Peter Farrell

An incredible crowd packed into Lifford Greyhound Stadium last night for the official reopening of the North-West venue and those in attendance were treated to a number of spectacular performances, none more so than Corbrack Prince’s record breaking display in the Open 325.

It certainly was a brilliant night for everyone involved in getting the historic venue back up and running and the crowds were reminiscent of those seen back in the early noughties when Lifford was at its pomp. On the night, the likes of Droopys Nextone, Wi Can Dream and Carefree Chief all impressed, but the undoubted star was that of Robert Gleeson’s Corbrack Prince as he smashed the 325-yard clock, held for the past 20-years by Jamellas Phantom.

Running in the DragonBet Open 325, it was suggested in the preview that if Corbrack Prince trapped on terms from a favourable draw in one that he would give the clock a fright and he duly broke marginally behind Fridays Macushla trap three. Within a matter of strides however, the even money jolly took off. Showing a sizzling turn of foot into the opening corner, Paul Allen’s runner manufactured a healthy lead on his rivals and he tracked beautifully around the bottom two bends to cement his position. From here, the son of Laughil Blake and Dee Dee You powered up the straight to stop the clock in an exceptional 17.30, .8 spots inside the previous track record set by Jamellas Phantom.


One of the most eagerly anticipated races on the card was the BoyleSports AA0 575 as the likes of Magical Mary, Fernandes and Droopys Nextone all locked horns.

Magical Mary was the well-supported 4/6 favourite prior to the off and she looked set to record a double on the night for Pat Guilfoyle after a smart break from trap one. However, Droopys Nextone was to display the superior early pace from trap five and she swooped the opening bend in front, with Magical Mary forced to check as a result. Immediately opening an unassailable advantage entering the back straight, the Ray Hamilton-owned Droopys Nextone extended her lead around the bottom two bends as further traffic ensued in behind, with Magical Mary again checking at the penultimate turn. This was all about Droopys Nextone however, and the daughter of Ballymac Eske and Droopys Cuckoo drew clear on the long run home to record a magnificent fourteen and a half length success over Jaytee Wexford in second. The time for the 2/1 chance was 31.34.


It was a real feather in the cap to have the former Juvenile Classic winner and recent Leger finalist, Wi Can Dream, on the card and he produced a stunning performance in the Time Greyhound Nutrition AAO 525.

Trained by Pat Guilfoyle for Lars and Anita Wicander, Wi Can Dream was understandably installed as the 4/5 favourite to land the spoils and he put the contest to bed at traprise with a flash start from three to dictate the early exchanges. Droopys Trouper was making some good inroads on the run to the opener but the red jacketed runner ran off the opening bend, which in turn dominoed his outside rivals. Meanwhile, Wi Can Dream had opened a five length gap down the back straight and the son of Cabra Firmino and Cabra Angel was never going to be caught at this point. Staying on stoutly up the tough Lifford straight, Wi Can Dream crossed the line with seven and a half lengths in hand over Droopys Iconic in second. The time was a terrific 28.54.


Derry owner Charles Coyle always boasts some good stock and he landed a double on the night, the first winner coming in the Fitzwilliam Open 325 with Its My Bucks, jointly owned by Sean McBride.

A top-class performer at best, Its My Bucks was the even money favourite at the off but he was made to work hard after Kilgarran Timmy took a flier from trap three to lead. However, once the heavyweight track got going he immediately closed the gap on the leader to range alongside rounding the opening corner. Little to separate the duo at this point, Its My Bucks took over between bends and he finished expertly to record a one and three parts of a length victory over Kilgarran Timmy in second. The time was 17.53.

In the very next race, an A1 525, Boherna Rio (Pat C Sabbath - Boherna Liz) landed an open betting contest in trap-to-line fashion for Charles Coyle and Hugh Harley.

A 3/1 chance in the market, Boherna Rio looked well-housed in blue and he clearly learnt plenty from his outing on the Sunday previous as he bulleted from traps to lead from trap two. Brakes Are Off soon followed on the outer and he was to chase the leader into the back straight. Holding a two length advantage at this point, Boherna Rio was never under any real threat and despite the best intentions of Brakes Are Off in the closing yards, Coyle’s charge was to hold on comfortably to score by one and a half lengths. The time was 28.67.


There were no fewer than four sweepstake finals on the card and the opening race, the Len McKinney Transport A1 525, saw a brilliant performance from Cloneden Flash (Makeshift - Madabout Bella).

A top-class performer when on-song, Cloneden Flash ran an exceptional race on the previous Sunday to reel in Great Dale and this proved a re-run with the duo battling it out to land the spoils. Cloneden Flash was the 4/6 favourite at the off and he broke smartly from four to lead Great Dale into the opening corner. Trouble in behind saw these two runners shoot clear at this point and it was Great Dale who was to take charge into the back. However, Cloneden Flash proved a constant threat throughout and he railed tightly around the bottom two bends to come on top from the wide-running Great Dale, who ran another fine race in defeat. Three and three parts of a length separating the pair, the time for Paddy Kehoe and Enda Currie’s charge was 28.62.

The Taylorstown Schooling Track ON2 325 went down for decision in race two and Velvet Helsinki made it back-to-back wins for Sean Melly in Derry.

An impressive winner in 17.54 one week prior, it shows the level of quality in the decider when Velvet Helsinki was widely available at odds of 5/2 in the market. The even money favourite in this contest was Ardnasool Arc but she was tapped for a bit of early speed as Velvet Helsinki broke smartly from four to excel brilliantly into the opener. Chased in second at this point by the improving My Raven, there was no catching Velvet Helsinki as the son of Ballymac Best and Queen Adele powered up the straight to win by one and three parts of a length from My Raven in second. The time was 17.56.

The third final on the card was the North-West Greyhound Supplies S1 325 and Carefree Chief justified his banker status with a comprehensive victory.

Running for Kurtis Bain, Carefree Chief was the 4/9 favourite after his terrific semi final performance and he produced another polished display to run out an easy winner. Breaking smartly from trap two, the son of Laughil Blake and Carefree Grace displayed his customary early gears to put this bed at the opener. From here, Carefree Chief led home a one-two for Kurtis Bain as he recorded a three length victory over Marinas Flash in second. The time was 17.43.

The last of the finals came in the concluding race on the card as China May built on her semi final win for Cathal Maguire.

China May had plenty of time in hand coming into the final after posting a decent 30.55 last time out and she was installed as the 11/10 favourite at the off. A four-dog affair, it was Neon Blue who broke best of all in trap one but Natural Bandit was making rapid progress on the outer. However, bumping on the outside allowed Neon Blue to shoot into a three length lead down the back and it was China May who gave chase in second. The latter was now in full tilt approaching the penultimate and she proved a class above her rivals as she took control around the bottom two bends. From here, it was a straightforward night’s work as the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mags Baby scored by three lengths from Neon Blue in second. The time was 30.61.

A reminder to owners and trainers that entries are currently being accepted for racing at Lifford Greyhound Stadium this Friday and Sunday night. All grades and distances are being accepted so please reach out to Paul Murphy at the Lifford racing office on - (0044) 7751666826