Local greyhounds advance in Laurels
IT'S A busy time of the year in our sport with plenty of big competitions now in full swing right around the country. At Cork on Saturday night the Irish Laurels got under way and there were two Co. Wexford representatives in the line-up, with both qualifiyingfor next Saturday night's second round.
In heat one the Vincent Morristrained 'Ashfield Impact' overcame bad crowding on the way to the corner and again at the third bend to battle on well to get fourth and go through. Cork is a track you need a few runs around and 'Ashfield' should improve a lot for the experience.
The Nick Turner-trained 'Happy Hermit' who competed well in this event last year also went through when battling on well to get fourth in his heat. The first four to qualify in the first round of these stakes is a big help to get dogs used to the track. Both dogs got good trap draws (three) for this Saturday night and can progress to the next round.
The Droopys Stud Munster Oaks is at the semi-final stage this Saturday night at Waterford, and Wexford bitch 'Cougar Ping' ('Headbound-Sly Fox') will line up in the second semi in what is turning out as always to be a very hot stake.
'Cougar' was having her first race back the week before last after a three and a half month season break and seemed well off the pace and did well to qualify, but she was more like herself last week when flying out of trap four and running on well to finish a close up third in her heat in a time of 28.56.
28.37, 28.57and a super run by 'Tyrur Monica' of 28.29 were the other heat winners' times. The semi-finals this Saturday night will be red hot, leaving little room for error for all twelve bitches.
Trainer Nick Turner was on the mark in the last race of the night when 'Tagalong Pat' ('Royal Impact-Tagalong Ivy') scored his twelfth career win, going to the front off the second bend and running out a snug threelength winner in 28.72. Pat is proving a nice money-spinner and started a nice odds of three to one.
Ferns trainer Brendan Murphy is picking off the winners nicely at Newbridge track and was on the mark again last week when ' Rockmount Boss' ('Droopys Maldini-Rockmount Fancy') scored an impressive win in race two over the 325 sprint in a good time of 17.87. SImilar to the previous week, Brendan was denied a double by only half a length as 'Rockmount Eagle' finished well for second in the last race over 550 yards in 30.37. Both dogs are owned by Carol O'Connor or Rockmount, Ferns.
The Gain Foods Future Champion Stake final took place on Thursday night last at Enniscorthy, and there was a somewhat surprise winner as the dogs that had been making all the headlines, 'Jack's Allstar' and 'Kereigh King', were upstaged by the well-bred 'Killinan Crash' ('Boherna On Air-Life's Beautiful') in trap six whose dame 'Life's Beauty' won the Oaks some years back.
Taking full advantage of his rivals' troublesome runs on the inside going into the first bend, he swept clear down the back and raced home six lengths clear of 'Jack's Allstar' in 28.93.
'Killinan' has won three of his four starts and ran very well on Saturday night in The Laurels in Cork when just beaten on the line in his heat. He looks a nice prospect for the future.