Peter Farrell

With the Matchbook Irish St. Leger set to commence in six days time, it was a quiet affair at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Saturday night but there were no shortage of smart performances on the night

In the opening race of the night, there was a really impressive display from the Kevin O’Shea-owned Racenight Colm. The even money favourite at the off, the February 21’ whelp broke best of all from his trap one berth and he was to bounce back from debut defeat in emphatic style. A brilliantly bred son of Slippy Cian and Ballinakill Clare, once in front Racenight Colm was never going to be caught and he set a serious gallop to come home four and half lengths clear of Adamant Lucy in second. The time was a scorching 28.59.


Russian Glory came massively to the fore during last year’s Matchbook Irish St. Leger and although beaten in the 2021 decider, the Graham Holland-trained charge is gearing up nicely for another tilt at the Classic.

Running in an AO/A1 550, there was no doubt that if Russian Glory returned to top form he would prove a class above his rivals and the Justin and Pat Muldoon-owned tracker showed glimpses of his best form to run out a comfortable winner. A 9/4 chance at the off, the son of Droopys Sydney and Glory Kitty broke quickest from the stripes and the brindle swept the opening turn to go clear. Setting a powerful gallop thereafter, Russian Glory came home four and a half lengths clear of Loxley in second, as the clock returned a slick 29.94. A greyhound with serious pace when on song, expect rapid improvement in the upcoming weeks from Holland’s charge.


In race four, the John Byrne-trained Private Jet recorded a brilliant twelfth career success as he led from trap to line. Owned by John Ryan, the son of Droopys Jet and Sidarian Fern got out in front from trap two and in doing so, it was always going to take a strong effort to overturn this stout stayer. Drawing clear throughout, Private Jet was seven lengths too good for nearest rival Bee In Court, in a time of 28.72.

There was an S2/S3 contest in race five and it was local runner, Blastoff Sal, who produced a fine effort to win at odds of 7/2. Owned by Phillip Buckley, Blastoff Sal came through the bars of trap three and she excelled into the opener corner in command. From there, the daughter of Blastoff Jet and Blastoff Fizz came home well and she crossed the line with one and a half lengths in hand over Maireads Best in second. The time was 18.83.

Race seven saw the consistent Hazelhill Hazard score for the fifth time for owner Michael O’Connell. A very strong running individual, Hazelhill Hazard sat in second early on from trap three but he always looked a threat given his style of running and he duly came home strongly to score in the shadows of the post. A short-head winner over Ballymac Sona in second, the time for the 3/1 shot was 31.50 for the 575-yard trip.