Peter Farrell

The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial is just around the corner at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and last night saw three top-class trial stakes go down for decision.

The third of the trial stakes on last night’s card boasted an exceptional field and one which wouldn’t have looked out of place come Kirby final night in late April. However, it was turned into procession as Magical Mary produced an outstanding performance to dominate her rivals and remind everyone of the incredible talent she possesses.

Sent to traps a 2/1 chance with Swords Rex an even money favourite, followers knew their fate early on as Magical Mary produced a brilliant break from trap two to get first run on Swords Rex, who looked for a middle path early on from trap one. Rounding the turn with daylight in hand, Patrick Guilfoyle’s excellent lady went two clear of Swords Rex down the back and as she entered the penultimate turn, the daughter of Droopys Jet and Mystical Moll really began to turn the screw. Extending her lead rounding the bottom two bends, Magical Mary was flawless out in front as she stayed on brilliantly to cross the line with six lengths in hand over Swords Rex in second. A major player for the upcoming Kirby, the time for this exciting bitch was a red-hot 28.22.


In the opening trial stake of the night, The Other Kobe produced a masterclass of front-running to emerge a comfortable winner.

Owned by Jennifer O’Donnell, The Other Kobe was searching for a first career win but he had shown plenty in qualifying trials to suggest he is one to keep on the right side of. Sent to traps the 5/4 favourite to land the spoils, this contest was over in the first couple of strides as The Other Kobe broke well from two to display brilliant acceleration into the opening corner. Trouble in behind enabled The Other Kobe to gallop clear down the back straight and he duly opened a six length lead on his rivals approaching the bottom two bends. Staying on well thereafter, the son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen crossed the line with three and a half lengths in hand over the fast-finishing, Ballymac Ben, in second. The time was a rapid 28.51.


The Dowling’s may have been denied in the opening Kirby Trial Stake with Ballymac Ben, however, they weren’t to suffer similar fate in the second as Ballymac Leo led from trap-to-line to book his ticket into the Classic event.

After showing some lovely early gears in the Juvenile Classic at Tralee prior, Ballymac Leon was expected to figure prominently in the opening exchanges and the 3/1 chance broke smartly from the stripes to cut across running at the opening corner and take charge from Scooby Prince in second. Holding a lead of just a length down the back straight, the son of Ballymac Anton and Coolavanny Pet maintained his advantage all the way to the winning line where he was always pulling out that little bit extra over the persistent Scooby Prince in second. A length between greyhounds at the line, the time for Ballymac Leon was 28.68.


Elsewhere on the card, the semi finals of several Limerick & Clare GOBA sweepstakes were taking place and just like last week, it was Slaheny Mags who went quickest in the MOET Accountants A6/A7 525.

Owned by Peg Lenihan, Slaheny Mags was a red-hot 4/6 chance to land the spoils and after a decent break from trap three, she sat just a length off Fast Fit Sam early doors. Looming alongside her rival at the midway point, Slaheny Mags quickly stormed to the front and it was lights out thereafter as the daughter of Dorotas Wild Cat and Drumcrow Clara drew clear. Maintaining a powerful gallop in the closing stages, Slaheny Mags was over six lengths better off than Fast Fit Sam crossing the line as the clock returned 29.11.

In the other semi final, 11/10 shot Ready For Adam was another convincing winner. Owned by Aoife Loughnane, Ready For Adam was an opening round scorer and although forced to tuck in behind Erins Houdini early on, the daughter of Ballymac Eske and Ballyfin Lass took control entering the penultimate turn to seal back-to-back wins. Extending her lead on the run for home, Ready For Adam came home six lengths clear of Gower Dazzler in second. The time was 29.22.


The semi finals of the Liffey Mills A5 525 were next on the agenda and it was Private Jet who went quickest as he justified his even money market price.

A winner of his opening round assignment, Private Jet looked well-housed in trap one and it was John Ryan’s greyhound who showed first to lead on the rail. Running a fine opening bend at this point, Private Jet opened a three length lead over his rivals and it was plain sailing for the son of Droopys Jet and Sidarian Fern thereafter. Bidding for back-to-back wins, the John Byrne-trained brindle crossed the line with five lengths in hand over Blastoff Roisino in second. The time was 29.09.

In the second semi final, Gower Jet bounced back from opening round defeat to record a twelfth career victory for Anna Carey. Now in his sixth year, Gower Jet has been a terrific servant for connections and last night saw the 4/1 shot record his first win since August of last year. As expected, Gortkelly Franky held all the aces early on in this contest as he broke brilliantly from trap six to take his rivals around the opening corner. However, despite holding a three length advantage, Gower Jet stormed up the inside between the bottom two bends and the son of Droopys Jet and Cloon Glory went on to record a length and a half victory over his rival. The time was 29.41.


Shortly after, the three semi finals of the Ryans Timber Machinist & uPVC Suppliers A4 Tri-Distance got underway and it was Larchill Port who went quickest to build on his opening round victory.

A winner in 29.09 last week, Larchill Port was sent to traps a 3/1 chance and in truth, he made light work of the 550-yard leg of the tri-distance. Pinging the lids from trap five, Larchill Port, owned by Michael Donohue, quickly opened a two length lead over Vigorous Vincent which was soon to be doubled midway down the back straight. Never under any threat of being pegged back, the son of Ballymac Best and Port West Pop ran out a three and a half length winner over Vigorous Vincent in second. The time was an impressive 30.19.

Next best in terms of the clock was the reserve, Dynamic Diva in the third semi final. Jointly owned by Kieran and Bridget Nugent, Dynamic Diva could only manage fifth in the opening round but she clearly appreciated the extra yardage last night in racing to a third career victory. From a level break, Dynamic Diva showed the better of the early gears to swoop the opening bend and go clear of her rivals. Setting a decent gallop thereafter, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Dynamic Cool Sky had plenty in hand at the winning line as she crossed over three and a half lengths better off than Portdrine Champ in second. The time for the 5/2 shot was 30.37.

The remaining semi final was landed by Anglesey Away as she finished at speed to record a first career win for the Anglesey-Syndicate. Trained by Paul Dowdeswell, Anglesey Away didn’t break too fluently from trap four as Tallyho Angel set a smashing gallop out front which saw her open a six length lead down the back straight. However, Anglesey Away was nothing if not game and the daughter of Vulturi and Amanita Chic stepped up her challenge late on to chin the longtime leader, Tallyho Angel, on the line. A head separating the duo, the 3/1 chance stopped the clock in 30.44.

Elsewhere on the card, there was a brilliant effort in the opening race of the night from Sunshine Dream as he justified his 4/6 starting price for Brendan Maunsell. A seriously well-bred son of Droopys Jet and Fire Height Brid, Sunshine Dream made light work of his A3/A4 contest as he broke best of all wearing the red jacket to run to a virtual solo out in front. Setting a scorching gallop down the back, Sunshine Dream extended his lead to six lengths crossing the winning line as the time returned a swift 28.79.

There was also a two-bend contest on last night’s Limerick card and this was won in emphatic fashion by the Stephen Murray-trained Give It Up. Owned by The-Three-Pointer-Syndicate, Give It Up was on the ball early on as he pinged the lids from trap six to take a comfortable lead into the opening corner. Tracking expertly thereafter, the son of Azza Azza Azza and Demon Chase, a 3/1 chance, showed no signs of taking his foot off the gas as he romped to an eight length victory over Mohane Madison in second. The time was a rapid 18.81.