Peter Farrell

The final of the 2023 Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup produced a magnificent winner on Saturday night at Thurles Greyhound Stadium and it was Pape Di Oro who reproduced his best to capture the €7,500 first prize.

Pape Di Oro was of course the star of the opening two rounds at the Premier venue as he posted sensational clocks of 28.55 and 28.67, both on a track rated .20 slow. The one to beat based on those displays, his colours were lowered slightly by the impressive Ballyhimikin Rex in last week’s semi finals, however, he remained a huge player in a fantastic final lineup.

Owned by Javier Jarne and trained by Pat Buckley, who landed this event twelve months prior with the incredible Bobsleigh Dream, Pape Di Oro had been handed a familiar berth in the final as he donned the striped jacket for the fourth straight week. Missing his break slightly in the semi finals, which ultimately ended his chances of going unbeaten through this event, he wasn’t to suffer the same fate on the night that mattered as he returned to form for connections. The 5/4 favouite at the off, Pape Di Oro was much sharper into stride and he quickly excelled to post a 1.66 sectional early doors. He didn’t get things all his own way in the early exchanges however; and he had to pull out all of the stops as Cabra Kronk, as expected, also went up fast on the inside. Space very much at a premium on the inside as the greyhounds approached the opener, this played right into the paws of Buckley’s charge out wide as he was displaying awesome early gears to sweep the opening turn and go clear. Some trouble in behind allowed the son of Droopys Sydney and Trusted Exile to manufacture a four length advantage down the back and it was Liam Peacock’s Bogger Rambo who would set off in chase, a clear second. Showing devastating speed down the far side, barring incident this was a foregone conclusion for the connections of Pape Di Oro as he tracked expertly around the bottom two bends, whilst not breaking stride in the process. Continuing to hold a comfortable advantage on the approach for home, Pape Di Oro showed excellent stamina up the home straight to see off Bogger Rambo, who also ran a fantastic race, four lengths further back in second. The podium was filled by Ballyhimikin Rex, who couldn’t repeat his flash start from his semi final outing, ultimately ending his chances of landing the feature. The time was an awesome 28.79 .20s and many thanks are of course extended to Centenary Agri in Thurles for their generous sponsorship of the event.


Elsewhere on the card, there were a couple of nice sweepstake deciders to coincide with the big one and the first of those was the ‘Tipperary GOBA A4 570’, offering €725 to the winner.

Zoos John went to boxes as the 6/4 favourite in this event but it was the 5/2 chance, Boru Eve, who was to produce an outstanding finish to get up late on. Owned by Frank Whelan, the daughter of Trinity Forest and Oi Oi Upenalty, who of course is the dam of recent Champion Stakes winner Trinity Junior, Boru Eve didn’t come away at all went from trap five sat last on the approach to the opener. Running a fine opening bend however; she nestled into fourth down the back as she still sat six lengths adrift of Zoos John out in front. Railing like a cat rounding the bottom two bends, Boru Eve was absolutely flying close home and she completed her comeback in the dying strides to secure a one length victory over Ballygloss Bingo in second. The time was 32.12 .20s.

The penultimate race of the night saw the final of the ‘Anytime Kennels A4 525’ and this too was landed in off-the-pace fashion by Totos Bliss.

Jointly owned by Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack, Totos Bliss was a 5/2 chance to land the €725 prize but he completely fluffed her lines at traprise, which saw him enter the opening turn in last place. However, this may well have been to his benefit as early traffic saw Totos Bliss nip through and she was a close enough if good enough fourth entering the back. Making fine improvement at the halfway point, the son of Farloe Blitz and Rosmult Racer stamped his authority in the latter stages as he raced past Knockalton Conor to secure a one length victory. The time was 29.97 .20s.


Aside from the stake action, the Scally kennel also enjoyed a treble on the night despite being out of luck in the big one.

The first of the ‘Cabra’ greyhounds to pass the post in front was Cabra Veyron in an A5 525. Fast away from trap one, Cabra Veyron was led early on by Flashy Capri and she outpaced her rival down the back, while holding a four length advantage in the process. However, Cabra Veyron rallied in the closing stages and the son of Kinloch Brae and Cabra Ebony stormed past his rival to run out a four length winner inthe end. The time was 30.43 .20s.

The double was completed in race six, an A4 525, as Cabra Hasty made it eleven career wins for Ava Scally. Running from trap one, the litter sister of Cabra Veyron came away well from trap one and was to take control at the opening bend. From here, she raced to a comfortable victory, seeing off Group Ranger by three lengths crossing the line. The time was 29.83 .20s.

The memorable treble was completed in race eight, which was a sprint contest, as Cabra Diamond justified favouritism to win for the fourth time in her career. A daughter of Kinloch Brae and Cabra Smokey, Paddy Scally’s charge broke well from one and never looked back as she finished well up the straight to win by one and a half lengths from Murlens Mustang in second. The time was 18.36 .10s.


Also on the card was the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Trial Stake and this was landed by Mayahs Baby as she booked her ticket to HQ next month.

Owned by Claire McKenna, Mayahs Baby is still relatively inexperienced as a June whelp but she is improving rapidly as she made light work of this qualifier. A 5/2 market chance, Mayahs Baby bolted from trap three as she posted a 1.62 sectional early on. In charge throughout, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Myahs Friend was never under any threat of being caught as she raced to a three length victory over Star Syd in second. The time was fast 29.12 .20s.