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02 Oct 2022

Greyhound Racing: Peggy the pick of Saturday Premier pack

Racing was at Thurles Greyhound Stadium

Local greyhound training ranks thinning, but the Donegal Dynamo provides plenty to get excited about, writes Joe Carroll

Greyhounds action was from Thurles on Saturday evening

The Saturday action at Thurles Greyhound Stadium last weekend featured a host of entertaining sweepstake competition but claiming headlines with a fastest of the night performance in her A2 525 contest, Adam Hogg’s Whizzing Peggy (Laughil Blake-Whizzing Josie) produced a new career best while impressively doubling her win tally.


An April 2020 whelp, her sole previous win came in A5 grade, but she had remained highly competitive with strong running placed form since that May score and more forward throughout the early exchanges this time, the Hogg charge duly converted when again strongest beyond halfway.


Tracking the early pace of rails runner Cabra Doobie around the opening bends from her trap 3 draw, Whizzing Peggy struck the front passing halfway and always certain to stay stoutly, extended readily clear to a commanding four length verdict over that same rival in a slick 29.20 (-20).


Mystery reverse in Dapper semis
Having chased home Gunboat Wichita in the fastest opening round heat of the Dapper Kennels A3 525-Yard Stake, Philip Heffernan’s Its My Mystery (Droopys Biker-Nice Mystery) overturned that form as he led the way with a trap to line victory in Saturday’s first semi-final.


Going down by just a length and a half in 29.34 (-20) a week earlier, the August 2020 youngster found a swifter break from trap 2 this time and immediately in command, repelled his first-round conqueror to the opening bend while tackling the turn with command of the rail. Easing clear into the backstraight, Its My Mystery saw out the trip stoutly when registering a four-length verdict over Gunboat Wichita in 29.47 (-20), with Listen Ava Lou third.


The opposing semi-final was a competitive affair but entering this week’s showdown as the sole unbeaten finalist, Ava Scally’s Cabra Hasty (Kinloch Brae-Cabra Ebony) just about led throughout having crucially defended her rails pitch in the early exchanges before converting in game fashion.


Backing up her 29.74 (-20) effort from the first round, the September 2019 whelp skipped clear of bumping for many in behind when tackling the opening bend and galloped to a decisive advantage on the approach to halfway. Pursued from the second bend by Killenaulespirit, that rival again stayed strongly but Cabra Hasty was not for catching in a one and a half length score, posting 29.50 (-20) with Ballymartin Rory third.


Sensation enjoys New Freedom in A5 stake
The Saturday action at Thurles also featured the opening round heats of the Freedom Kennels A5 525 Yard Stake and entering this week’s semi-final session as the fastest event runner will be Kim Taylor’s New Sensation (King Elvis-Difficult Choice) as the November 2020 pup claimed her fourth win from nine career outings.


Breaking well from trap 3, the Taylor winner readily seized command of the rail on the approach to the opening bend when turning in advance of Treanaree Mia. Easing clear while effectively settling the race on the run to the backstraight however, New Sensation reduced the race to a virtual solo passage when holding six lengths over the running-on Freedom Odin in 29.41 (-20), with Foxrock Blanco qualifying in third.


The second heat of the A5 stake was a thrilling affair and would see a share of the spoils between Noel Nagle’s Goodman Johnjoe (Droopys Sydney-Liosgarbh Ene) and Seamus McGrath’s Murlens Mustang (Kinloch Brae-Murlens Raw) who gives handler Kim Taylor a strong hand ahead of this week’s semis.


It was the latter who led throughout the early exchanges and was in full command to the top of the backstraight but pursued by Goodman Johnjoe at the point, the pair would draw readily clear of the remainder in what developed into a match. A strong runner at the standard trip however, Goodman Johnjoe reduced his arrears with every stride beyond halfway and joined Murlens Mustang on the line for a dead-heat in 29.60 (-20), with Cabra Cloud third.


The remaining heats saw Lily Lennon’s Lacken Jessie (Ballymac Bolger-Lacken Coco) shed her maiden tag at the fifth time of asking when leading throughout her three and a half length verdict over Lullaby Moon as Tuxedo Rascal claimed third in a winning time of 29.92 (-20) before David Walsh’s Coffee Dock (Droopys Jet-Singing Hen) closed out the round when holding off the late threat of Totos Fancy for a half-length score in 29.85 (-20), with She So Bold third.


Smart Bond claims novice prize
Outside of the sweepstake action on Saturday, the opening novice contest returned the most impressive performance on the night as Nicholas Colton’s Keeperhill Bond (Confident Rankin-Work Your Head) debuted with a very smart 29.31 (-20) while leading throughout the ON2 525.


An imposing presence at 80 lbs, the September 2020 whelp broke best from his trap 4 draw and immediately in command on the run to the bend, settled the contest when impressing to halfway. In behind, Double Blow caught the eye when recovering from a poor start to fill second at just a three and a half-length deficit, but Keeperhill Bond would not be contained while stopping the clock in a hugely pleasing debut time of 29.31 (-20).


Second in the same grade a week earlier, Joanne Fraher’s Assarula Eion (Bull Run Bolt-Ranchers Queen) was back over the sprint trip at Thurles on Saturday and going one better this time, doubled his win tally in the S3 330.


Breaking just behind the pace from trap 1, the January 2020 whelp paced up well along the rail before repelling Oaklands Lad and Stephens Shadow for full command of the race while tackling the turns. The latter would give game chase to the line thereafter but maintaining a strong gallop, Assarula Eoin claimed his second win from nine career starts when posting 18.10 (-10) in a one and a half-length verdict.


Breathtaking trio for Taylor
Following a brace of winners in the Freedom Kennels A5 Stake, handler Kim Taylor rounded out the Saturday action with the completion of a treble and it was returning kennel stalwart Breathtaking (Good News-Ballymac Abigal) who closed the action with a most game victory in the A2 525.


Back from a short layoff in sharp form, the April 2018 veteran broke well to track Cabra Sonic throughout the early exchanges before ranging up to challenge that rival at the top of the home stretch. Settling an entertaining buckle when drawing clear close home, Breathtaking secured the Taylor trio while posting 29.65 (-20) with a length and a half to spare.


The remaining A4 525 delivered a second winner on the night for the Scally Family kennels and it was Paddy Scally’s Cabra Wiz (Cabra Firmino-Cabra Twister) who claimed the third win of her career when denying Totos Day in the dying strides. Posting 29.98 (-20), the June 2020 whelp retained a half-length margin at the line.

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