Ebony) secured her third career win in a slick return to top form.

Producing one of her better breaks from trap 1, the September 2018 whelp defended the rail before arriving to the bend on the inside of Allowdale Shelly. Repelling that rival to the backstraight, the Scally charge impressively extended her advantage to the closing bends before keeping that same rival at bay with two lengths to spare in a fast 29.24 (-40).

Guilfoyle claims Open race double, again!

For fear that this week’s column could be mistaken for last week’s, the headline acts from last Saturday have shifted down a few inches as, in a remarkable repeat performance, trainer Pat Guilfoyle again returned the winners of both Open races this week with both Explosive Boy and Magical Jasper going back-to-back!

Highlighted for the exceptional pace shown while posting 17.90 (-10) last time, Peter Sutcliffe’s Explosive Boy (Good News-Delightful Girl) duly justified the adulation when a more forward stride from trap 1 this time saw him reduce his clock in the manner of a future star.

Only a neck down in the early exchanges this time around, as Eleco showed in front from traps, the April 2019 pup quickly went into overdrive as he reached full stride in visually stunning fashion and Explosive Boy left smart rivals in his wake as he reached the opening bend with possibly more than his five-length winning margin in hand.

Trap Joey would emerge from the pack to fill second but as respected as that last time out winner remains, this was a one dog race! Powering to the line, Explosive Boy left a lasting impression, and it came as little shock when clock revealed a sublime 17.68 (-10).

Clearly enjoying his return to Thurles over recent weeks, Alice Guilfoyle’s Magical Jasper (Head Bound-Laughil Louise) has found a trip and venue to suit ideally and the July 2017 whelp impressively went back-to-back in high class 570-yard events when claiming Saturday’s AA0 contest.

From a repeat draw in trap 3, he immediately contested the lead on the run to the first bend and crucially kept tabs on Onyourway as that rival showed smart early dash on the run to the backstraight. Edging to a tight half-length lead passing halfway, it was from the closing bends that Magical Jasper settled the race when, staying stoutly to the line, he ensured a Pat Guilfoyle trained double on the night in a classy 31.48 (-40).

Twix doubles win tally
Claiming the S2 330 on Saturday, Seamus Ryan’s Holiday Twix (Droopys Jet-Princess Aine) will join the Open ranks over sprint distances as the lightly raced September 2018 whelp registered a second career win in hugely impressive fashion.

An early paced scorer over 525, she always appeared likely to produce a smart run at shorter and following a brace of bumpy outings the last twice, early racing room on the inside after a level start in trap 2 saw Holiday Twix steadily draw clear while displaying the best dash on the run to the first bend.

Followed through by Errill Tarzan, the latter could make no inroads on the run for the line as Holiday Twix posted a sharp 17.79 (-10) in a five and a half-length verdict.

There was plenty more to enthuse over on the night and impressing over 525 yards, John & Abbie Morrissey’s Downbytheabbey (Skywalker Puma-Over The Limit) will take a significant rise in grade following his second career win in Saturday’s A4 event.

Shedding the maiden tag in A5 last time, the January 2019 whelp ably coped with the small upgrade despite having to pull out all the stops in a brave and strong running effort. Only fifth to the first bend following a slow start in trap 2, the Morrissey charge began to make steady headway passing the halfway mark and continuing to catch the eye, advanced to second behind long-time leader Some Panther at the closing bends.

Maintaining momentum to the home stretch, a rails run saw Downbytheabbey overhaul Some Panther while repelling the late threat of fellow fast finisher Here Paudie by half a length in a 29.27 (-40) thriller!

A number of youngsters secured maiden victories on Saturday with Paddy Clancy’s Rosmult Havana (Tarsna Havana-Rosmult Martha) confirming the promise shown in a bumpy debut with smart improvement to claim the opening A7 525. Leading throughout, the late starting August 2018 whelp posted 29.58 (-40) in a six-length defeat of Holiday Dame.

Tighter Affair
The following A4 525 was a tighter affair but brought a most game first win for Denis Ryan’s Black Kipper (Laughil Duke-Baby Kipper) at the fifth time of asking when staying stoutly to deny Shevry Cross in the dying strides of his half-length verdict in 29.56 (-40).

Slow starts had cost Eddie Ryan’s Moneygall Queen (Romeo Recruit-Bull Run Spice) in three previous starts but with promise shown by the April 2019 pup, an improved break in Saturday’s A6 525 ensured a crucial clear passage to dictate the pace this time before repelling the powerful late surge of Lippy Girl in 29.59 (-40).

Completing the set of first-time winners, Ruairi Dwan’s Borna Buster (Mileheight Alba-Borna Heidi) was not scoring out of turn as he chalked a win following five runner-up placings in eight previous starts. Recovering a four-length deficit at the top of the backstraight in a bumpy affair, the January 2019 whelp stayed strongly for a one and a half length verdict over Thistimetom in 29.83 (-40).

Never far from the rostrum, the Saturday roll of honour was completed by the Morrissey father and daughter combination as firstly Tommy Mossissey’s Errill Daithi (Toolatetosell-Security) again stayed very strongly in the A5 525 for a second career win when overhauling Cloneen Soldier with three parts of a length to spare in 30.13 (-40) before Tina Morrissey’s Abigails Sky (Toolatetosell-Mandeville Can) rounded-off proceedings with a second win from her last three starts. Leading throughout the concluding A3 570, the April 2019 pup posted 31.93 (-40) in a one and a half length defeat of Mackee Coconut.

Top Dog
Maturing as he goes, the 330-yard victory of Explosive Boy made for stunning viewing while posting 17.68 (-10) and he will be an exciting runner to follow throughout the 2021 season.

Best Bitch
In a seventh career start, the lightly raced Holiday Twix found marked improvement in her S2 330-yard win while displaying all the pace required to cope with a rise to Open class.

One To Watch
Chasing home Cabra Dawn over 570 yards once again on Saturday, Peadar Kinane’s Kevinsfort Tiger (Ballymac Eske-Minnies Luselle) has now placed second in her last three starts but remaining very plausibly graded, the strong stayer looks set for a return to her Open class best before very long.