24 May 2022

Greyhound racing: Breath-taking finish to Taylor treble at Thurles

Racing was on Saturday evening at the Thurles track

2020 National Greyhound Racing Awards set for Sunday night

Racing was at Thurles on Saturday evening

Concluding the action on an entertaining Saturday programme at Thurles Greyhound Stadium last weekend, Kim Taylor’s Breathtaking (Good News-Ballymac Abigal) returned the fastest of the night performance while landing the A1 525, completing a most impressive hattrick of wins at the Premier circuit in the process.

Successful in the same grade last time, the inside seed is far from draw dependant and again breaking sharply from trap 5 this week, the Taylor stalwart immediately took command of the race when quickest to reach full stride.

Arriving to the opening bend with a strong two length advantage, the April 2018 veteran confirmed that she retains all of her redoubtable early pace when dashing further clear on the run to halfway before a most gallant Whizzing Katie eye-catchingly made inroads on the leader approaching the closing bends. Shutting the door on that rival while turning however, Breathtaking again eased clear to the home stretch and was full value for victory when leading that same rival home with two and a half lengths to spare in a classy 29.06 (-20).

On a wonderful night for the Drom kennels, that headline victory was completing a treble on the card for owner and trainer Kim Taylor as New Sensation (King Elvis-Difficult Choice) backed up her latest A8 score when setting up a hattrick bid of her own in the A5 525.

A November 2020 pup, her third race outing saw the Taylor prospect track the early pace of Rosmult Blackeye following a level break from trap 1 before striking the front on the inside of that rival while tackling the opening bend. Stretching clear to the closing bends, New Sensation repelled a gallant rallying effort from that same rival by a length at the line when posting 29.57 (-20).

Completing the kennel trio of winners in the night’s A3 525, Sarah & Keith Taylor’s Swift Fellowship (Farloe Blitz-Swift Niamh) gained an overdue fourth career success in thrilling fashion. A powerful stayer at the standard trip, the August 2019 whelp rounded rivals at the opening bends to lead on the run to halfway before forced to produce a rallying effort in the home-straight having been headed at the third bend. Widest up the straight, the Taylor charge got back up on the line for a head verdict over Cabra Veyron in 29.87 (-20) with another head and two half-lengths separating the first five across the line!

Bristle brushes rivals aside
Next best of the Saturday action when taking full advantage of an ease in grade, Doireann Quinlan’s Bull Run Bristle (Droopys Sydney-Bull Run Bistro) gained due reward for a consistent run of placed form when bouncing back near her very best for a third career win in her A4 525 contest.

Second in each of her last two outings, the March 2020 whelp was back to her best breaking form from trap 6 this time and vying for the lead on the outside of Cabra Beauty approaching the corner, forcefully galloped her way around that rival while turning. Streaking clear to a commanding five length halfway lead, the Quinlan winner would have her lead reduced by a gallant Cabra Beauty in the latter stages but retaining ample resolve, Bull Run Bristle was full value for her half-length verdict in a smart 29.21 (-20).

Astra the star of Cabra double
There was compensation for Paddy Scally following that defeat when Saturday’s A6 525 delivered a third win from just four career starts for his Cabra Astra (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Ebony) as the September 2020 pup found yet further progress in a most impressive career start.

Plausibly graded without a rise for her latest win at the same level, the Scally prospect will take a rise following another sharp early paced performance which saw her produce a slick break from trap 2 before drawing clear to a commanding first bend lead. Ten lengths to the good at halfway, a gallant Totos Fancy would reduce the winning margin to four and a half lengths at the line but never sighting a rival, Cabra Astra posted 29.41 (-20) in a virtual solo passage.

The Scally kennel added a second winner on the night when litter comrade Cabra Cloud (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Ebony) supplemented her latest A6 score while also leading throughout a sharp early paced performance, posting 29.68 (-20) with two lengths to spare over Oh My Sarah in their A4 525 clash.

Enjoying similar Saturday fortune to their conquering kennel in the aforementioned A6 clash, Denis Fogarty & Tony McCormack went one better in the later A4 525 as their Totos Day (Tarsna Havana-Emmas Fancy) doubled his win tally in a dominant trap-to-line performance.

A previous A5 winner, the lightly raced October 2019 whelp was enjoying just his seventh start and producing his best break from trap 3, immediately took command while seeking the rails throughout the early exchanges. Three lengths to the good at the top of the backstraight, Totos Day never sighted a rival when stopping the clock at 29.49 (-20) in a two and a half length verdict over the eye-catching Youve Been Dunne.

That latter winning time matched that posted by Bernie Hogan’s Old Bill (Droopys Sydney-Starry Display) when landing victory in the preceding A5 525 but in a bumpy affair around the opening bends, a third race victory for the Hogan winner can be marked up somewhat following a visually impressive performance.

Slow to stride from trap 1, the July 2020 whelp made gradual inroads on a tight tussle for the lead between a trio of leaders but crucially defending his rails pitch as significant bumping slowed the entire field, Old Bill gamely forced his way to the front on the inside approaching the backstraight. A narrow lead extended to over three lengths as the winner impressed with a powerful gallop to the closing bends and five lengths to the good at the line, he posted 29.49 (-20) in advance of the strong staying Daithis Main Man.

A sole sprint contest on Saturday saw Joe Shanahan’s Teacher Maggie (Keeperhill Ben-Kathleens Patch) shed her maiden tag at the fifth time of asking when leading throughout her five-length defeat of Listen Ava Lou in 18.23 (-10) which followed the first career win of Larry Harding’s Bay City Panther (Droopys Buick-Bay City Lexi) in the opening A7 525, with the September pup posting 29.92 (-20) while six and a half lengths ahead of Tobar Juliet.

Top Dog
Claiming a third career win in his A5 525, Old Bill (Droopys Sydney-Starry Display) impressed with a powerful gallop throughout his 29.49 (-20) performance and was value for faster again given first bend bumping for all.

Best Bitch
Completing a hattrick when claiming the featured A1 525 on Saturday, veteran Breathtaking (Good News-Ballymac Abigal) has been a treat to watch at Thurles in recent weeks and as good as ever beyond her fourth birthday, holds every claim for four in-a-row next time.

One To Watch
Adam Hogg’s Whizzing Katie (Droopys Jet-Volcano) was back to her career high of A1 when chasing home Breathtaking at a two and a half-length deficit in 29.06 (-20) on Saturday but checked at the third bend, she left the strong impression that she can indeed register victory at that level with a repeat of this form.

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