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03 Jul 2022

GREYHOUND RACING: Cleo completes a cool Cabra quintet at Thurles

Racing took place on Saturday evening

Fancied runners, bar one, make the Irish Sprint Cup semi-finals at Dundalk Stadium, writes Joe Carroll

Greyhounds action was from Thurles on Saturday

A kennel which never strays far from the winner’s circle at Thurles, the local Scally family team had continued to return many winners at the Premier venue over recent weeks. However, a host of runners hit the crossbar in that time also and while a winning spree was always a possibility, last Saturday’s exploits when returning five winners on a single fixture will forever rank amongst the greatest memories at his home venue for young owner Paddy Scally.


All five winners came over the standard 525-yard distance and emphasising the immense strength of depth within the Cabra outfit, were delivered by four different home bred litters and it was the in-form Cabra Cleo (Pat C Sabbath-Cabra Laura) who had the honour of capping-off the proceedings while completing the five-timer in the concluding A1 525.


Breaking well from trap 3, the May 2019 whelp ceded early advantage to four in-a-row chasing Breathtaking and Bull Run Ripple when bested for early dash. Retaining command of the rails while tackling the bends however, the Scally winner tracked the leading duo with two lengths to recover before bravely sneaking a run on the inside of Bull Run Ripple off the final turn.


Powering to the line in commanding fashion thereafter, Cabra Cleo posted a smart 29.25 (-20) in a two-length verdict with Breathtaking holding on to second as less than a length covered all five runners behind the winner.


Kicking-off the Cabra haul in the night’s A8 525, Cabra Doobie (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Twister) also sparked a double for his June 2020 litter when dominant in his maiden success. Finding an adept break from trap 3, he tracked pacesetter Mantlehill Lady around the opening bends before forcefully striking the front on the run to halfway. Thoroughly catching the eye in a much-improved performance, his sixth career start saw him draw readily clear to a nine and a half length winning margin over that same rival while posting 29.42 (-20).


With her brother a maiden no more, litter comrade Cabra Wiz (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Twister) quickly emulated the feat in the following A6 525 but was made to work a touch harder when moderately to stride from trap 4. Bravely galloping her way to the front between runners however, she strode readily clear into the backstraight before fending off the strong running Cloneen Wildcat by half a length in 29.90 (-20).


Saturday featured a brace of A3 525 events towards the end of the programme and both went to Paddy Scally owned runners with firstly Cabra Astra (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Ebony) claiming a fourth win from just six race outings in her wonderful career start. Swift to stride from trap 3, the September 2020 pup held off Bogger Hulk for a one length lead at the opening bend and repelling that same rival throughout, retained a one and a half length margin at the line while posting 29.34 (-20).


Over the same trip and grade, the following A3 event saw Cabra Beauty (Good News-Cabra Ebony) break well from her ideal trap 1 draw and the September 2018 kennel stalwart railed tightly at the opening bends before reaching the backstraight with two lengths to recover on the pacesetting Painters Blue. Powering her way to the front before the third bend however, Cabra Beauty impressed greatly when stretching clear to a three-length winning margin over the running-on Ballygloss Bingo in 29.31 (-20).


Buster is brilliant on Debut
On a warm night of action, the best return of all came in the very first race and there was huge merit to the fastest performance of the night as David O’Flaherty’s Moorstown Buster (Crash-Moorstown Debbie) revealed himself a special talent to follow when a dominant debut winner of the ON2 525.


Breaking well when presenting in sharp form for his first public appearance from trap 2, the June 2020 pup immediately took command on the run to the opening bends and turning in advance of Dark Roger, led that rival throughout. Displaying pace at all points of the circuit, Moorstown Buster ran out a comfortable seven and a half-length winner while posting a brilliant 28.95 (-20).


The 525-yard distance returned many slick performances on Saturday and another big improver while claiming his first victory at the fourth attempt in A4 grade was William O’Connor’s Tour Valley Syd (Droopys Sydney-Yahoo Amelia) as he left his previous efforts well behind in a facile first career win.


The April 2020 youngster was having just his fourth career start but defending his rails pitch from trap 1 following a level break, a first-time lead at the opening bend was the chief contributor to victory as the O’Connor charge turned with a narrow advantage before extending readily clear while negotiating a rapid path to the backstraight. Chased thereafter by Rosmult Blackeye, Tour Valley Syd was never for catching in a dominant nine length verdict while posting a classy 29.09 (-20).


Maiden winners producing career bests was a common thread amongst some of the faster returns on the night and that was the case for Margaret Barrett’s Go By Thecommons (Droopys Biker-Kilara Charm) as he claimed a first win at the sixth time of asking in the A5 525.


An improved break from trap 5 saw the David Flanagan trained August 2020 pup immediately take command when fastest into full stride and reaching the corner with a one length lead over Cabra Diamond, the Barrett winner extended clear in eye-catching fashion thereafter. Increasing his advantage with every stride along the backstraight, Go By Thecommons hit the line with nine and a half lengths to spare while posting a smart 29.15 (-20).


A sole sprint contest last weekend proved a keenly contested S2 event over 330-yards and delivered a third win from just six career outings for Sean O’Halloran’s Chasing Nellie (Droopys Sydney-Absolutely Ace). Reverting from four bends for the first time, the October 2020 pup extended her very smart career start when overhauling the sharp Taylormade Hazit off the final bend for a three-quarter length verdict in 18.06 (-10).


Next best on Saturday, Adam Hogg’s Whizzing Peggy (Laughil Blake-Whizzing Josie) left the form of her previous three races well behind when striking the front at the closing bends of her A5 525 contest before leading home Beannacht Cleo by a length and a half in 29.46 (-20) which followed the second career win for Jack Duff’s Reserve Again (Candlelight King-Ballygibbon Dawn) who led from the opening bend in his A7 525 for a four length winning margin over Bay City Phoenix in 29.71 (-20).


Top Dog
A rare and truly laudable feat to break the 29.00 barrier at Thurles on debut, Moorstown Buster (Crash-Moorstown Debbie) announced himself as an exciting prospect when a most impressive winner of his ON2 525 on Saturday, posting 28.95 (-20).


Best Bitch
Completing the wonderful five-timer for the Scally family kennels, Cabra Cleo (Pat C Sabbath-Cabra Laura) registered the tenth win of her career in most game fashion while landing the A1 525 and will remain a feared opponent on the Premier circuit while eligible to contest in A2 next time!


One To Watch
In what was just his third career start, Alan Britton’s Cloneen Wildcat (Dorotas Wildcat-Classic Valerie) endured a bumpy passage when a half-length second to Cabra Wiz in their 29.90 (-20) clash but very much catching the eye, A6 will not contain the August 2020 pup for very long!

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