The second round heats of the Knocklong Schooling Track A1/A2 525 was the main attraction at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night and it was Strictly Paul who laid down a serious marker with an emphatic performance in heat one.
Meduza stole the headlines in the opening round with a brilliant performance to score in 28.55 and although she made it back-to-back wins last night also, it was Strictly Paul who turned the tables on his opening round defeat with a dominant display of brute power to go quickest.
Trained by Pat Buckley, who incidentally sent out a double on the night, Strictly Paul was of course clear when the hare malfunctioned in the opening round, only to then suffer a shock defeat in the re-run seven days later. However, confidence was still high and as such, he was installed as the 5/4 favourite to avenge that loss. Owned by Kenny Glen, Strictly Paul bolted from traps and already accumulated a healthy lead rounded the opener where he was chased by Pats Angela in second. Stretching his advantage to six lengths down the back, Ruffian Angel emerged to give chase in second but there was no catching the son of Jaytee Jet and Bricken Brett as he stayed on just as strong to record a seven and a half length victory. The time was a rapid 28.42, the fastest of the three second round heats on offer. The other qualifiers were Ruffian Angel, Glorious Best and Ballygibba Ruby.
BACK-TO-BACK FOR MEDUZA
In the second heat of the night, Meduza (Good News - Jaytee Osprey) made it back-to-back wins in the stake for trainer John Byrne and joint owners John Meelam and Sean Ryan. A brilliant scorer in 28.55 a fortnight ago, Meduza was well away this time around from trap five but her efforts to get to the inside saw her turn in only fourth position. It was Rattlefence who showed in front down the back from Exile Sydney but Meduza was never going away and she slipped up the inside at the final turn to display the superior stamina. A one length winner from Rattlefence in second, the time was 28.88 as Exile Sydney and Outdoor Rainbow also progressed in third and fourth respectively.
MEGAN STAYS BEST
The third and final second round heat was a closely run affair, landed by Hidden Megan for owner Kathleen Browne. The lead changed hands on multiple occasions in this contest but it was Hidden Megan who showed first from trap two. Tyrap Shane took over entering the back, and Adamant Phoenix displayed big back straight pace as he stormed to the front midway down the back. However, Hidden Megan, a June 21’ daughter of Droopys Biker and Boherna Megan, was never too far off the pace and she stayed on well close home to score by half a length from Tyrap Shane in second. The time was 29.57 as Adamant Phoenix and Dromabbey Flyer also progressed in behind.
As well as Meduza scoring in the Knocklong heats, John Byrne also sent out Diegos Shay to land his heat in the Limerick & Clare GOBA A4/A5 525.
Owned by the Premier Spirit Syndicate, Diegos Shay was searching for his first win since September of last year but he was in no mood to hang around after a fast start from trap one. Holding a slender lead from Short Again entering the back, the latter checked which allowed Diegos Shay to take command. It was a straightforward task thereafter for the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Diegos Roxy thereafter as he galloped to a three length win, in a time of 29.30.
Strictly Paul went quickest in the Knocklong heats earlier and Pat Buckley also scored on the night with Knockboy Curragh.
Also owned by Kenny Glen, this greyhound has a big reputation after winning on debut in 29.05 .30s around Youghal and he made it two from two last night over the 350-yard trip at Limerick. A son of Good News and Knockboy Kathy, Knockboy Curragh didn’t break too fluently from trap one but he showed immediate early pace to hold his pitch rounding the opener. Boomin Staker held the narrow advantage at this point, however, Knockboy Curragh rallied around the bottom two bends before staying on powerfully to score by two lengths. The time was 19.07.
GLORY LANDS FEATURE RACE
The concluding race on the card was the Getting Out AO/A1 550 and this was landed in exciting fashion by Raining Glory.
Trained by Mark Cronin for joint owners, Brian and Aileen O’Leary, Raining Glory took a flier from trap five and he led both Bling Bling Paul and the favourite, Lynchy Boy, around the opener. The latter showed brilliant back straight pace to slice through runners down the back and he briefly took charge rounding the bottom two bends. However, Raining Glory wasn’t done yet and he showed the better of the stamina to quickly race past Lynchy Boy and cross the line with a head in hand. The time for the son of Droopys Sydney and Faithful Jane was a good 30.18.