The Galway Greyhound Stadium A3/A4 525 has produced top-class racing at the Connacht venue in recent weeks and the semi-finals of the €4,000 to the winner stake followed suit last night as Drombeg Ten set the standard.
As you would expect for a graded competition that offers this calibre of prize-money, the 29-second barrier has taken quite a batterring throughout the stake and Headford Honey has been responsible for several sparkling performances. Indeed, Seamus Leahy’s bitch was on form last night once again as she maintained her unbeaten run in the stake, however, it was the hugely promising Drombeg Ten who went quickest as the August puppy dismantled a good class field to head into the decider with massive claims.
Owned by Evan McAuliffe, Drombeg Ten qualified in with a fine 29.05 effort around Limerick and although he came up the brilliant Mystical Mario on debut, he lost little in defeat when posting a 28.93 estimate. The striking fawn made a good start to his racing at Galway with a victory and he has shown he possesses a big engine throughout this stake, winning his quarter final in particular when coming from off-the-pace to reel in Jaguar Gerry. Last night, however, he cranked it up another notch. In what looked a hotly contested second semi final, Drombeg Ten was quickly into stride from trap one and the 5/2 chance soon outpaced his rivals to nip around the inside at the opening turn. Taking a six length lead into the back straight, the son of Grangeview Ten and Blastoff Khalesi set a scorching gallop thereafter and he extended his advantage to eight lengths rounding the bottom two bends. Maintaining that relentless gallop all the way to the winning line, Drombeg Ten was eight and a half lengths better off than nearest rival, Pats Best Girl, in second. The time was a sparkling 28.86 .20s as Jaguar Gerry secured his spot in next week’s feature, a further two lengths back in third.
In the opening semi final, the Seamus Leahy-trained Headford Honey was bidding to maintain her unbeaten record in the stake and she duly obliged with another impressive display.
Running from trap one, Headford Honey went to boxes a 1/2 shot to build on her 28.58 and 28.86 efforts from previous rounds and she broke smartly from trap one to dispute the early running with Menmal Prince in five. However, the latter displayed the superior early gears at this point and it was Martin Fahy’s runner who swept the opening turn to take a five length lead into the back straight. Now a clear second, Headford Honey had to get her skates on but that she did as the daughter of Tyrur Big Mike cut the leaders advantage in half rounding the bottom two bends. In full flow entering the home straight, Headford Honey was mighty impressive in the closing stages as she coursed around the leader to draw clear on the run for home. Crossing the line with three and three quarter lengths to spare over Drombeg Khalesi in second, the time was another slick 28.95 .20s as Tromora Ange secured the final qualifying position back in third.
VETERAN CRAKL STILL PERFORMING
Five Alley Crakl may be approaching his sixth birthday later this year but Paul Hogan’s runner is still running at the top of his game and he landed a brilliant 18th career victory in race seven.
Running from trap two. Five Alley Crakl went off a 3/1 chance but after a slow break, he could only manage fifth on the run to the opening bend. However, maintaining his rails pitch, the son of Skywalker Puma and Maldini Pops nipped around the inside to go third down the back and he was edging closer to the leader on the approach to the penultimate turn. Staying on stoutly in the closing yards, Five Alley Crakl delivered his trademark big finish to reel in Springwell Diva, by one and a half lengths, crossing the line. The time was 29.05 .20s. That win brought the career earnings of Five Alley Crakl to over €10,000 and based on last night’s victory, he will be adding to that sum in the months to follow.