There was huge focus on Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night as the opening round heats of the 2022 Con & Annie Kirby got underway and it certainly lived up to the hype as the most talented youngsters in the land produced a string of sensational performances.
Unfortunately, prior to racing a few of the big hitters, most notably the likes of Magical Mary and Wi Can Dream, were forced to withdraw due to illness. However, although hugely disappointing for connections of the impacted greyhounds, it didn’t take away from what was an unbelievable night’s action at the Munster venue and early indications is that this year’s renewal is going to take a serious bit of winning.
There were a number of quite extraordinary performances throughout the thirteen heats on offer but it was Deadly Showtime in heat eight who produced an outstanding display to follow up on his ultra-impressive trial stake victory at Dundalk last time out. Trained by Karol Ramsbottom for Garry Hannon, Deadly Showtime clocked a blistering 28.44 on that occasion and after heading to traps a 4/5 favourite to follow up on that run, the son of Droopys Sydney and Ruby Valley duly obliged. Running from trap three, it was clear that this greyhound was to produce something special as he opened the lids himself to clock an unbelievable 1.19 opening sectional. Already in possession of a healthy advantage rounding the opener, Deadly Showtime doubled his lead to five lengths down the back straight as he set a frantic gallop and in truth, his very talented rivals never got a look in as he blitzed the field to win by a margin of eight lengths. Ballymac Leon a gallant runner-up, the time for Deadly Showtime was a blistering 28.16 and he is certainly a greyhound at the peak of his powers at present. (Sec 15.93)
SYDNEY GETS KIRBY OFF TO EXPLOSIVE START
The 2022 Kirby got off to flying start in the opening heat of the night as the Mary Buggy-owned Kilgraney Sydney dominated his rivals on route to a fourth straight victory.
Trained by Thomas Buggy, Kilgraney Sydney, a 4/6 shot, rocketed from trap one to quickly take the opening heat by the scruff of the neck. Opening a clear advantage rounding the opener, the talented son of Droopys Sydney and Bull Run Bistro drew clear down the back straight as he opened an unassailable lead over the chasing pack. Showing little signs of any let up in the closing stages, Kilgraney Sydney maintained a scorching gallop all the way to the winning line where he had twelve lengths in hand over nearest rival, Ballymac Ben, in second. The time was a scintillating 28.24. (16.03 sec)
EDISON MAKES ALL
Droopys Edison is a leading player in the outright market and he certainly showed why as he produced a terrific performance in heat three.
Jointly owned by Michael Dunphy and Paul Allen, Droopys Edison faced tough opposition with the impressive Coolavanny Hoffa amongst his rivals, however, he went to traps a 4/5 favourite to land the spoils. Trained by Robert Gleeson, the son of Burgess Bucks and Droopys Blossom made no mistakes at boxes as he flashed from two to dictate the early proceedings. Showing a lovely turn of foot down the back straight, Droopys Edison stuck to his task well and although Coolavanny Hoffa kept him honest throughout, he crossed the line with two lengths in hand of his eye-catching rival, with Storys Archie also looking a bit special back in third. The time was a very smart 28.27. (16.00 sec)
BUCKLEY DOUBLE AS ED AND SCHOLAR IMPRESS
Pat Buckley is seeking a fourth Kirby triumph this year and he recorded a super double on the opening night as both Glengar Scholar and Ballinabola Ed landed their respective heats.
The first to score was Glengar Scholar in heat four as the Juvenile Classic finalist led from the outset for owner Kenny Glen. It was kennel companion, Bobseligh Dream, who went to post the odds-on favourite, however, after a tardy start it was Glengar Scholar who dictated the pace early on from five. Setting a ferocious gallop down the back, Glengar Scholar displayed awesome speed to draw clear of his rivals and the son of Burgess Bucks and Burgess Madam maintained that relentless pace all the way to the winning line. Crossing with ten and a half lengths to spare over Toolmaker Wilde in second, the time for the 9/4 market chance was a hot 28.24. (16.07 sec)
The double was completed in heat seven as Ballinabola Ed landed what resulted in a four-dog affair.
