It really was a night to remember in Curraheen Park on Saturday night as a massive crowd filled the Cork Stadium for a night of spectacular racing action.
Good Cody (Definate Opinion-Soho Ark) ran out a very popular winner of the feature, the final of €30,000 to the winner Friends & Supporters of Cork Greyhound Racing Irish Greyhound Laurels.
GOOD CODY IS THE LAURELS CHAMPION
As expected, it was Serene Ace who broke best as the early paced selection set a strong early pace. Good Cody was in a good position, turning second ahead of Swords Rex back in third.
Down the back straight, the front three opened up a nice lead on the fourth Droopys Edison. Ballymac Whispa and Galloping Sydney who found early trouble were out the back. Good Cody always looked dangerous heading down the back straight and the 5-1 winner loomed large between the final corners.
Finishing off well, Good Cody kept on strongly to land the feature, making it a memorable night for owner John Kennedy Jnr and all connected with this brilliant champion.
Ballymac Whispa came from well off the pace, showing massive gears to finish second, and just three quarters of a length back, in 28.20. Swords Rex ran a huge race from a terrible draw to finish third, just a head behind the runner-up. Cuanlee Women's Refuge won the Charity Nominators Draw, winning a magnificent €5,000 - all thanks to the wonderful display of the Patrick Guilfoyle trained Good Cody.
BALLYMAC JOHNJOE A RUNAWAY WINNER
The €5,000 to the winner Michael (Bary Leahy) Memorial A2 stake went the way of Ballymac Johnjoe for trainer Liam Dowling.
Bartlemy Jas was the red hot favourite and after he missed the kick, he was in serious trouble. The 7-1 winner picked the right night to lead and once he did, it was race over. Showing big finishing speed, the February puppy ran out a nine and a half length winner of Ballycowen Lola, in 28.20.
Ardralla Adam got racing off to a flying start as the impressive winner put on a paw-perfect display in the opener.
Owned by the Jim-Con-Dan-Syndicate, the 4-1 shot broke best and the strong running winner went on to win the Curraheen Park Bookmakers A4 stake final in a superb 29.61. Three and a half lengths back to Ballyhooly Belle in second.
WIN NUMBER 33
Skylight Blake recorded a 33rd career success in the second of the night, the Youghal Track Supporters Open 330.
In the care of Nicky Walsh for the Skylight Syndicate, the 7-2 second choice of the puners broke well and the prolific winner was in a great early battle with Parkgate Angel. On top turning for home, Blake held the fast finishing Super Hit Man, by a neck, in 17.80.
TRACK RECORD RUN
In race three, the Broadstrand Bono @ Stud Open Bitch Stake, it was the Paul Hennessy trained Ilnotbeback who stormed to victory, breaking the track record, clocking a sensational 27.81 for owner Sean Adams.
Scooby Duchess exploded from traps and set a really strong early pace. The 2-1 winner was flying down the back straight and once hitting the front, she then pulled clear to win easily. A five length success over the early leader.
BIG FINISH FROM BALLYCOWEN LIAM
Ballycowen Liam came with a strong late run to take the fourth of the night, the Jerry & Michael Hennerty Memorial Unraced Stake.
Sent off at odds of 9-2, the winner was out the back early as Brideview Sydney was going along nicely up front. The eye was drawn to Ballycowen Liam turning for home and the Dean Harpur trained runner pulled out all the stops to land the spoils, in 28.60, a length clear of Brideview Sydney who was back in second.
ALL ABOUT HAMMOND
In the fifth, the Clona Blaze @ Stud Open 750, it was all about Hello Hammond.
Trained by Paul Hennessy for owners Gerry Meaney and Miriam Meaney, the well backed winner showed incredible pace to take up the running in the second half of the race. Running out a convincing winner, the 13-8 favourite made it a double of the night team Hennessy, four and a half lengths clear of Pablo Escobark in 41.59.
RACE OF THE NIGHT
The One Time Only 575 produced one of the races of the night with Bockos Crystal just holding on to deny the fast finishing Magical Mary, in 30.82.
Trained by Graham Holland for owner Beverely Lochead, the 4-5 market leader was in total control early on after showing a really impressive turn of early dash. Five lengths clear heading down into the third last corner, the in-form winner was all out in the closing stages as Mary hit top gear. A short head separated the front two at the line.
IN OTHER RACES
Race eight, the Irish Greyhound Laurels Consolation, it was Cryptopunk who returned to top form for owner Simon Taylor and trainer Graham Holland. Getting it right early on, the 11-4 shot was in control throughout as he impressed with a stunning 28.17 winning performance. Priceless King was three and a half lengths back in second.
English Greyhound Derby Champion Romeo Magico proved a class apart in race 10, the Droopys Stud Open 550. Sent off the warm 5-6 favourite, he was soon in front and in truth, it was all one way traffic up front. A superb display, coming home three and a half lengths clear of Tommy Too Many, in 29.28. (550).
Droopys Rocker has always looked the real deal and he clocked a career best in the 11th, stopping the clock, in a sensational 27.93. Trained by Johnny Linehan for owners Sean and Pat Hegarty, the 4-1 winner did everything right, breaking well and showing huge speed up front. A magnificent display, beating Russmur Pat, by seven lengths.
In the closing race, the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust Open 550, it was Millridge Bryce who came out in front for owner Donal O'Mahony. The 5-1 shot turned handy, but after showing an impressive injection of pace, he was soon in front. Keeping on bravely up front, he beat Carefree King, by half a length, in 29.83. (550).
It really was a wonderful night, unbelievable crowds, top class prize money and some of Ireland's quickest greyhounds were in action. All standard races carried a winner’s prize of €2,000.