Things are really beginning to heat up in the 2022 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and last night saw four sensational quarter finals with Magical Kuba delivering the performance of the night.
On a night where the favourites were turned over in each of the four quarter finals, Magical Kuba built on his rapidly growing reputation with a devastating display in heat one. Elsewhere, Kildare sprung a 12/1 shock in heat two, while Ballinabola Ed and Scooby Prince also produced top-class performances to land the remaining two quarters. Overall, last night’s action really exceeded expectations and we now have two month-watering semi finals to look forward to next Saturday night.
The Kirby action got off to an absolute flier in the opening quarter final as Magical Kuba won with ease to make it back-to-back victories at Limerick. In a line-up which would have been fitting of any Kirby final, Magical Kuba went to traps at generous odds of 5/1 and Pat Guilfoyle’s talent wasted no time in bolting from the stripes to lead early on. Next to show was Michael Corr’s Da Bold Freddie in three but in truth, barring incident, the strong-running Magical Kuba was never going to be caught once in front. Setting a stunning gallop down the back, Magical Kuba quickly turned a three length into six lengths approaching the penultimate turn and he stopped the third bend sectional clock at a red-hot 15.95. Meanwhile, Da Bold Freddie chased gallantly in second with Droopys Nice One and Fernandes disputing the final qualifying position at this point back in third. However, it was all one-way traffic up front for Magical Kuba and the brilliant son of Magical Bale and Impact Miami, owned by the Westwell-Racing-Syndicate, powered clear up the home straight to win by a dominant seven lengths. Da Bold Freddie ran a good race to finish second, while Crafty Kokoro, who occupied the rear of the field for most of the contest, came through with a flying finish to claim the final qualifying position in third. The time was an exceptional 28.02. (Sec: 15.95).
ED DELIVERS IN STYLE
Ballinabola Ed was unlucky not to claim victory last time out when squeezed out of contention but he wasn’t to suffer the same fate in the second quarter final as he produced a polished performance for owner Brendan Murphy.
Deadly Showtime was installed the evens favourite after two paw-perfect displays in the rounds prior and he once again broke well from trap three. However, Ballinabola Ed, a 5/2 chance, also came away racing from trap five and he tracked brilliantly around the opening bend to take full control. Once in front, Pat Buckley’s charge excelled expertly down the back straight and the son of Confident Rankin and Dolls Lady showed no signs of any let up as he raced around the bottom two bends with a clear advantage over the chasing hard, Deadly Showtime, in second. Staying on strongly on the run for home, Ballinabola Ed powered over the winning line to seal a two and a half length victory over Deadly Showtime in second, with Pat Buckley also guiding Glengar Scholar into next week’s semi finals with a strong finish to land the third qualifying position, back in third. The time was an electric 28.15.
A WIN FOR KILDARE
In the second quarter final of the night, Kildare (Droopys Sydney - Palermo) secured a first career win at the third time of asking with an excellent performance to see off The Other Kobe.
Trained by Peter Cronin for Aidan Comerford, Kildare came into the contest as the 12/1 outsider but from a fairly level break, it was the July puppy who showed lovely early speed to join the narrow leader, The Other Kobe, around the opening corner. Steering a wide course entering the back straight, Kildare sat just a length off the The Other Kobe but he made full use of the outside to swoop around the penultimate corner and go clear. Meanwhile, third position was occupied by Droopys Edison at this point and he sat three lengths adrift of The Other Kobe, who was now shuffled back into second place. Kildare continued to lead entering the final turn however, and despite The Other Kobe showing fine determination in his attempts to bridge the gap once more, Kildare stayed on stoutly to cross the line with three parts of a length in hand over his talented rival. The final qualifying position went to Droopys Edison, who recovered well from an early bump, as the clock returned a quick 28.45. (Sec: 16.24)
SCOOBY BACK TO HIS BEST
The final quarter-final on the night saw IGOBF National Puppy winner, Scooby Prince, return to his best with a super performance for Steve Noble.
Trained by Jennifer O’Donnell, Scooby Prince was the first head to show at traprise but the blue jacketed runner was outpaced in the early yards as both Lenson On Ice and Swords Rex powered into the opening corner to dispute the lead. Forced to settle for third at this point, it was Lenson On Ice who cut the snout off Swords Rex to take a three length lead into the back straight and Pat Buckley’s charge set a scorching gallop into the penultimate corner where he still held a healthy advantage over both Swords Rex and Scooby Prince, who were battling it out for second place in behind. Bidding to make it back-to-back wins for connections, Lenson On Ice continued to hold all the aces rounding the bottom two bends, however, Scooby Prince stays on strongly and it was the son of Droopys Sydney and Whitings Gift who coursed around the longtime leader to fly home. Storming to the front in the closing stages, Scooby Prince really took off with only strides remaining and the 9/2 chance sealed a length victory over Lenson On Ice in second. The final qualifying position went to Swords Rex who was a further neck back in third. The time was a brilliant 28.30. (Sec: 16.00)
The draw for the semi-finals of the 2022 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial is as follows:
T1 - DEADLY SHOWTIME
T2 - SWORDS REX
T3 - THE OTHER KOBE
T4 - DA BOLD FREDDIE
T5 - KILDARE
T6 - MAGICAL KUBA
T1 - SCOOBY PRINCE
T2 - CRAFTY KOKORO
T3 - DROOPYS EDISON
T4 - LENSON ON ICE
T5 - GLENGAR SCHOLAR
T6 - BALLINABOLA ED