Peter Farrell

The semi finals of the Martin Ryan Transport Treaty Cup Open 350 featured on a twelve race card at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night and it was Gizmo Cash who got back on track in emphatic style for Jamie McGee.

The unfortunate absence of joint fastest opening round winner, Off The Pitch, meant that Gizmo Cash went to traps the 1/2 favourite to bounce back from his first round defeat and he did so in tremendous fashion as he went just one length shy of breaking the 350-yard track record, held by Blame The Game.

Running in the opening semi final, Gizmo Cash was expected to take an awful lot of beating despite his opening round defeat and the Shelbourne Park track record holder meant business from the off as broke level with the reserve, Give It Up, in six before displaying electric early gears to take control. Storming into the opening corner with a one length lead, the son of Droopys Jet and Down The Green didn’t break stride around the bottom two bends and he quickly drew clear up the home straight to win in impressive fashion. Crossing the line with three lengths to spare over Give It Up, who ran a solid race in second, the time was a swashbuckling 18.43, just .6 spots outside of the Limerick track record. The final qualifying position was landed by Fleetwood Brody in trap six.


In the second semi final, there was to be a minor shock as Serene Ace, who had lowered the colours of Gizmo Cash in the opening round, had to settle for second place behind Seomra Nate (Definate Opinion - Ballymac Razzler).

Heading into the second semi final, Serene Ace was expected to follow up on what was a most eye-catching performance in round one and as such, he was installed as a 4/6 shot to prevail for trainer Michael O’Donovan. However, after completely fluffing his lines at trap-rise, both Serene Ace and eventual winner Seomra Nate trailed the field entering the opening corner. In contrast, both Quiet Kitty and Hawkfield Ava were disputing the lead but with space at a premium entering the opening corner, traffic was on the horizon which was to change the complexion of the contest. Cruel luck at this point saw Hawkfield Ava among others suffer a rough passage and this was to benefit both Seomra Nate and Serene Ace, who were on the verge of exit up to this point. Swooping through the traffic, the Chris Houlihan-trained Seomra Nate didn’t need a second invitation and he powered to the front to record an impressive nineteenth career victory. Three lengths clear of Serene Ace, who came home well to grab second, the time as 18.91 as Quiet Kitty recovered really well to take the final qualifying position in third.


Elsewhere on the card, Ronny Wuyt’s recorded a good double as both Vigorous Blondie and Vigorous Orla landed their respective contests.

The first of the Wuyt’s double to score was Vigorous Blondie in race four as she came from off the pace to break her maiden tag at odds of 11/10. It was Nail It Johnny who made the majority of the running in this contest, however, despite trailing the field early on, Vigorous Blondie ate into the lead down the back before delivering a powerful finish to land the spoils. A strong-running performance from this daughter of Droopys Sydney and Vigorous Channah, she was a head better off than Nail It Johnny in a time of 29.31.

The double was completed shortly after as Vigorous Orla also got up in the shadows of the post to double her career tally to two wins. A 4/1 chance at the off, Vigorous Orla was forced to settle for third early on as Gulleen Andy set the standard but she was never too far off the pace as she wound up her challenge from halfway. Eating into the lead around the bottom two bends, Vigorous Orla was flying at the finish and she pounced late to chin Gulleen Andy, by a neck, on the line. The time was 29.03.


The opening race of the night was an ON3 525 and this was landed by local owner James Kelly as Gurtnacrehy Able raced to a comprehensive success. An even money shot at the off, the November son of Laughil Blake and Tyrur Jennamarie broke like a seasoned performer from trap two as he held a clear advantage over Mouzey Mac early on. Setting a fine gallop down the back, Gurtnacrehy was more than able to see off his rivals and he ran out a brilliant nine length winner over Glorious Best in second. The time was 29.01.

It certainly was a night for coming from off-the-pace in Limerick and in race nine, Knockalton King (Good News - Newlawn Minnie) did just that as he reeled in Ballinulty Flash. Running from trap six, Knockalton King was sent to traps a 4/5 chance but John Byrne’s runner had no answer to Ballinulty Flash early on as he flew from trap one to lead. However, the strong-running Knockalton King is as game as they come and he wore the leader down in the closing stages to cross the line with one length to spare. The time was a good 28.93.

Race ten saw Open runners take to the track and it was the Rachel Wheeler-trained Annagh Bailey (Droopys Sydney - Bellmore Fantasy) who stayed on best of all to score at odds of 3/1. Jointly owned by Dan and Peter Stackpoole, Annagh Bailey sat in midfield down the back as both Tyrap Luke and Coolemount Boss battled it out for the lead, however, she swooped around runners at the final bend to show superior stamina and score. Three lengths clear of Coolemount Boss at the winning line, the time was 28.93.

In race eleven, Hunters Val was another to take off in the second half of the race as she recorded the fastest time over the standard trip at Limerick last night. Owned by Kieran Culhane, Hunters Val was led early doors by Lissatouk Peggy and it was the latter who continued to lead until the midway point of the race. Taking charge thereafter, Hunters Val flew to the front and the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Coolavanny Ella proved a class above her rivals as she raced to a five length victory over Lissatouk Peddy in second. The time for the 2/1 chance was 28.71.

The night ended with a terrific performance from Coolavanny Palm as she turned her A2 575 contest into a procession for David Hogan. A lady with awesome pace when she gets it right, Coolavanny Palm was a 3/1 chance at the off and she quickly made her intentions clear with a swift exit from trap three. Setting a relentless gallop down the back, there was never any danger to the daughter of Ballymac Best and Coolavanny Dame as she romped to a six length success over nearest rival, Grouchos Cain, in second. The time was a sparkling 31.27.