Galway Greyhound Stadium hosted their WGOBA ‘Night Of Finals’ last night and it produced some wonderful action with a number of brilliant displays.
The feature final on the night was the WGOBA 2022 Sean Scully Memorial A4 525, worth €1,300 to the winner, and it was On The Radio who maintained his unbeaten run through the stake as he made every inch of the running for his owner Gerry O’Donoghue. Sent to traps as the 2/1 second favourite behind Grangeview Lolo, the son of Candlelight King and Pinnacle Blue made no mistake at boxes as he flashed from trap five to display the superior acceleration on the run to the opening corner. Holding a four length advantage down the back, On The Radio set a tremendous gallop and still had a healthy lead over the favourite rounding the bottom two bends. At this point, Grangeview Lolo was making slight inroads into the lead but On The Radio was very game out in front and he had plenty in reserve as he crossed the line with two lengths in hand. The time was 29.25 .10s.
ALMOST THERE QUICKEST
The fastest time on the night came in race five, the final of the Paul Burke - Top Kennel 2022 A2 525, and it was Almost There who bounced back to winning ways for the Mullins-Curtin Syndicate.
Trained by Albert Mullins, Almost There went to traps as a 7/2 shot to land the €1,000 first prize and the February 21’ puppy was to produce a strong-running performance to record a fifth career victory. It was Abigails Power who broke best of all from trap three but despite Almost There not coming away too fluently, the blue immediately made progress on the inside to go second. Quickly asserting down the back straight, the son of Sonic and Mrs Will struck the front and proved too strong for his rivals thereafter. A two and three parts of a length victor crossing the line, Almost There stopped the clock in a fast 28.95 .10s.
ROUNDING UP THE FINALS
The opening race of the night saw the final of the WGOBA Christmas Draw A6 525 go down for decision and it was Abigails Chance, the even money favourite, who landed the spoils for the Abigails-Syndicate. Slowly away from trap five, the son of Grangeview Ten and Clever Princess trailed the field early on but ran a terrific second bend to storm into third. From here, Abigails Chance looked a constant menace and he flew in between runners entering the home straight to storm across the line and land the €710 first prize. Plenty more in the tank from this young dog, he stopped the clock in 29.70 .10s.
The WGOBA Remembering Our Friends 350 was next on the agenda in race two and Sports Sky took home the €700 spoils in this contest. Owned by Tess McDonagh, Sports Sky was a 3/1 shot at the outset and she made full use of a good draw in trap three as she came away racing to lead on the run to the opening corner. Holding a two length lead over Bumblebee Fergus rounding the bottom two bends, the daughter of Laughil Blake and Sports Field never eased as she galloped to a comprehensive, six length victory over Crokers Burko in second. The time was 19.28 .5s.
Another sprint contest was to follow in race three and the Jason Burke - Top Tipster 2022 350 came to a conclusion and it was the 6/4 joint favourite, Drombeg Snowy, who landed the €700 decider. Owned by Evan McAuliffe, Drombeg Snowy is known for her fast-starting exploits and although breaking level with Croaghill Blake in six, she quickly pulled clear on the run to the opening corner. Not breaking stride around the bottom two bends, Crafty Hoshiko did make up some fine ground in behind but it was all in vain as Drombeg Snowy crossed the line with one and three parts of a length to spare. The time was 19.37 .5s and incidentally, this was the first leg of a double on the night for the McAuliffe’s as Drombeg Khalesi also landed the first semi final of the Paul McKenna Memorial 575.
It’s a rarity if Stephen Murray doesn’t get on the scoresheet and the talented handler was represented by the even money favourite, Derra Viva, in the final of the WGOBA GRI Non-Winners 525. A comprehensive winner of her semi final contest, the Rachel Murray-owned bitch was always in command of this decider as she trapped smartly from two to quickly assert her authority and draw clear. An emphatic twelve and three parts of a length winner crossing the line, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Playmistyforme stopped the clock in a good 29.33 .10s.
There was €800 up for grabs in the final of the GRI WGOBA Christmas Cracker 525 in race six and Fast Fit Vic was to spring an upset in this contest as he turned the tables on the 4/5 favourite, Jumeirah Mick. Jointly owned by Taragh Cantwell and John Quinn, Fast Fit Vic came away well but was headed by Creevy Bird on the run to the opener. However, making full use of his trap one draw, Fast Fit Vic hit the front entering the back straight and he was nothing if not game thereafter. Holding off the persistent challenge of Jumeirah Mick, the son of Ballymac Vic and Rosmult Martha displayed buckets of gameness to cross the line with a half length in hand over his rival, in a time of 29.60 .10s.
The last of the finals on the night was the Stephen Murray - Top Kennel 2022 A3 525 and Michael Hogan sent Grangeview Port to victory in the €950 decider. After missing his break from trap three, Grangeview Port had to dig deep to land victory as he also ran off the opening corner. However, chasing down Danamesbuzz at midway point, the fawn son of Grangeview Ten and Blastoff Khalesi showed big speed to take control and he stuck to his task well thereafter in crossing the line with a half length to spare over Danamesbuzz in second. The time was 29.38 .10s.