03 Jul 2022

Greyhound racing: Sonic goes boom in slick Thurles sprint score

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 at the weekend

A trip that has returned some of the highest quality performances at Thurles over recent seasons, the 330-yard sprint distance delivered the most impressive victory of the Saturday action last weekend and returning to the shorter sphere, Paddy Scally’s Cabra Sonic (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) scorched his way to a new career best in a warm S0 event.

Held at 525 the last twice, a return to trap 1 proved ideal for the September 2019 whelp who was swift to reach full stride having begun just behind the sharp trapping Rising Castle. Edging to the front with slick early pace on the long run to the bend, the Scally winner still had a task on his paws when tackling the turns as a game Rising Castle remained a persistent threat when all but drawing level on the outside nearing the home stretch.

Straightening for the line with command of the inside however, Cabra Sonic was not for catching and fending off Rising Castle with a length to spare, posted a brilliant 17.77 (-10) in his seventh career success.

Robert a maiden no more
Saturday’s fixture was set an exacting standard from the outset and having suffered some frustrating defeats in his hugely competitive career start, the Kilvil Syndicate’s Kilvil Robert (Ballymac Best-In A Heartbeat) secured his first race victory at the sixth time of asking, in thoroughly dominant fashion.

Within two lengths of victory in each of his last four outings, the March 2020 youngster broke on level terms from trap 3 and displaying smart dash to take command of the rails approaching the turn, led by over a length around the opening bends. Pursued to the backstraight by hattrick seeking Cabra Astra, the Pete Pattinson winner never came under serious threat when completing a seven-length victory over that same rival in strong running fashion while posting a very smart 29.08 (-20).

Nenagh duo share spoils

Next best on Saturday, the concluding A3 525 saw a brace of neighbouring Nenagh raiders share the spoils as a photo-finish failed to separate Brenie Hogan’s Old Bill (Droopys Sydney-Starry Display) and Stephanie Ryan’s Knockalton Conor (Silverhill Shay-Kitmins Denise) in an absolute thriller!

It was last season’s Thurles Dog of the Year who took command when swift to stride from trap 3 and Knockalton Conor would extend clear into the backstraight once denying Cabra Beauty for the lead while tackling the opening bend. Crowded at that first turn, Old Bill gathered stride at the second bend while at the rear for the field but rapidly recovering ground on the run to the backstraight, advanced past rivals to lie a near five-length third on the run to halfway.

Out front, it was Cabra Beauty who appeared the likeliest winner when rushing up on the inside of Knockalton Conor to hit the front at the third bend but with Old Bill closing all the while in behind, this leading trio faced a tight tussle along the home stretch with the verdict very much in the balance to the dying strides.

Flanked on both sides, it was only in the final dip for the line that Cabra Beauty lost out as a rails-run for Konckalton Conor saw him rally for a dead-heat verdict with the widest runner Old Bill. A thoroughly entertaining affair, the winning duo posted 29.42 (-20) with just a head back to Cabra Beauty in third.

Similarly competitive, the first of two A4 525 events on Saturday delivered a most deserved second career win for the Jack Russell Syndicate’s Killenaulespirit (Ballymac Best-Milestone Pearl) when gaining due reward for a string of placed efforts since his debut victory.

The July 2020 pup found a smart break from trap 2 and commanding the rails throughout the early exchanges, tracked pacesetter Kilvil Arnold around the opening bends at close range before forced to check behind that rival while straightening along the backstraight.

Quickly recovering however, the David Flanagan trained winner crucially repelled the remainder of the field while recovering lost ground to the leader and within a hugely laudable performance, struck the front at the third bend. Seeing out the trip stoutly thereafter, Killenaulespirit doubled his win tally in 29.45 (-20) while repelling the strong finish of Greenbanks Tiger by three quarters of a length.

The following A5 525 produced another close finish on an entertaining programme and prevailing for a third career win was Michael Ryan’s Circus Dawn (Ballymac Vic-Optimistic Misty). Benefitting for her latest return from a layoff, the July 2019 whelp was back to her best breaking form and showing the best early pace for a one length lead at the opening bend, she repelled a most gallant effort from Heavens Dollar who filled second throughout a half-length defeat in 29.51 (-20).

The second of the night’s A4 525 contests delivered a third career win for Paddy Clancy’s Rosmult Blackeye (Ballymac Vic-Rosmult Martha) as another to gain due reward for consistency in a game performance. Second in each of his latest two outings, the lightly raced August 2019 whelp showed smart early pace to lead from trap 4 and rallying when joined at halfway by Bogger Blaze, led that rival home with a length and a half to spare in 29.60 (-20).

Rounding out the Saturday winners, the A6 525 saw Larry Harding’s Bay City Panther (Droopys Buick-Bay City Lexi) build on his latest A7 success when striking the front at the closing bends for a strong running one and a half length defeat of Colmyaro Queen in 29.66 (-20) which followed a first victory for Caroline Flanagan & Damian Hally’s Dream Step (Droopys Sydney-Lamestep) who progressed from her debut when sparking a double on the night for trainer David Flanagan with a two and a half length defeat of Cloneen Dancer in 29.73 (-20).

Top Dog
Cabra Sonic (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) has always been revered for his early pace on the Thurles circuit and sizzled in a new career best of 17.77 (-10) while claiming victory in Saturday’s S0 330 contest.

Best Bitch
One of only two bitches to get on the Saturday scoresheet, Circus Dawn (Ballymac Vic-Optimistic Misty) bounced back near her very best with 29.51 (-20) in A5 victory and can be fancied to build on this second outing following a significant layoff.

One To Watch
Warranting recognition for a most gallant runner-up performance in Saturday’s S0 330, the Fleming Family Syndicate’s Rising Castle (Zero Ten-Satin Jessie) can be considered unlucky to find a rival as sharp as Cabra Sonic on the night and will remain a feared opponent in the top grade of sprinting going forward.

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