The first round heats of the €8,000 to the winner Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup took centre stage last night at Thurles Greyhound Stadium and it was Lynchy Boy who set the early standard with a dominant performance in heat two.
The feature event on the Thurles racing calendar, the 2022 running of Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup was very well received and there were six opening round heats down for decision last night. Of those, the likes of Cushie Concorde, Skywalker Cilla and Seomra Nate all impressed, however, it was Lynchy Boy who went narrowly quickest with a brilliant performance in heat two.
Trained by Paraic Campion for TJ Campion, Lynchy Boy continues to produce the goods and last night, the July 19’ whelp scored what was a sixteenth career victory. Running from trap four, the son of Confident Rankin and Boozed Bubble was expected to make-all and he duly pinged the lids to post a slick 1.71 sectional early on. Stroming past Cabra Cleo on the run to the opener, it was formality thereafter for the 4/6 shot Lynchy Boy as he set a scorching gallop down the back before maintaining his relentless gallop all the way home. Flying across the line with eight lengths in hand over nearest rival Cabra Cleo in second, the time was a brilliant 28.82 .20s. The final qualifier was Private Jet in third.
CONCORDE NOT FAR BEHIND
Next best in terms of the clock was the Enniscorthy track record holder Cushie Concorde who returned to winning ways for Kenny Glen and Pat Buckley.
After an eye-catching defeat at Limerick last time out, one suspected it was only a matter of time before Cushie Concorde returned to winning ways and he wasted little time as he flashed from trap six, clocking a rapid 1.63 early doors. Rounding the opening turn just in behind Kylenoe Steph in trap three, the son of Cushie Jet and Tree Tops Beauty, a 3/1 chance, quickly asserted down the back and although he was kept honest by the promising Cabra Kronk for the remainder of the contest, he still remained two and a half lengths better off than his rival crossing the line. The time was a fast 28.86 .20s as kennel companion Bobsleigh Dream claimed the final qualifying position.
CILLA RETURNS IN STYLE
Not to be outdone, the Michael O’Donovan-trained Skywalker Cilla displayed no signs of race rust in the concluding heat of the night as she proved a class above in justifying her 4/6 starting odds.
Last seen across the pond in the final of the English Oaks, Skywalker Cilla had some electric trials to her name coming into the event and she showed her well-being in coming from off-the-pace to score. It was recent Clonmel stake winner Courty Girl who led early on from trap five but Skywalker Cilla always looked a threat and she loomed large midway down the back to take control at the penultimate turn. Stepping it up a notch in the second half of the contest, the daughter of Laughil Blake and Droopys Zero powered up the Thurles straight to cross the line two lengths clear of Courty Girl in second. The time was 28.88 .20s with Magical Benji securing the final qualifying position in third.
ROUNDING UP THE HEATS
Jeremiah Murphy and James O’Regan sent out Russmur Pat (Pat C Sabbath - Boherna Liz) in heat one and he duly bounced back from his recent defeat at HQ in decent style. A top-class performer at his best, Russmur Pat broke smartly from trap four last night but after a closely run affair to the opener, he was led by the fast-starting Warrenstown Boy in the red jacket. However, Russmur Pat swooped to the front midway down the back straight and he never looked back thereafter as he set a strong gallop to cross the line with one and a half lengths better off than the fast-finishing Berties Cuddles in second. The time was 29.50 .20s.
In heat three, the speedster that is Seomra Nate displayed awesome early acceleration to put his contest to bed. A 5/4 chance at the off, the Chris Houlihan-trained brindle broke moderately from red but he soon showed a clean pair of paws to his rivals as he soared up the rails to turn the opener in command. Setting a frantic gallop thereafter, the son of Definite Opinion and Ballymac Razzler, owned by Patrick O’Connell, romped to victory as he crossed the line with eight lengths in hand of nearest rival Tour Valley Syd in second. The time was 29.17 .20s as Bartlemy Jas claimed third.
In the remaining heat of the night, Irelands Own ensured Murt Leahy didn’t go home empty handed as the in-form trainer sent his 3/1 chance out to score in brilliant style. Chasing a third win from his last four starts, the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Achieve was forced to play second fiddle in behind Gunboat Wichita early on but this was short-lived as Irelands Own quickly asserted entering the back straight. Relishing the tough Thurles circuit, Irelands Own set a powerful gallop from there on in and he crossed the line three lengths clear of Rockybay Rusty in second, with Gunboat Wichita a further length and a half back in third. The time was 29.26 .20s