Peter Farrell

There were a number of impressive front-running displays in the opening round of the Epic Hero A3/A4 Guys & Dolls at Clonmel greyhound stadium last week but last night's second round proved a more competitive affair.

Mays Blackstone (Laughil Blake - Blackstone Angie) went quickest in the opening round and the Declan Byrne trained bitch was expected to take all of the beating in the third heat of the night. Despite a tricky looking draw in five, Mays Blackstone came away well but was led early on as Nodgos Pet who, as expected, bulleted from trap one to take control. Setting a fine pace down the back straight, Nodgos Pet held a healthy five length advantage but after shipping a bump at the opening corner, Mays Blackstone was now beginning to really motor in behind to move into second. All to play for entering the home straight, May Aylward’s bitch went into overdrive and she duly powered up the straight to chin Nodgos Pet by half a length crossing the line. The time was 29.16 as Laganore Mustang landed the third qualifying position.


The fastest performer on the night was Knock Skipper (Droopys Cain - Heavens Lilly) who landed the opening heat of the night.

Owned by Robert Finn, Knock Skipper was one of a number of greyhounds who trapped smartly wearing the striped jacket and it was Simply Clever who held the narrow advantage heading into the opening corner. However, taking control upon entrance to the back straight, Knock Skipper set a good gallop throughout and despite coming under late pressure from the eye-catching Mustang Tierney, who was out with the washing early on, Knock Skipper crossed the line with a length and a half in hand. The time was 29.08 as Simply Clever grabbed third.


Heat four was another messy affair but in the end it was won in emphatic fashion by the strong running Great Jet.

Great Jet is known for her fast finishing exploits and Trial & Error syndicate-owned bitch displayed those tactics last night as she took it up at the halfway mark to draw clear. It was Quivers Mona who made the early running from trap two but always looking a threat in behind, the well-bred daughter of Good News - Jaytee Osprey stormed to the front just past the 300-yard box and flew home to claim a seven and a half length victory. The time was 29.13 as Quivers Mona and Bing Reba landed the qualification spots in behind.


The remaining heat of the night was heat two and in what was a troublesome race, Lynchy Boy claimed victory for owner T.J Campion.

Only moderately away from trap five, Lynchy Boy, like many in the race, shipped a hefty bump early on but gathered himself well to outstay Elegant Shane in the closing stages. A closely run affair, the son of Confident Rankin - Boozed Bubble was a head in front crossing the line as the time returned an understandable, 30.10.


Elsewhere on the card there was a double in the opening two races on the card as litter sisters, Galloping Luna and Galloping Lupin landed the spoils.

Both owned by Una Creed, Galloping Luna was first up in race one, an ON3 525. Smokey Betty broke best of all from trap one but despite Galloping Luna being forced to check her stride at the third turn, the daughter of Laughil Blake - Galloping Maeve showed brilliant determination on her first start to come back for more and cross the line a comfortable three length winner. The time was 29.89.

The litter double was completed shortly after as Galloping Lupin was similarly effective in the second half of the race to come home clear. A fair bit off the pace in the early stages from trap one, ‘Lupin’ tracked like a veteran around the bottom two bends and she soared to the front entering the home straight to run out a four and a half length winner. The time was a decent 29.46. Have no doubt that there is far more to come from both bitches in the coming months.