Peter Farrell

There was huge interest in proceedings at Thurles last night as the opening round of the Sean Byrne Painting & Decorating Champion Bitch Stake got underway and Singalong Sally got the stake off to the best possible start as she produced the fastest time seen at the track since 2005.

Of the four heats on display, the main attraction was the 2021 Irish Greyhound Derby runner-up, Singalong Sally, in heat four and although she was returning to the racing scene for the first time since late December, the Pat Buckley-trained superstar produced a quite astonishing performance to record 28.35 on the clock, which is the fastest time seen at Thurles in some seventeen years.

Owned by Gilbert Anderson, Singalong Sally had already cemented her place as one of Ireland’s best prior to the Sean Byrne Painting & Decorating Champion Bitch Stake but if there was any doubt surrounding that title, it was certainly put to bed last night as she recorded an unbelievable 28.35 to grab this renewal by the scruff of the neck. Running from trap three, it was lights out early on for her rivals as the brilliant daughter of Tullymurry Act and Droopys Smasher broke like lightning and she stopped the opening sectional clock at an electric 1.60. Already in possession of a four length advantage rounding the opening turn, Farranrory Megan was the nearest challenger back in second but the bird had already flown as Singalong Sally displayed unbelievable acceleration into the bottom two bends. Maintaining that relentless gallop on the run for home, Singalong Sally railed like a cat around the final turn and she stayed on strongly to cross the line with four and a half lengths in hand over Farranrory Megan in second. The time for the 1/2 favourite was an incredible 28.35 .30s, an exceptional performance around one of Ireland’s toughest tracks.


Next best in terms of the clock came in heat three as Kilara Odessa (Droopys Sydney - Kilara Jessie) brought her career tally to four career wins for owner Brian Kennedy.

In one of the most open looking heats of the night, Good Diva went to traps the 2/1 favourite with Kilara Odessa next in line at 5/2 and it was the latter who showed first at traprise. Running from trap three, Kilara Odessa broke smartly but found Grangeview Best too hot to handle in the opening exchanges as the orange-jacketed runner showed sizzling early gears to take charge. Three lengths adrift heading down the back straight, Kilara Odessa displayed a lovely turn of pace to get back on terms but Grangeview Best slammed the door at the penultimate turn to maintain her slender advantage. However, this wasn’t to deter Kilara Odessa as the Michael Donnelly-trained bitch stuck to her task well to nip up the inside and cross the line with one and a half lengths to spare over Grangeview Best in second. The time was a fast 29.08 .30s.


Skywalker Angie was hot order in heat two of the night but the even money shot found track specialist, Railteen Dara, a worthy opponent as she could only manage a second-place finish.

Railteen Dara has some brilliant clocks around Thurles Park and it was the 3/1 chance, jointly owned by Patrick Kelly and Michael Skehan, who took an early lead from trap two as Skywalker Ange also came away smartly to dispute early on. Both bitches were eye to eye rounding the opening turn but it was Railteen Dara who made the most of inside pitch to hold all the aces and she proceeded to open a two length lead on her rival entering the back straight. Showing excellent gears thereafter, the daughter of Laughil Blake and Stuckybawn proved too strong on the night for Skywalker Angie and she maintained her two length lead all the way to the winning line. The time for this talented bitch was a slick 29.09 .30s.


In the opening heat of the night, Crafty Jayko made it three wins from three starts as the September 20’ whelp showed brilliant courage to score.

Owned by Shane Divilly, Crafty Jayko had shown massive promise in her opening two starts and although stepping into open class grade for the first time last night, she certainly didn’t look out of place. Running from trap five, Crafty Jayko broke well from orange but was headed early on by Cabra Beauty who bolted from her inside draw in two. However, taking charge off the second turn, Crafty Jayko showed maturity beyond her years thereafter as she maintained a strong gallop to hold off the fast finishing Coolanga Lady, in second. Just a half a length in it crossing the line, the time was 29.28 .30s for this progressive daughter of Priceless Boris and Jaytee Charlie.


Elsewhere on the card, there was a double for the Morrissey kennel as both Abigails Mystery and Errill Daithi scored in their respective events.

The first to cross in front was Abigails Mystery who took his career tally to four career wins. Owned by Abigail Morrissey, the son of Belles Direction and Geelo Lu Lu was in charge throughout as he broke swifty from trap one to lead early on. Stretching clear down the back straight, the 3/1 chance was always in control thereafter and he still had two lengths to spare over Callys Lady crossing the line. The time was a fast 29.54 .30s.


Shortly after, Errill Daithi crossed the line in front for Tommy Morrissey as the brilliant fawn brought his tally to nine career wins.

Something of a specialist around Thurles, Errill Daithi always runs his race and although he found himself some ten lengths adrift rounding the opening corner, he is sure to finish at speed and this was on full display last night. Running from trap one, the son of Toolatetosell and Security sat in fifth early on and although he was still eight lengths down entering the bottom two bends, Errill Daithi took off up the home straight to fly past his rivals and claim a length victory. A sensational performance from the fawn, the time was a good 29.48 .30s.