TULLIG CYRNAME (Droopys Sydney-Hail Cleopatra) was the star of the show in the opening round of the Lee Strand 550 at Tralee Greyhound Stadium on Friday night.
After two winning performances over sprinting trips, the September puppy was sent to traps as the well-fancied 1-3 favourite for trainer Pat Buckley and owners Morty and Patrick Ahern. Showing nice pace to the opening corner, he then slipped around in front despite riding a bump from Restless Daisy. Skipping clear down the back straight, the exciting young talent quickly put the race to bed. A stunning performance, clocking 29.57, six and a half lengths clear of Restless Daisy with a further four lengths back to Monabricka in third place.
ANOTHER TO BREAK THE 30-SECOND BARRIER
Ballymac Finn (Droopys Sydney-Ballymac Petsy) was another to break the 30-second barrier. Owned and trained by Liam Dowling, the November puppy, a 4-6 chance in the betting market, took up the running before the opening corner and from there it was all one-way traffic. Three lengths clear of Ballyroyal Diaz at halfway, the lead became five at the winning line. Barnora Bella was third, a length and a half behind the runner up. The winning time was 29.79.
OTHER OPENING ROUND WINNERS:
Nahford (Ballymac Bolger-Dolce Vita) took the second heat for trainer Timmy Carmody and owners Kathleen Clifford and Joe Nash. Taking up the running on the back straight, the 7-4 winner was all out in the closing stages to beat Sweet Talker, by a neck, in 30.11. A length back to Rosshill Rocco in third place.
In the following heat, Saleen Lucas (Droopys Cain-Clounbrane Kerry) scored for trainer Patrick O'Connor and owner Christina O'Connor. Hitting the front before the third corner, the 4-5 favourite impressed with a 30.05 winning performance. Three lengths back to Montore Brian in second, with another length back to Killeacle Paula in third place.
Connections doubled up in the closing heat as Saleen Sam (Caint Agus Craic-Slipaway Rose) completed the O'Connor double. Mid division early on, the 2-1 winner was in front before the second last corner. Keeping on bravely in front, he beat Ballyroyal Gatti, by a length, in 30.20. A length and a half back to Take A Gamble in third.
Heat four went the way of Millridge Jayden (Bickerton Boom-Sign On Katie) for Donal O'Mahony. Bulletfromagun took them along for most of the journey, but the 2-1 winner was much the stronger in the closing stages. A length and a half the difference, in 30.00, with two and a half lengths back to Oriano back in third.
Marriedinamonth (Dorotas Wildcat-Magical Elsie) came out on top for Hazel Jane Dowling. A strong all-round display from the 2-1 winner who stopped the clock, in 30.36. Hunters Val a length back in second with Killanin Knight two lengths back in third.