Vegas fastest in Magic Thurles Greyhound Stadium sprint on Saturday

Noel Dundon


Noel Dundon


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

All from the action from the Thurles track on Saturday evening

All the action from Thurles track at the weekend

The highest graded event on Saturday’s twelve race programme at Thurles Greyhound Stadium came over the sprint distance and advancing to join the Open ranks following victory in a warm S1 contest over 330-yards, Brian Loughnane’s Vegas Magic (Droopys Jet-Lemon Bolt) returned the fastest performance of the night.

Lightly raced with just seven previous outings, the July 2018 whelp had just a sole victory which came over 525 yards but displaying top quality early pace following a level start from trap 4, Vegas Magic doubled her win tally when crucially drawing clear to a two-length lead over Lynchy Boy at the opening turn.

The latter performed with much credit when maintaining a strong challenge to the home-straight but although her advantage was reduced to a tight one length verdict at the line, Vegas Magic was never for passing while posting a fast 17.84 (-10), which will see her rise to SS0 next time.

Alex back with a bang
Also advancing to Open class for his next outing when claiming the night’s A4 570 contest, John Butler’s Neon Alex (Droopys Roddick-Boraderra Angel) found marked improvement on his previous form when also securing the second win of his career, over a year after his first!

The April 2018 whelp was a full twelve months off the track before returning to action in February and slow starts had curtailed his progression in recent outings. A chief contributor to his Saturday improvement, however, was a much more adept exit from trap 2, although the Butler charge was forced to switch behind early leader Burrow Tiger when passing the line for the first time.

Remaining within a length of that rival to the opening bend, Neon Alex was back on the inside for a passing move at halfway and impressing to the closing turns, saw out the trip stoutly for a two-length verdict over the strong staying Flomur Bobby in a fast 31.50 (-40).

The fastest return over the standard 525-yard trip on Saturday came in the A2 contest and never comfortable to spend very long away from the winner’s enclosure, Patrick Kelly & Michael Skehan’s Railteen Dara (Laughil Blake-Stuckeybawn) secured the seventh win of her career in dominant fashion.

A winner in the same grade two starts back, the July 2018 whelp broke smartly from her ideal trap 1 berth and in command to the opening bend, had the race all but settled when bounding clear to halfway. Pursued by Flashy Fifi, the latter stayed stoutly when reducing greater arrears to three lengths at the line but Railteen Dara never sighted a rival while posting 29.61 (-50).

Saturday’s A6 525 housed a field of lightly raced youngsters and building on his two previous outings, Moanduff Scampie (Confident Rankin-Princess Scampie) found pleasing progression to shed his maiden tag at the third attempt for Michael Hayes.

Developing his breaking skills, the April 2019 youngster was much swifter to stride this time and a sharp dash of early pace saw him immediately take command on the run to the first bend. Reaching the back-straight with four lengths in hand of Errill Cindy, the verdict was settled by halfway and Moanduff Scampie maintained a strong gallop throughout a five and a half length victory, as Try Again Ella stayed well in 29.75 (-50).

The second of Saturday’s sprint events also brought maiden victory as Tommy Spillane’s Demon Rebel (Azza Azza Azza-Demon Cause) confirmed the early paced talents shown in his 525-yard debut, claiming the S6 330 contest in impressive fashion.

Just moderately to stride from trap 3, the June 2019 pup chased Clarity Bay at over a length deficit in the early exchanges but displaying smart dash once reaching full stride, steadily reduced the gap on the run to the first bend.

As he did however, he would find Slaneyside Defoe rushing up on the rails as that rival claimed the lead before turning. Gamely maintaining momentum on the new leader’s outside, an entertaining buckle would see Demon Rebel round that rival on the run to the home-straight before the Spillane pup forged clear to a one and a half-length verdict in 18.17 (-10).

Another debut Jewel for Dalton

The Saturday action commenced with a brace of novice races over 525 yards and claiming the ON3 contest was another smart young prospect from the legendary kennels of Pat Dalton as Jet Jewel (Droopys Jet-Volcano) displayed all the strong running abilities of his stellar breeding lineage.

Ponderous from trap 1, the February 2019 youngster trailed the field in the early exchanges and although negotiating his way to third at the top of the back-straight, had at least eight lengths to recover on pacesetter Brians Special.

Advancing to second at halfway however, Jet Jewel rapidly reduced his arrears before striking the front off the final bend and bounding clear to the line, registered a most eye-catching debut win with four lengths in hand of the running-on Velvet Tuco in 29.83 (-50).

The preceding ON2 525 was a highly competitive affair and advancing from second at the opening bend to strike the front at the top of the back-straight, John Leahy’s Clondotty Megan (Laughil Blake-Clondoty Amy) secured a brave debut victory when repelling the eye-catching Patterdale Milo by a length in 30.07 (-50).

Most notable amongst the remainder of the graded action, Paddy Scally’s Cabra Cleo (Pat C Sabbath-Cabra Laura) doubled her win tally when striking the front off the second bend to claim the A5 525, posting 29.87 (-50) in a five length defeat of Clough Flicka before Dan Clancy’s Four For Johnny (Droopys Jet-Killduff Kerry) claimed the eighth win of her career when overhauling Coosane Megan at the closing bends of their A4 525, running out a two length winner in 29.89 .

A brave effort to lead at the first bend in the A7 525 saw DJ Fradgley’s Lisheen Snowy (Droopys Cain-Sadies Impact) covert with three lengths to spare in a second career win over Mind The Ladder in 30.05 (-50) before Stephanie Ryan’s Knockalton Conor (Silverhill Shay-Kitmins Denise) claimed his fifth race win when battling bravely in a bumpy A3 525. Striking the front off the final turn, he posted 30.12 (-50) in a half-length verdict over Killenaulerocket.

The remaining A8 525 also saw first bend traffic for all but command of the rails at the opening bends saw Michael Ryan’s Holiday Gal (Skywalker Rory-Emers Baby) secure a first career win at the second attempt as the August 2019 pup posted 30.30 (-50) in a one and a half length defeat of Leamaneigh Wild.

Top Dog
Having missed an entire year of his racing career, the 570-yard performance of Neon Alex (Droopys Roddick-Boraderra Angel) clearly displayed that he has always harboured a degree of untapped potential in his stunted campaign, much of which was realised in wonderful second race win.

Best Bitch
Very lightly raced, the Saturday sprint victory of Vegas Magic (Droopys Jet-Lemon Bolt) was from the very top drawer and she clearly harbours yet greater potential with a profile that has not yet been fully exposed.

Most Promising Debut

Unsurprising to see another talented youngster for his prolific connections, the 29.83 (-50) debut victory of Jet Jewel (Droopys Jet-Volcano) screamed imminent progression having been slow to stride before recovering many lengths beyond halfway.

One To Watch
Chasing home Clondotty Megan in their ON2 525 clash, Roger Mounsey’s Patterdale Milo (Minor Mike-Minor Winner) thoroughly caught the eye with powerful back-straight pace and granted clearer passage next time, will prove extremely difficult to contain in graded company.