The talk of the place was the performance of Liam Dowling’s young bitch Ballymac Razl as she stormed home in a time of 29.64, joint best of the night with Makeshift.
The first of the Ruth winners was Makeshift as he turned in a brilliant effort in the opening heat. He broke fast and opened a lead over Uncle Eoin by the bend where English challenger Droopys Greg was in third.
The latter moved second at the third bend and threw down a strong bid but Makeshift held him nicely by a length and a half in 29.64 with Uncle Eoin a similar distance third and De Ex Factor also qualifying in fourth.
In the second heat Peter Cronin supplied a runaway winner in Rockview Head, which came away fast on the inside, raced to the bend ahead of Fleeting Image where drifted wide but was still clear into the back from Ballyhooly Queen. From here it was all Rockview and he raced to a seven lengths win from Ballyhooly Queen in 29.87 with Tyrur Breheny two and a half lengths third.
James Byrne’s Coolykereen Imp followed up last Saturday’s victory with another fine run in Heat 3. He got up the inside of fast starting Shelbourne Geoff to take the first bend lead and ran on really bravely to hold that one’s challenge by three parts of a length in 29.81 with Rockchase Bullet finishing fast to be a length and a half third.
English trainer Seamus Cahill brought one challenger in Droopys Oscar and he duly came up trumps in an incident packed contest.
Droopys broke fast and went to the bend with outsider Bawna Storm while favourite Meadow Bank Owl was very slowly into stride.
Bawna Storm led from the first bend but Droopys joined him again at the third and then led on the run in for a length and a half margin in 29.91. Shaneboy Fantasy and Meadow Bank Owl were inches back in qualifying positions.
Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Razl produced a stunning performance when winning the fifth heat in 29.64.
Quickly into stride, she disputed to the bend with kennel companion General Dogsbody with Tyrur Quinn forcing his way between them into the bend. From it all the puppy Ballymac Razl emerged in front and she raced on strongly to win by two and a half lengths from the staying Kingo with Tyrur Quinn three parts of a length third.
In the final heat John Linehan’s Oaks heroine Droopys Twirl produced a tremendous performance to snatch victory over Rival Reward in 29.78 after a slow start. She did wonderfully to make her way into second on the bend and then closed to join the leader at the third bend. It wasn’t until the final stride that Droopys nosed ahead to win it by a short head from Rival Reward with Ballymac Reilly a length third.
Yesterday turned out to be a very positive day for the Irish Greyhound Industry. As the 2011 Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby commenced at Shelbourne Park the much awaited news of the re-opening of Newbridge Greyhound Track was confirmed.
The basic facts are that a Consortium headed by former IGB executive officers David Morgan and Peter Franklin have taken over the track and they plan to resume racing at the County Kildare venue on Friday, September 9th.
This is tremendous news for greyhound owners, breeders and trainers, particularly those in the Leinster area. The track has been badly missed since its closure some months back and such events as the Cox Cup and the Texacloth Puppy Derby were not run.
These events will return under the new management and new Managing Director David Morgan said: “The well appointed facility will offer racing every Friday and Saturday night and will give away over €300,000 in prize money in its first twelve months of operation”.
The decision was warmly welcomed by IGB Chairman Phil Meaney who commented that “greyhound racing has been an important source of revenue for thousands of greyhound owners and breeders in the area since 1950. We are delighted following months of planning and negotiation that the Morgan & Franklin Consortium will continue this important business and sport in the Kildare region”.
Morgan, representing the Consortium, added: “A continued pathway to excellence of service and product offering will be central to the success of our entertainment offering. The venue itself will feature a full 104-seater panoramic restaurant, two corporate suites and three bars”.
Meanwhile, the second session of first round heats in the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby will be staged at Shelbourne with a number of leading fancies for outright honours on show. It could turn into a terrific night for in-form Castleisland trainer Mossie O’Connor and his chief patron Bryan Dalton as they have the well fancied pair Deerfield Music and Deerfield Sings in action.
Deerfield Music goes in the opening Heat 7 where he should be too strong for rivals headed by Quick Lee. The 5-4 quote from Ladbrokes is very tempting. Sings is a rather different proposition as he has failed to sparkle in both Dublin outings but a change of seeding could work the oracle in Heat 11 where he should get a nice run up the middle and then prove too strong for rivals headed by Tyrur Henry and Pablo Supreme.
Derby favourite Razldazl Jayfkay begins his bid in Heat 9 and it will be a major shock if he fails to win. Dolores Ruth has issued a very upbeat report on her star tracker and, barring accidents, he should storm to a comfortable victory.
One that I particularly fancy to go a long way in this classic is Conor Fahy’s Tyrur Domingo and he will swing into action in Heat 13. The former UK racer Coom Bullet, the Limerick record breaker Ocean Crash and Leger finalist Hey Gringo are formidable rivals but Domingo is capable of a special run.
Another great night is in prospect at Shelbourne and anybody who cannot make it can follow the Inter Track coverage at all the tracks which are open for racing this evening. Tralee and Thurles also plan on opening for their patrons.
Quite apart from the tremendous Derby action this week there is plenty of top racing at venues countrywide. The two bend classic, the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup reaches the semi-final stage at Dundalk on Saturday and Cracking Man is now an overwhelming favourite to take this prize. He faces a tricky enough semi with Nambisco, Shoemakers Lad, Carlows Pride and Hi There Rocky all formidable rivals but Graham Holland’s dog is special. The other heat could turn into a battle between Kerrydale Lar and Yes Boss but Gilford Driver should not be ignored.
The Paddy Byrne Memorial reaches a conclusion at Tralee tomorrow with Star Crash the selection here on his flying clocks in the earlier rounds.
Meanwhile, the Youghal Track Supporters Club have really come up trumps with a fantastic Free Admission sponsorship for next Monday’s meeting which will feature the final of the Premier Fantasy/Supporters Club Southern Oaks as well as a couple of other finals and open contests. Would you believe it, Liam Dowling is again the man to beat here with veteran performer Ballymac Mitsy on the evidence of her scorching 28.65 run in the semi.