Six greyhounds and their assigned clubs will take to the traps with glory in their sights in the final of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Stake 2019 this Saturday at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
Winning connections will earn €80,000 in what is one of the richest juvenile greyhound races in the world.
The competition sees Limerick clubs share in the event fund, with each of the greyhounds in the event assigned to a club. The winning greyhound’s assigned club win a nominator prize of €10,000 and a free benefit night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
Sponsored by Noreen and JP McManus in honour of her parents, Con & Annie Kirby, the competition has the biggest prize fund in Ireland after the Irish Greyhound Derby, with a total fund of €160,000. Limerick clubs avail of €20,000 of this prize money.
The event’s semi-finals were nail-biting affairs last weekend, with the Liam Dowling-trained Ballymac Tas posting the fastest time of the round once again in 28.27. Tas will attempt to become the first female winner of the Kirby Memorial Stake this Saturday.
Herecomesdahoney will take to trap 1 for trainer Graham Holland, with fellow Tipperary trainer Michael O’ Donovan’s Deadly Storm in 2. Dowling’s Ballymac Tas will start from 3, with Toolmaker Josie for Robert Gleeson in trap 4. Tas’ litter brother Ballymac Syd goes off from 5, with the Tom O’Neill-trained Antigua Rum leaving the traps from 6.
96 greyhounds began the event nearly five weeks ago in what has been an extended competition this year, which has led to the involvement of Limerick ladies football, camogie and handball clubs.
Racing manager with Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Liam Kennedy, commented: “Saturday’s event is the biggest night of the year here in Limerick, along with the annual Irish St Leger final. It’s been high-quality and high-drama for the last four weeks or so and now 96 dogs have become six.
"I have no doubt that this weekend’s final will live up to its billing and the winner will certainly have earnt their prize. I want to wish the very best of luck to all six finalists, their connections, and their assigned clubs on Saturday.”
Of the six greyhounds in the final, three are assigned to a camogie club, with three being assigned to a GAA club.
This year’s competition is the seventh annual running of the event, which first took place in 2013.
The Sean O’ Connor Memorial Cup Final – named after the late Claughaun GAA clubman – also takes place this weekend.
The race, which is one of the most high profile juvenile greyhound events in the world, is the richest race ever staged at an Irish greyhound stadium outside of Shelbourne Park.