Peter Farrell

The final of the €1,500 to the winner Deerjet Sydney @ Stud A3 525 was the feature event at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night and it was the hugely promising Flashing Willow who came out on top with another display of awesome early pace.

Kindly sponsored by Kenny Glen, who is the owner of Flashing Willow, the talented May puppy cemented himself as one of the most exciting prospects in the Country after some sensational times around Dundalk and he came into the Deerjet Syndey @ Stud 525 with a huge reputation. Displaying superb early gears in both rounds prior to last night, Flashing Willow struggled to see out the four-bend trip and as such, the decider itself looked an open affair with several of the finalists boasting claims. However, the son of Laughil Blake and Cabbage, trained by Pat Buckley, took the final by the scruff of the neck as he once again showed sizzling early pace to run out a comfortable winner for connections.

Running from trap four, Flashing Willow was briefly headed by Ocean Hugo but this was short lived as ‘Willow’ blazed an almighty trail into the opening corner where he began to open a healthy advantage. Drawing clear down the back straight, Glen’s charge blitzed the field as he powered into the penultimate turn with a six length lead over Ocean Hugo in second. Posting a rapid 16.22 sectional to the third turn, Flashing Willow, a 5/4 shot, was already showing signs that he had plenty left in tank this time around and he maintained a strong gallop all the way to the winning line as he crossed over three and a half lengths better off than nearest rival, Ocean Hugo, in second. The final podium position was landed by the fast-finishing Flyers Iniesta but there was no catching the winner on the night and this was a fine performance from Flashing Willow as he stopped the clock in 28.85.


In the opening race of the night, an A6 525, there was an upset on the cards as 6/1 shot Orlando Ben ran out a convincing winner. Owned by Breda Hayes, the lightly raced son of Laughil Duke and Orlando Dazl was seeking a first career win but he took charge at the opener last night from trap five to emerge a convincing winner. A six length victor over nearest rival Normas Fantasy in second, the time was a decent 29.02.

There were also a couple of novice contests on show last night at Limerick and the first was claimed by Da Joe Show as he landed his ON3 contest in comfortable manner. Jointly owned by Joe Shehan and James Roche, the son of Dks Prime Time and Cabra Roxy was sent off the even money favourite and he flashed from trap two to lead early on. Once in front, it was all one-way traffic for the September puppy as he galloped to a six and a half length win over Philipstown Ger in second. The time was 29.19.

The second of the novice races was claimed by Knockalton Cash in race four. Owned by John Byrne, the orange-jacketed runner was sent off a 2/1 chance to land the spoils and after a decent break from five, he took charge of the early exchanges. Setting a smart gallop down the back, the son of Skywalker Farloe and Cabra Zara came under late pressure from Shanaway Siren in second, however, he held firm to claim a half length victory. The time was 29.12.

In race nine, Moonlight Macy produced an electric display as she cantered to victory in a 350-yard event. Owned by Kevin O’Mahony, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Droopys Mazda was on the receiving end of a ping break from six as the 4/1 chance put the contest to bed early. In possession of a healthy lead on the run for home, Moonlight Macy was four and a half lengths better off than Give It Up crossing the line. The time was a red-hot 18.80.

In the following race, Magical Gem justified her 4/6 starting price with a narrow victory for owner Patrick Guilfoyle. Chasing a third career win, the daughter of Magical Bale and Forest Natalee broke best of all from trap one and although she was challenged very strongly in the closing stages by Tyrap Luke, she held firm to record a head victory over her rival. The time was 28.90.

Knockdine Blake was narrowly beaten on his last outing at Limerick but he went on better for joint owners, Patrick Conlon and Helen O’Brien, last night as he made all of the running. Out in front wearing the black jacket, the 3/1 shot maintained a strong gallop throughout to come home a length and a half clear of Clonbrien Thelma in second. The time for the son of Laughil Blake and Mikeys Lass was a good 28.97.

In the final race of the night, a real crowd favourite in Ballyelan Rolly came home in front. Owned by Kathy Scanlon, the son of Laughil Blake and Ballyelan Comet went to traps an even money favourite and he never gave supporters a moment’s worry as he led from trap-to-line to record a rapid 28.73. Four and a half lengths clear of Milestone Sivola in second, that victory took Ballyelan Rolly’s winning tally to seven wins.