The final of the Curraheen S1/S2 featured on a good card at Curraheen on Saturday night, and Glanmire Trooper, trained by Pat Kiely for John Organ, Dungarvan, prevailed in a very tight finish.
Room was at a premium at the first turn, where Pennys Tyrell held a narrow lead from Happy Endings, with the eventual winner on the outside.
Happy Endings seemed to stumble on the turn, while Pennys Tyrell swung wide into the straight. Spread across the track as they turned for home, Glanmire Trooper finished strongest to snatch victory by half a length, from Pennys Tyrell, in 17.90, with Happy Endings a short head away in third.
The six first-round heats of the Greyhound & Pet World A1 525 also took place, and Hitachi Grace set the standard with a stunning effort in the very first of them.
Having gained some experience of the track recently, the litter sister to Kirby Memorial finalist Ivy Hill Bart took a flyer from the outside, and dominated with a striking performance as she stayed strongly to beat Droopys Camden by two and a half lengths, in 28.16.
There was a very tight finish to the second heat, from which Triggers Master emerged in front.
The Owen McKenna-trained runner sat just behind the pace for much of the journey but the litter brother to Ballybough Mike and Ballyhooly Henry forged ahead late to beat Tailteann Glory by three parts of a length, in 28.69, with Captain Kirk half a length away in third.
The very promising Knockboy Kathy posted a career-best effort in the third heat.
The 5-2 chance raced a close second to the opening bend, but tracked beautifully along the inside rail to take the lead from Pardon My Dust as they raced the opening bends.
From there, John O’Herlihy’s August ’13 bitch stretched three and a half clear of Charlesfield Tom, in 28.34.
Gwan Slab justified even-money favouritism with a fine display in the fourth heat. Trained by Kieran Lynch for Keith O’Leary and Colin O’Mahony, Cork, he forged clear late to get the better of a duel with Gulleen Billy, doing so by three lengths, in 28.55.
Glenanore Ace, who won the Jerry Hennerty Memorial and the Curraheen Park Instagram A2 in his short career to date, made a winning start to this stake with a trap-to-line victory in heat five. Trained by Tom O’Neill, for Breda O’Neill, Castletownroche, the June ’13 whelp raced a couple clear to the turn, extended his lead down the back, and hit the line two lengths ahead of Freds Choice, in 28.54.
The easiest winner of the round came in the final heat, when 4-5 favourite Rastafari Vic careered clear. Owned by Jackie Roche, Waterford, he had the legs of his rivals early, despite moving middle on the run-up. In total command throughout, he galloped eight and a half clear of Whatasetup, in 28.34.
In the opener Patricia Hurley’s Hursul Kieran made all the running and just held off the whirlwind finish of Knockraha Jet by a short head, in28.60. There was better luck for the latter’s trainer, John Kiely, as his Ardrath Star, owned by Richenda Kelly, Youghal, got up on the line for a short head victory, from Key Largo Jetski, in 28.98.
September pup Barnfield Panda showed himself to be a progressive sort by taking the finale for trainer Kieran Lynch and owner Tomás Leahy, Ballymacoda. A litter brother to Ardrath Star, he led along the inside at the first turn, and ran strongly to see off the challenge of favourite Comeout Russell by two lengths, in 28.53.
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