Greyhound racing was from Thurles at the weekend
Progressing from her first Thurles experience to go fastest in the second round of the Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup, Willie Joe Murphy’s Bobsleigh Dream (Droopys Sydney-Bobsleigh Jet) again topped the bill in the Premier on Saturday as the final six challengers were found for the feature event of the 2022 season.
Having posted 29.06 (-20) a week earlier, the Pat Buckley star was housed in trap 4 for the opening semi-final and though her task was made easier by the disappointing withdrawal of Skywalker Cilla, Bobsleigh Dream progressed once again when lowering her clock on a damp evening at Thurles.
Previously unbeaten in the heats, it was the Chris Houlihan trained Seomra Nate who put the pace to the race when quickest to stride from trap 3 and he would turn with a tight length in hand over James O’Regan’s Russmur Pat, with that latter rival forced to check markedly as the leader skipped clear on the run to the backstraight.
In behind, Bobsleigh Dream had battled bravely to crucially negotiate her way around Private Jet at the opening bend before setting out in chase of the pacesetter when rushing up on the outside of Russmur Pat off the second bend.
With a strong six lengths to recover, the strength of the Buckley winner beyond halfway was again in evidence as she rapidly reduced her arrears late on.
Closing to four lengths at the third bend, the deficit further decreased as Bobsleigh Dream raced on the tail of Seomra Nate at the top of the home straight and staying powerfully to the line, she settled the verdict when drawing clear to a one length winning margin as Russmur Pat retained third, a further six and a half lengths back in 28.80 (-30).
Leahy star charts his Own final path
Upholding the form of their second-round clash when chasing home Bobsleigh Dream, the second semi-final saw the McLean Avenue Syndicate’s Irelands Own (Dorotas Wildcat-Droopys Achieve) get back to winning ways while securing his final berth with a second heat victory in the Tipperary Cup.
An opening round winner before his latest second placing, the sole wide seed broke just behind the early pace which was set by Cabra Cleo to his immediate inside but pacing up well from his trap 6 draw, the Murt Leahy trained winner swept to the lead when forcefully galloping the opening bend.
Pursued by that same Paddy Scally owned local hope, Irelands Own extended to his three-length winning margin before halfway and duly completed victory thereafter when stopping the clock at 28.99 (-30).
Exiting the heat with much credit, Cabra Cleo impressed when limiting the winning distance in her gallant runner-up performance while also repelling the remaining final qualifier as Kieran Lynch’s Berties Cuddles filled third throughout, a further three and a half lengths adrift.
Rascal eyes final Pot
There was further sweepstake semi-final action on Saturday and leaving a pleasing impression while claiming the second heat of the Split The Pot A5 525 event was Seamus Ryan’s Holiday Rascal (Pat C Sabbath-Holiday Madge).
Successful in the same grade on just his second start last time, the September 2020 pup progressed for clear passage this time when gamely retaining a forward pitch to the opening bend within a very tight early tussle with runners across the track before turning. Rushing up on the outside of early leader Coosane Megan, the winner took command on the run to halfway and though persistently threatened by Diegos Commander from that point, held off that gallant runner-up by a length in 29.31 (-30) as Coosane Megan retained third.
The opposing semi-final was a similarly competitive affair with bumping for many around the opening bends but staying very stoutly having reached the backstraight in third place from trap 6, Denise Ryan’s Oriental Dove (Oriental Warrior-Hell On Wheels) doubled her win tally in most game style. Overturning a six-length deficit, the March 2020 whelp reeled-in pacesetter Cabra Veyron in the dying strides for a half-length verdict in 29.74 (-30), with Listen Ava Lou just a further length back in third.
Superior performance in A3 semi
Another final in support of the main event this coming weekend will be the Split The Pot A3 525 and taking leading claims to that showdown will be Micheal & Thomas Kelly’s Superior Racking (Scolari Me Daddy-Diamond Star) as the March 2019 whelp made an overdue return to the winners enclosure in the opening semi-final.
With a host of runner-up performances since last successful in A2 company, smart dash off a level break from trap 5 saw him contest the lead at the opening bend with Diegos Shay to his inside.
Powering to the front at the top of the backstraight, the Kelly winner was gamely pursued by Cabra Hasty thereafter but remained full value for his two-length verdict while posting a smart 29.30 (-30) as Whizzing Peggy filled third.
The opposing semi-final was a tight affair but impressing in a hard fought first career win was Philip Heffernan’s Its a Mystery (Droopys Biker-Nice Mystery) as the August 2020 whelp shed his maiden tag at the fifth attempt. Breaking well from trap 6, the winner was forced to cede a one length backstraight lead to the sharp Kilvil Arnold before overhauling that rival late on for a one length verdict in 29.52 (-20) with Gunboat Wichita third.
Reba sparks Gortkelly brace
Registering a quickfire double in the early part of the Saturday card was Andy Murray as firstly, Gortkelly Reba (Skywalker Rory-Gortkelly Lola) shed her maiden tag at the fourth attempt in the A6 525. Breaking smartly from trap 5, she overhauled pacesetter Cabra Sage nearing the closing bends before repelling Its My Syd by two and a half lengths in 29.79 (-30).
The Kelly double was complete within the half hour as Gortkelly Oisin (Shaneboy Lee-Gortkelly Lola) claimed the eighth win of his career with a hugely game performance in the A4 525. Amongst the leaders in a tight battle to the opening bends, the April 2020 whelp suffered significant crowding before recovering from fifth place to challenge for the lead at the third bend. Again checked, the Murray winner would not be denied when rallying in the home straight for a one length verdict over Heavens Dexter in 29.95 (-30).
There was a further maiden victory in the night’s A8 525 when Roger Quinlan & Jack Treacy’s Sophias Sapphire (Good News-Ela Patchy) scored at the ninth time of asking, staying strongly to deny Tracys Rolex by a length and a half in 29.85 (-30) before the action concluded with a four-runner A2 525 where Paddy Scally’s Cabra Sonic (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) just held Cashen Ubari by a head in 29.77 (-30) having led throughout his ninth career win.
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