Peter Farrell

The opening round heats of the Rural Kennels Unraced 525 got underway at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium last night and early indications are that it’s once again packed with incredible young talent, headed on the night by the ultra-impressive Droopys Racer.

Of the seven heats on offer, the fastest by some margin was the Michael Corr-trained Droopys Racer as he made the long trip from Co. Tyrone worthwhile in producing a devastating debut performance to land heat four.

Jointly owned by Roy Ball and Trevor Pearson, Droopys Racer arrived at Clonmel with some eye-catching qualifying efforts around both Drumbo and Shelbourne Park but the March 21’ blue excelled brilliantly on debut to win in the most emphatic fashion. Running from trap two, Droopys Racer was well away and he disputed the early lead with Hovex Tommy in trap five. The inside line proved decisive for Corr’s charge however, and he rounded the opening bend with two lengths to spare over his rival as he began to flourish down the back straight, stopping the third bend sectional clock at a brilliant 16.07. The son of Droopys Buick and Droopys Saab got stronger as the race progressed and after burning off Hovex Tommy in second, he stormed across the line to seal a four length victory over the staying-on, Hukum, in second. The time was a terrific 28.49 .10s and Droopys Racer looks a serious prospect going forward.


Elsewhere in the heats, Graham Holland sent out a treble as Rural Taylor, Rural Kihei and Newinn Ranger all landed their respective contests.

In the opening heat of the night, Rural Taylor sealed a comfortable victory for the sponsor, Helen and Emily O’Dwyer. A May 21’ son of Newinn Taylor and Rural Maui, Rural Taylor was led early on by Tarsna Fern in trap two but his orange jacket soon asserted on the run to the opening bend, displaying the type of early gears reminiscent of his sire. Swooping to the front off the second bend, Rural Taylor showed super back straight pace and although Tarsna Fern kept the leader honest in the closing yards, O’Dwyer’s charge had enough in hand to cross the line with one and a half lengths to spare. The time was 28.87 .10s.

In the very next heat, his litter sister, Rural Kihei also made a winning career start, albeit in an event littered with trouble. Owned by the Scots-Clan syndicate, Rural Kihei walked from traps and she trailed the field on the run to the opening corner. Trouble was to ensue at this point with several runners impacted and it was Burgess Canon who emerged in front entering the back. At this point, Rural Kihei still had plenty on her plate in fourth but after further trouble between the bottom two bends, she came through up the inside to secure a head victory over Burgess Canon in second. The time was 29.46 .10s.

The hat-trick for Graham Holland was completed in the final heat of the night as Newinn Ranger (Malachi - Newinn Cuckoo) came from off-the-pace to score impressively. It was Tarsna Christy who rocketed from six early on but La Princesa showed good early pace to join the leader on the run to the opening turn. Newinn Ranger sat a close third at this point but always looked a threat after overcoming traffic at the second turn. La Princesa continued to set the pace around the bottom two bends but the menacing presence of Newinn Ranger proved too much as he stormed around the outside to seal a two and a half length victory from Tarsna Christy, who came through for second. The time was 29.05 .10s and one would imagine this greyhound will improve considerably on the clock when gaining a clear passage.


Next best in terms of the clock came in heat six as Ballybrazil Lima made every yard for trainer Adam Dunford and owner Thomas Henebery.

A big 81-pounder, Ballybrazil Lima was running from trap one and after a level break, he stuck to the fence brilliantly on the run-up to take a commanding lead into the back straight. The March 21’ son of Droopys Sydney and Pretty Jet excelled at this point as he galloped out expertly to maintain a two length lead over Pied Piper, stopping the sectional clock in a rapid 16.26. Maintained a strong gallop thereafter, Pied Piper did edge closer the closing yards but Ballybrazil Lima wasn’t to be denied as he crossed the line with two and a half lengths to spare over his rival. The time was a quick 28.76 .10s.


In heat three, Burgess Frankie made every post a winner as he made a winning start to his racing career from JJ Fennelly and Sheila Spillane.

Trained by Paraic Campion, Burgess Frankie has some excellent trial form heading into his debut and it could hardly have gone better for connections as he ran to a virtual solo, outlining his outright credentials in the process. The brindle was first to show on the rails and he displayed sizzling early gears to take command at the opener. Running a brilliant second bend, the son of Droopys Sydney and Burgess Helena quickly doubled a four length advantage, stopping the sectional clock in a fantastic 16.09. Borna Hero improved into second at the penultimate turn and he was a real eye-catcher as he made up monstrous ground in the closing stages, however, Burgess Frankie burned off his rivals to win by three lengths. The time was 28.86 .10s.


The remaining heat on the night was landed by the Sean Bourke-owned Mustang Ojay as he showed explosive early pace to make-all.

Trained by Dolores Ruth, Mustang Ojay was moderately into stride from trap three but he excelled within a matter of stride, quickly putting daylight between himself and his rivals. Slipping the field into the back straight, the May 21’ son of Mustang Firmino and Mustang Chick held a big lead over Newinn Touch in second as he posted a smart 16.24 to the third turn. Swinging wide off the last bend, this allowed Newinn Touch to half the deficit but Mustang Ojay wasn’t to be denied on this occasion as he held firm to win by one length. The time was 29.12 .10s.