A record-breaker at Tralee last time out, Ballinabola Ed was an understandable 1/4 chance at the off and he broke smartly wearing the striped jacket to display electric early pace. The Brendan Murphy-owned star went about his business in good style thereafter, however, he was made to work hard as the debutant Kildare looked very special in behind as he sat just two lengths adrift at the penultimate turn. That said, Ballinabola Ed did pull away in the closing yards and he was five and a half lengths clear of the impressive Kildare at the winning line. The time for the son of Confident Rankin and Dolls Lady was a smashing 28.23. (16.04 sec)
Heat 2 - Swords Rex is one of the outright fancies for Kirby glory and the Graham Holland-trained charge justified his starting price of 4/7 in heat two. Owned by Barbara Lowndes, Swords Rex showed the superior early gears from a plumb draw in one and he nipped around the inside to lead into the back straight. Maintaining a strong gallop thereafter, the son of Droopys Sydney and Starry Display came home three lengths better off than Disco Pants crossing the winning line. The time was 28.48. (16.14 sec)
Heat 4 - Owned by the Moydrum-Massive-Syndicate, Tommy Too Many made every post a winner in heat four as he ran out a comfortable winner. Trapping brilliantly from six, Tommy Too Many clocked a slick 1.29 early sectional and from here, the son of Dorotas Woo Hoo and Ballintee Babe proved a class above the field in running to a six length victory over Cryptopunk in second. The time for the 3/1 shot was 28.43. (16.19 sec)
Heat 5 - The Other Kobe landed one of the trial stakes at Limerick and Jennifer O’Donnell’s impressive puppy recorded his third straight victory in heat five. Running from trap one, the impeccably bred son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen was once again swiftly into stride wearing the red jacket and despite coming under late pressure from the fast-finishing Magical Kuba in trap six, The Other Kobe kept enough in reserve as he crossed the line with two lengths to spare over his exciting rival. The time for the even money jolly was 28.39. (16.06 sec)
Heat 9 - Magical Mary’s withdrawal from this top-class contest left heat nine wide open and it was the super-fast Crafty Kokoro who delivered a late flurry to grab the win. Owned by Peter Divilly, the talented daughter of Droopys Sydney and Cockyorconfident trailed the field early on from trap four but in typical fashion, she overcame a bump at the opener and took off in the closing stages to record a half length victory over Fernandes in second. The time was 28.64. (16.28 sec)
Heat 10 - It was another case of a trap-to-line victor in heat ten as Melodys Vim recorded a third career win for Patrick Collins and Maurice O’Connor. A February son of Droopys Buick and Melodys Shiny, Melodys Vim was on the ball early doors as he took charge from trap one to lead Serene Tiger into the opener. The 4/1 shot proceeded to set a smart gallop thereafter and he was two lengths too good for Serene Tiger crossing the line. The time was 28.79. (16.40 sec)
Heat 11 - Droopys Pilgrim (Ballymac Eske - Droopys Cuckoo) landed a very messy heat eleven to give local handler Denis O’Malley victory. It was the unbeaten Hannover Phantom who showed first from trap four but after some serious traffic at the opener, Droopys Pilgrim, a 10/1 shot, crept up the inside to take full advantage. Setting a decent gallop thereafter, the Percy Ryan-owned bitch came home two and a half lengths clear of Savana Hero in second. The time was 29.28. (Sec 16.84)
Heat 12 - The well-supported Da Bold Freddie was expected to dominate heat twelve and he didn’t disappoint for Tommy McDonagh and Michael Corr. Subject to huge outright support which has seen his rocket to the top of the betting, Da Bold Freddie went to traps 1/3 for this particular contest and he came away racing from trap one to lead early on. Townview Syd followed the jolly into the back straight and although three lengths adrift, he displayed big power to threaten the leader upon entrance to the bottom two corners. However, Da Bold Freddie wasn’t to be denied and he pulled out all the stops to see off Townview Syd by two and a half lengths crossing the line. The time was a fast 28.48. (Sec 16.22)
Heat 13 -The final heat of the night was well worth sticking around for as Droopys Nice One followed up her impressive second-place finish in the Rural Kennels Unraced with another very promising performance. Owned by John Coleman and trained by Murt Leahy, Droopys Nice One was a 6/4 chance at the off and after a fast start from trap one, she showed fine determination to oust Burgess Rapid at the opening bend. From here, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Dance was never going to be caught and she stayed on strongly to cross the line five and a half lengths clear of Hoodoo Brown in second. The time was 28.39. (Sec 16.28)