Last night saw an action packed weekend come to a close at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium and the semi finals of the Rural Kennels Open Unraced 525 produced further evidence that the young talent in the Country is at its peak as Pied Piper became the latest to express his huge engine.
Droopys Racer had stolen the show in recent weeks with some incredible performances for Northern handler Michael Corr but the talent within this 2023 unraced renewal is of huge depth and the likes of Hovex Tommy, Rural Kihei and Tarsna Fern have all shown the talents they possess. However, despite some impressive performances in behind, Pied Piper had gone under the radar somewhat up until last night where he displayed massive pace on route to a first career victory.
Owned by Maurice Heffernan, Pied Piper was the oldest of the twelve greyhounds taking their place in last night’s semi finals and the September 20’ whelp certainly used that extra bit of know-how to his advantage early on. Breaking in front from trap two, Pied Piper was immediately challenged on the outside by the gifted early-pacer Rural Taylor and the latter looked to have the upper-hand on the approach to the first bend. Pied Piper crucially occupied the inside line however, and he nudged his rival aside early on to take a two length lead into the back straight. Rural Taylor continued to give chase at this point but the pack was getting clustered in behind with both Burgess Senorita and Hukum also trying to make an impression. Meanwhile, the strong staying Rural Kihei sat in fourth but was beginning to make his move on the approach to the penultimate turn. Pied Piper continued to set the standard out in front and he posted a slick 16.23 to the third turn, where he had now opened a healthy four length lead over Rural Kihei, who had continued to motor into second. There was no catching Pied Piper at this point however; and the son of Droopys Jet and Higher Level never eased on the run to the line, recording a five length victory, in a time of 28.62 .10s. Rural Kihei once again ran a terrific race to finish second, while Hukum sealed the final qualifying position back in third.
ROCKY LEAVES IT LATE
All eyes were on Droopys Racer in the second semi final as he bid to maintain his unbeaten record but it's fair to say he lost nothing in defeat after overcoming plenty of traffic to qualify.
Running from trap four, Droopys Racer had the big obstacle of attempting to clear the early-paced Tarsna Fern in the opening strides and this proved difficult as although breaking smartly, he immediately came together with trap three. The duo continued to battle on the run to the opener and with space at a premium, big traffic ensued, which benefited Burgess Canon in trap one, who was able to slip the field and go clear into the back. Holding a three length advantage down the back from Laughil Rocky in second, Droopys Racer sat in fourth but was already making big inroads as he attempted to get back into contention. Burgess Cannon continued to dictate out in front at this point; however, Laughil Rocky was beginning to close in behind and the David Murray-trained charge looked a massive threat rounding the bottom two bends. Burgess Canon continued to hold a narrow lead heading into the final turn, but the heavyweight tracker was a sitting duck at this stage and Laughil Rocky motored up the inside to storm past the long-time leader and seal a half length victory over Burgess Canon. A fine performance from Mary and Paul Jenning’s charge, he stopped the clock in 28.89 .10s as Droopys Racer ran a superb race to claim the final qualifying position back in third.
The draw for the final of the Rural Kennels Open Unraced 525:
T1 - BURGESS CANON (I)
T2 - DROOPYS RACER (I)
T3 - LAUGHIL ROCKY (I)
T4 - RURAL KIHEI (I)
T5 - HUKUM (I)
T6 - PIED PIPER (I)
STAR QUICKEST IN DUNFORD SEMIS
The semi final of the Tommy & Bridget Dunford Memorial Guys & Dolls also featured on last night’s card and Miss Mini Star went quickest for Thomas O’Donovan.
After a very impressive performance in defeat last time out, Miss Mini Star was fancied to land her contest last night and she broke clear from four to lead into the opening corner from Trumpers Rachel in second. The daughter of Droopys Jet and Miss Mini Marvel held a two length lead down the back and she was setting a ferocious pace, posting 16.19 to the third turn. Staying on well thereafter, Miss Mini Star secured a one length victory over Trumpers Rachel, in a time of 28.88 .10s.
In the opening semi final, Busters Odyssey turned the tables on Insidethehuddle as he returned to winning ways for Darren McCoy and Tony Harte.
Running from trap three, Busters Odyssey was forced to play second fiddle in the opening exchanges as Insidethehuddle outpaced the field to take a comfortable lead into the opener. Holding a three and a half length advantage down the back, Insidethehuddle looked set to make it back-to-back wins. However, Busters Odyssey showed fine determination in behind and after closing the gap approaching the penultimate turn, he galloped up the inside of his rival late on to seal a half length victory. The time was 28.92 .10s.
ROUNDING UP THE CARD
The semi finals of the Sporting Press Online A1/A2 550 were also down for decision and it was Lough Mistoki who landed the opening semi. Owned by Jack Molloy, the son of Droopys Buick and Pipette led early from trap two and never saw another rival on route to a four length victory. The time was 30.09 .10s.
The second semi final was landed expertly by Sparta Max for Philip Gough and John Fitzgerald. A very talented tracker, Sparta Max broke best of all from trap three and he led Coosey Hall into the opener. From here, it proved a straightforward night’s work for the son of Droopys Sydney and Sparta Emma as he crossed the line with four and a half lengths in hand. The time was 29.98 .10s.
The last of the semi finals was landed by the consistent Bloodsweatnbeers. Owned by Nigel Quinn, the son of Sh Avatar and Nutty Beth broke smartly from trap two and he led into the back straight. The calvary were closing on the run to the penultimate turn but Bloodsweatnbeers stuck to his task well to seal a one length victory over Laughil King in second. The time was 30.44 .10s.
The semi finals of the Elite Canine Transport AO/A1 Bitch 525 were the last two races on the card and Scooby The Comet made every yard in the opening semi. Owned by Steve Noble and trained by Jennifer O’Donnell, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mountaylor Queen made her intentions clear early after a smart exit from one and she took a clear lead into the back. Rushmoor Peggy made inroads on the approach to the penultimate turn but the leader kept enough in reserve to score by one length crossing the line. The time was 28.90 .10s.
The final race of the night and the second semi final was landed Aghaburren Bonny for Mossy O’Leary. It was Bartlemy Sile and Coolpeach Flash who disputed for the lead early on but after coming together at the opener, Aghaburren Bonny shot through up the inside and never looked back thereafter. Holding a healthy advantage down the back, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Aghaburren Model kept on well in the closing yards to seal a one and a half length victory over Glenbervie Rosy in second. The time was 28.68 .10s.