Hennessy makes debut as racehorse trainer

Champion Irish greyhound trainer Paul Hennessy will branch out tomorrow night when he saddles his first two runners at a horse race meeting.

Hennessy will launch his ‘new career’ when he saddles Cheers Buddy and Bricks And Porter in handicaps on the all weather at Dundalk.

Hennessy completed all the Turf Club requirements prior to receiving his licence and he has been working these two horses, in which he holds shares, at the nearby gallops owned by his friend Tony Mullins.

Hennessy, who has always had contact with horses, has booked Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph for the rides and he said: “I always have a few horses here in the field and I decided to train this pair instead of paying fees to somebody else. They are in good form and everybody here is looking forward to the experience”.

Incidentally, a trainer with runners on the same card is well known greyhound breeder and handler Reggie Roberts who has been among the winners on the racecourses recently.

Meanwhile, on the greyhound front, Hennessy will have a strong team in the Barry’s Tea 750 which commences on Saturday at Curraheen Park and he also hopes to have a couple of runners in the English Derby which closes to entries next week.

Smashing old stager Group Skater is the best known stayer in the Barry’s field but Hennessy has a likely sort in the very speedy middle distance performer Colourful Fox and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes a long way in this competition.

One runner of great interest is John Meehan’s Nurse Jackie who has been noted flying home in the Produce Stake heats at Clonmel.

The big race of the weekend is, of course, the Red Mills Produce Stakes final at Clonmel on Sunday and the supporting card is absolutely top class also. It should all guarantee a bumper attendance.

The dog to beat in the Produce final will be the Mick Delahunty trained Colourful Bolt. He has reached the final unbeaten and produced his most impressive performance, if not quite his fastest, when beating St Louis Charlie by three lengths in the semi. He got away particularly smartly in the semi and will need to make a similar fast start this time if he is to overcome his trap five draw.

He has some fine early paced performers in Bit View Micko, Whiteys Hawk and Broadstrand Dan drawn on his inside and he has to lead them around the bend. James Robinson’s Uncle Eoin has a smashing draw out in six and he is likely to get a tremendous run, while Jerry Griffin’s St Louis Charlie will benefit from any trouble up front as the biggest finisher in the field.

I’ll go with Colourful Bolt in the big one and nominate Farloe Force, Carlows Pride, Piercestown Sand and Definate Opinion to win the supporting open contests.

There is a tremendous all open card on offer at Shelbourne on Saturday with the heats of the Hegarty Bookmakers 600, the Healthcare & Transport Services Puppy Oaks and the Larry Dunne Open 525 comprising the entire twelve race card. This is a card not to be missed — whether you are there in person or enjoying via Inter Track or online.

The quality of runner in the Puppy Oaks is fantastic and we have a large number of contenders capable of beating 28.70 and much faster. Don’t rule out the possibility of one of them going on to emulate Dalcash Dvinsky which did the Puppy and Irish Oaks double last year.

Davy Reynolds’ litter sisters Montblanc and Rathglass Annie could complete a heat double while the other two heats can be won by Jerry Griffin’s Local Flyer and Brian King’s Shelbourne Abi. If I had to pick out one heat before the others it would have to be the third where Local Flyer will be taken on by Droopys Twirl and Razldazl Lily which both emerged from the Juvenile Classic at Tralee.

* The death has occurred of leading greyhound personality Denis McCarthy from Lehenaghmore. The man behind the Hoffmans prefix, he had great success over the years and probably his best dog was Ballyard Hoffman which threw a large number of fast winners back in the ‘80s and ‘90s.


Larry Dunne 525 at Shelbourne on Saturday:

Heat 1: 1 Asisola; 2 Oakfront Aga; 3 Head Rock; 4 Tyrur Valdez (m); 5 Da Hatter (m); 6 Pablo Supreme (m).

Heat 2: 1 Quick Lee; 2 Tyrur Gasco; 3 Blackies Champ; 4 Allowdale Prince (m); 5 Tolerton Crasher (m); 6 Judicial Academy (w).

Heat 3: 1 Beaming Dilemma; 2 Tyrur Lohan; 3 Tranquil Time; 4 Power Charge (m); 5 Ballymac Tipp (m); 6 Cian Abbey (w).

Heat 4: 1 Tubbertelly Dubh; 2 Classical Beauty; 3 Leeview Jet; 4 Deerfield Music; 5 Paradise Casino (m); 6 Greenane Bingo (w).

Draw for the Barry’s Tea 750 heats at Curraheen on Saturday:

Heat 1: 1 Killahas Hannah; 2 Leannes Pet; 3 Castlegore Star; 4 Express Star; 5 Colourful Fox; 6 Air Force Roxsy.

Heat 2: 1 Typical Toast; 2 Kerryroad Baba; 3 Kielduff Rose; 4 Thatll Do Jack; 5 Native Legend; 6 Piercestown Boy.

Heat 3: 1 Millabbey Peejay; 2 Gortown Rosie; 3 Kielduff Merc; 4 Priceless Jeff; 5 Nurse Jackie; 6 Big High.

Heat 4: 1 Coolavanny Jane; 2 Racenight Meg; 3 Rockchase Zico; 4 Group Skater; 5 Dawningoftheday; 6 Compass Soldier.

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