Donal O’Mahoney is not afraid to journey up from Millstreet to Shelbourne Park with many of his Millridge greyhounds appearing and indeed winning at HQ over the years but on Friday night the journey home would have been considerably shorter as his Millridge Dolly emerge a thoroughly deserving winner of the Gold Collar.
The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Sign On Katie set the standard in the semis and was entitled to make a bold bid but she seemed to be destined for a bit part when Jirano Supreme squeezed around in front.
Millridge Dolly wasn’t far behind, however, and clearly wasn’t in the humour to let her opportunity slip. Running a tremendous second bend, she joined and quickly headed her rival. It turned out to be a race-winning manoeuvre.
Showing fine back straight pace, she asserted into the third turn before coasting home a comfortable and well-deserved winner of the €3,500 prize. Jirano Supreme was second some two lengths back with Swadust Good Job a further length behind in third.
Presentation of trophies after Millridge Dolly won the final of the 2022 Gold Collar A1 550 at Shelbourne Park. Pictured are Conor Matthews Racing Support Officer and Donal and Stephen O'Mahony. Pic: Imelda Grauer
PEARL FASTEST IN A2 SEMIS
There were some decent displays on the undercard also.
In the semi-finals of the RCÉ A2 525, Outback Pearl went fastest for Frank Courtney and Don Hayes when storming home to beat the long-time leader Carrigmore Logan by two lengths in 28.70.
The opening semi saw Brakes Are Off showing fine pace and determination from the second bend to pick up Verratti on the line. The son of Droopys Sydney won by a neck in 28.82.
DAPPER DISPLAY IN DUAL DISTANCE
Michael and Tom Doyle’s Dalcash Dapper set the standard in the semis of the RCETS A2 Dual Distance.
Prominent throughout, she was briefly headed into the third turn but kicked on from the final bend to score by an ever-widening four lengths in 30.02. Ballygur Shari was second.
The second heat went the way of Sean Bourke’s Mustang Thiago as he got the better of the fast starting Degreatdefector. The latter set the pace for much of the way but couldn’t contain Mustang Thiago into the third turn. From there the Dolores Ruth trained star eased on to beat his rival by two lengths in 30.22.
HUGE RUN FROM WILLOW
There was also a massive run from Richard Brown’s Forest Willow in the fifth race on the card as she waved goodbye to A2 company with a facile success.
Leading on the turn, the Peter Cronin trained daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Elite raced further and further clear to eventually strike the line with ten lengths in hand on her nearest rival in 28.34.