Devilish display in delayed Tipperary Cup at Thurles Greyhound Stadium

2020 National Greyhound Racing Awards set for Sunday night

Racing resumed on Monday evening at the Thurles brace following a number postponements

Racing resumed on Monday evening at the Thurles brace following a number postponements

Following a brace of postponements due to recent high temperatures, the second-round heats of the 2021 Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup went ahead at Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Monday of this week where Jim Langton’s Dark Devil (Ballymac Vic-Bull Run Ballad) led the way in a fastest of the round performance.

Progressing for his Thurles debut when second in the fastest opening round heat, the Murt Leahy charge again displayed his exceptional early pace from trap 5 in Heat 3 when impressively outpacing the fast-starting Meduza to reach the corner with a narrow advantage.

Sweeping across that rival, Dark Devil extended to over three lengths on the run to halfway and remaining in command thereafter, ably held the late threat of Meduza with a length and a half to spare. Posting a fast 29.07 (-30) for the 525-yards as Borna Aoife caught the eye to claim third, a fourth qualifying place went to Lemon Yohan when recovering well from early bumping.

Big news ahead of the opening Heat 1 was the absence of event favourite Cabra Ava and with first round scorer Gortkelly Nestor also a withdrawal, it meant that all three rivals behind John Murray & Michael Spillane’s winner Edencurra Brae (Kinloch Brae-Edencurra Cannon) would advance to the next round.

With ample racing room on the run to the bend following a level break from trap 2, the winner raced on the shoulder of rails runner Lukes Fizz before a brush between the pair while turning saw the latter take command on the run to the back-straight.
Never more than a length adrift however, Edencurra Brae again impressed with his strong running style and overhauling the pacesetter at halfway, he settled the race when skipping clear around the closing bends. Staying stoutly to the line, Edencurra Brae posted 29.20 (-30) in a five-length defeat of the fast-finishing Neon Alex, while there was just a shorthead and half a length back to Lukes Fizz and Knockalton King respectively.

Sheilds remain intact for Auxerre
This week’s semi-finals will house just a sole unbeaten Tipp Cup challenger as Auxerre (Droopys Sydney-Toms Delight) supplemented his opening round victory with another hugely impressive performance for Oliver Shields in Heat 2.

Breaking just off the pace from trap 6, the 29.16 (-20) opening round winner paced up well on the outside of the field and joining early leader Cabra Luna at the crown of the bends, bravely forged a tight one length lead approaching halfway.
Stretching clear around the closing turns, Auxerre saw out the trip stoutly for a four-length verdict over the running-on Freedom Shadow with Cabra Luna third and Ballinabola Bolt fourth, in 29.19 (-30).

Ned clearly suited to Orange
Commencing the Monday action with a highly promising debut victory in the ON2 525, Ned English & Katie Frazer’s Neddys Orange (Bull Run Bolt-Ranchers Queen) was appropriately housed in trap 5 when scoring in very taking style.

Only moderately to stride, the January 2020 pup outpaced his rivals on the run to the first bend and sweeping across the field, he extended readily clear to the back-straight. Never under serious threat despite game pursuit from Code Rubble, Neddys Orange ran out a five-length winner over that same rival while posting a smart 29.47 (-30).

That winning time was all but matched in the following A5 525 and doubling her win tally in an eighteenth career start, Thomas Everard’s Mackee Coconut (Droopys Nidge-Mackee Biscuit) gained a deserved second career win in strong running fashion.

Breaking well from trap 5, the May 2019 youngster was forced to cede early advantage to the sharp Holiday Gal but within three lengths to halfway, superior strength from the third turn saw the Everard charge strike the front late on for a two and a half length verdict in 29.49 (-30).

Cabra goes super-Sonic in slick hattrick
The first of Monday’s A3 contests was over 525 yards and maintaining a perfect set of figures in a treble to commence his career, Paddy Scally’s Cabra Sonic (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) scored another trap to line success to remain unbeaten.

Scoring in the same grade last time having impressed on debut, the September 2019 pup again displayed powerful early pace to immediately take command following his level start in trap 3. A length to the good at the opening bend, the Scally charge bounded clear to the back-straight with Nowurmovin giving chase having bravely secured second following an early bump.

The latter did reduce the winning margin to three and a half lengths from larger arrears but never under serious threat, Cabra Sonic led home Nowurmovin in 29.59 (-30) and holds every claim to extend his winning run in the same grade next time.
The late A3 525 proved a more competitive affair and brought a second career win for Christy & Louise Meaney’s Kylenoe Steph (Ballymac Best-Toms Linda) as the September 2019 pup recovered an early deficit to overhaul Nametab Van Dijk in a one length verdict while posting a sharp 29.36 (-30) after Liam Peacock’s Bogger Megan (Good News-Bogger Bonnie) claimed a thrilling shorthead verdict in the A3 570, posting 32.07 (-30) in a ninth career win over Ballyphilip Blue.

Monday featured a brace of sprint contests and the S0 330 was claimed by reserve runner Micks Energy (Tarsna Havana-Send The Answer) as the James O’Connor charge dominated throughout a third career win.

Taking his chance from trap 3 when breaking on level terms, he quickly edged clear of Confused Fitzy before two lengths to the good over the advancing Faithful Rory at the crown of the bends. Remaining in command despite wide off the final turn, Micks Energy posted 18.07 while repelling that latter rival in a one and a half-length verdict.

The remaining sprint event was the S3 330 and claiming his third career win, Denis Fogarty & Tony McCormack’s Totos Cottage (Droopys Kewell-Ronans Lass) posted 18.35 (-10) in a one and a half length verdict over dead-heating duo Long Kiwi and Demon Say Ten.

Trademark early pace saw Donny Maher’s Champion Paul (Confident Rankin-Cabra Twister) score his second career win as the Brendan Everard trained August 2019 pup led throughout the A4 525, posting 29.74 (-30) in a three length verdict over Kilduff Davy while the remaining A2 525 saw the M-P Syndicate’s Leinster Leo (Skywalker Farloe-La Linea) secure his fifth career win, bravely battling through bumping for a one length verdict over Freedom Sky and Whizzing Katie in 29.80 (-30).

Top Dog
It came as little surprise to see Dark Devil (Ballymac Vic-Bull Run Ballad) sparkle in a fastest heat win on Monday following a pleasing opening round effort and he remains a big fancy for outright glory in the Tipperary Cup.

Best Bitch
She may have suffered another defeat this week, but connections will remain pleased with the progress of Meduza (Good News-Jaytee Osprey) while chasing home Dark Devil in their 29.07 (-30) clash and she retains realistic claims in the Tipperary Cup.

Most Impressive Debut
There was plenty to like in the debut win of Neddys Orange (Bull Run Bolt-Ranchers Queen) when posting 29.47 (-20) and the January 2020 pup left much scope for imminent improvement.

One To Watch
The concluding heat of the Tipperary Cup on Monday was a warm affair and the third placed effort of Michelle Dwan’s Borna Aoife (Droopys Jet-Borna Central) should not have gone unnoticed, making up many lengths following a poor start when only going down by a total of two and a half lengths to Dark Devil in 29.07 (-30).

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