Peter Farrell

There was a top-class card on offer last night at Lifford Greyhound Stadium with the semi finals of the Ballymac Stud A1/A2 525 the main attraction, however, one performance stole the show as Fahan Rebel smashed the 325-yard track record.

At the experienced age of 3+, Fahan Rebel arrived at Lifford in mid-May with some strong form around Tralee and he duly won on debut, blowing a fantastic field away to win by ten lengths in 17.57. On that occasion however, he looked to have plenty up his sleeve given it was his first start around the North-West venue. Owned by James Duffy of Derry, Fahan Rebel took to the track last night in the ‘Paddy McCrossan 70th Birthday SSO/S1 325’ and once again dominated his rivals to break the previous track record held by the Robert Gleeson-trained, Corbrack Prince. Running from trap three, Fahan Rebel went off as the even money favourite and from a level break with Jeannie Jo, he immediately excelled into the opening corner to manufacture a three length lead rounding the opener. Drawing clear of his rivals in emphatic fashion, the son of Ballymac Best and Dysert Anna blazed a red-hot trail up the Lifford home straight as he crossed the line with four and a half lengths in hand over Toolbox Talk in second. The time was a blistering 17.25, three parts of a length faster than the previous track record.


The semi finals of the Ballymac Stud A1/A2 525 featured as the highlight on the card it was the ever-reliable Great Dale who set the standard ahead of the €2,000 feature next weekend.

Trained by Stephen Radcliffe for Karen McGee and Peter McCafferty, this pocket-sized tracker is rarely out of the frame and she built brilliantly on last week’s opening round win to see off her more fancied rivals. At the off, it was Neon Lights and Clona Rocko who shared favourtism at 2/1 and this looked accurate as both paced up well to dispute early on. However, Great Dale was coursing around the outside and she swooped to the front upon entrance to the back straight. From here, her rivals never made a yard on the daughter of Ballymac Best entering the penultimate but due to the nature of her running style, the gap was closing entering the home straight. With both Clona Rocky and Neon Lights bearing down on Great Dale, she straightened up expertly on the run for home to show fine stamina and grab a one and a quarter length victory. Neon Lights railing well to chin Clona Rocko for second, it was the top three in the market who progressed as Great Dale clocked a rapid 28.69.

Prior to that, Eagar Colm once again displayed his ultra-consistency as he recorded a twelfth career win for Damien McConville. Just a four-dog affair, Old Fort Major went off as the hot 4/6 favourite but Eager Colm flashed from trap four to just make the bend, cutting the snout off Old Fort Major rounding the opener. Holding a four length lead down the back, the son of Drumcrow Trump and Flaming Ember maintained a powerful gallop thereafter and despite the best intentions of Old Fort Major, who was finishing fast, Eagar Colm raced to a comfortable two and a half length success. The time was 29.02.


Lifford hosted another ‘Match-Race’ last night and reigning specialist, Slipalong Jet, was turned over by Boherna Rio in rather comprehensive fashion.

Jointly owned by Charles Coyle and Hugh Harley, Boherna Rio (Pat C Sabbath – Boherna Liz) as the even money second favourite but he took one of the better breaks to post a rapid 4.29 early sectional. In contrast, Slipalong Jet didn’t come away as he can and was always chasing the tail of Boherna Rio into the opening bend. Tracking brilliantly around the tricky bottom corner, Boherna Rio, who is also a strong four-bend runner, drew clear of Slipalong Jet on the run for home and he was four and a half lengths too strong crossing the winning line. The time was 17.37.