Peter Farrell

The semi finals of the Epic Hero Limerick Oaks took centre stage last night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and it was Burgess Josie and Burgess Cassie who landed the spoils to set up a mouth-watering decider in six days’ time.

It was Annagh Lucy who set the early standard in the opening round with a brilliant 28.26 display, however, a tricky draw in trap four was to prove her undoing as an early bump ultimately ended her chances of progression. In contrast, Burgess Josie, who was chinned late on last time out, wasn’t to be denied this time around as she made every yard of the running for Gilbert Anderson to go quickest in the opening semi final.

An open betting affair saw Burgess Josie (Burgess Bucks - Burgess Helena) installed a 5/2 shot as both Annagh Lucy and Clogheen Lass headed to traps 2/1 joint favourites and it was Burgess Josie who pinged the lids to hold the early initiative ahead of Annagh Lucy in second. Showing a lovely turn of early speed, Burgess Josie was well-positioned on the inside and she made full use of this pitch to round the opening corner in control. Annagh Lucy, however, was to meet traffic and a hefty bump from the improving Burgess Pippa saw the latter come off stronger and she was two lengths adrift of Burgess Josie upon entrance to the back straight. Thereafter, the contest was to follow a similar pattern as Burgess Josie continued to dictate from Burgess Pippa and it was the third qualifying position which was up in the air as Clogheen Lass improved into third at this point. However, there was no catching the Pat Buckley-trained Burgess Josie out front as she continued to set an excellent gallop in front and she powered clear in the closing stages to cross the line two lengths clear of Burgess Pippa in second. The time was a very swift 28.43 and it was Borna Aoife who came home with a wet sail to land the final qualifying position in third.


In the second semi final, it was another Burgess who landed the spoils as Burgess Cassie bounced back from opening round defeat for Sheila Spillane and JJ Fennelly.

A bitch who boasts some incredible form in her book, Burgess Cassie made virtually every yard last week before being chinned in the dying strides but she was to come out the right end of a judge’s call last night as she held on gamely to score. Running from trap three, Burgess Cassie was a 5/2 shot at the off but she had to settle for second place early on as Kilbannon Psycho showed first from trap one. The latter is a strong stayer and looked to have this contest in the bag once turning in front, however, Burgess Cassie displayed eye-catching gears down the back straight to outpace her rival and take control entering the penultimate turn. Showing fine determination thereafter, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Burgess Madam was to maintain her momentum all the way to the winning line and although Kilbannon Psycho came back for more in the closing stages, Burgess Cassie held firm to grab a neck victory. The time was 28.61 as Ballinabola Ruby claimed the final qualifying position just a length and a half further back in third.


Elsewhere on the card there were a couple of kennels who notched doubles and the first of those was that of Maureen Mounsey as her ‘Patterdale’ greyhounds both scored in style. The first to pass the post in front was Patterdale Liam in race four as he made every yard of the running to seal back-to-back wins. A son of Minor Mike and Minor Winner, Patterdale Liam broke best of all from trap three and once doing so, it was all one-way traffic for the striking black as he set a strong gallop throughout to come home two lengths clear of Canavour Jim in second. The time for the 2/1 shot was 28.82.

The double was secured in race six as Patterdale Gigi continued her unbeaten career start as she overturned the even money favourite, Jumping John. Only a September whelp, the daughter of Magical Bale and Patterdale Lena, jointly owned by Maureen and Sally Mounsey, came away best of all wearing the white jacket and it proved a routine success thereafter. Setting a strong gallop down the back straight, this impressive lady was a cut above her rivals in crossing the line with six lengths to spare over Jumping John in second. The time was 28.94.

The next kennel to score a double was Patrick Guilfoyle and Impact George made quite an impact in race five as he bolted up a sprint contest. Installed the 4/5 favourite, Impact George was beaten on debut at Tralee but the David Galvin-owned fawn wasn’t to suffer a similar fate this time around. Walking from trap three early doors, the son of Magical Bale and Impact Miami showed awesome early pace to slice through runners and he had his rivals pinned back prior to entering the opening corner. Sweeping to the front at this point, this was a mighty impressive display from Impact George as he powered up the home straight to win by four lengths. The time was a slick 18.70.

The double for the Guilfoyle kennel was completed in the concluding race on the card as Magical Benji (Confident Rankin - Magical Zeta)got back to winning ways over the extended 600-yard trip. It was a case of out and gone early doors as Magical Benji came away racing from trap four and he soon developed a five length lead over Whats Up Jack in second. Looking an easy winner rounding the bottom two bends, the petrol gauge began to flash on Magical Benji in the final twenty-five yards but he kept just enough in reserve to deny the fast finishing Whats Up Jack. Just a neck in it at the line, Magical Benji sealed a second career victory as he stopped the clock in 32.88.