Peter Farrell

The final of the €1,600 to the winner Donal Scanlon Memorial A2 525 was the feature event at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night and it didn’t disappoint as Ballygur Anne returned to winning ways in brilliant style.

Trained by Michael Donnelly for William Hanlon, Ballygur Anne set the fastest opening round time as she stopped the clock in 28.66 and despite being surprisingly turned over in last week’s semi finals, going down by three lengths to Faithful Fred, she recovered brilliantly after a tardy to book her place in last night’s feature event. A hugely fast November 20’ whelp, Ballygur Anne wasn’t to suffer the same fate in the decider as she tucked in behind at the opening turn, before taking command of what was another brilliant stake at the Dock Road circuit.

Ballygur Anne came into the event fresh from a stint in the Munster Oaks and the drop to A2 grade paid dividends in the opening round when justifying her 4/7 starting price to make a winning start to life at Limerick. An even money favourite to make it back-to-back successes last weekend, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Newinn Boodles fluffed her lines and was forced to do an awful lot of running to secure her place in last night’s main event. Sent to traps an extremely generous 4/1 chance last night, Donnelly’s charge came away racing from the stripes and she showed a fine turn of early speed to follow Adamant Approach, who posted 28.58 last week, into the opening turn. An obvious threat even at this early stage, Ballygur Anne ran a terrific bend to take command entering the back straight and she was always going to prove a tough nut to crack thereafter, despite the intentions of the hugely fast Adamant Approach in behind. Next to follow at this point was Tally Ho Tyson who had improved into third and it was a further gap back Kilcolgan Chief in fourth. It was still all to play for up front however, as Ballygur Anne continued to set a frantic gallop to hold a half length advantage over Adamant Approach, with Tally Ho Tyson also continuing to apply the pressure in behind. It wasn’t to be for the local runner’s on this occasion however, and Ballygur Anne continued to turn the screw late on to come home one length clear of Adamant Approach in second, while Tally Ho Tyson was a further length and a half back in third. A thrilling contest from start to finish, the time was an electric 28.56 and a fitting end to another brilliant renewal of the Donal Scanlon Memorial.

IN OTHER RACES                 

There was a lot to like about the debut performance of Boss Go in the opening race of the night. Owned by Conor Curtin, the May 21’ brindle went to traps a 6/4 shot and he proved a class above his fellow debutants as he produced a terrific display to go in to many notebooks. A son of Skywalker Rafa and Brickfield Roxy, Boss Go was led early on by Runaway May in trap three, however he took charge entering the back straight and never looked back thereafter. Galloping to an impressive four length victory, Boss Go stopped the clock in a fast 28.83.

The fastest return over the two-bend trip last night was local runner, Mohane Madison. Owned by Cormac Davern, the August 19’ whelp was chasing back-to-back wins at Limerick and she soon put the contest to bed early on after another slick exit from trap five. Dominating from start to finish, the daughter of Ballymac Vic and Mohane Misty justified her 6/4 favouritism to see off Hawkeye Panther by one length, in 18.96.

There was a powerful performance in race six as Faithful Paddy dipped under the 30-second barrier for the 550-yard trip. Owned by Patsy Richardson , the November 20’ pup was a 5/4 chance at the off and despite not trapping too fluently from one, he displayed immediate acceleration on the fence to lead up his rivals. Once doing so, the son of Droopys Sydney and Faithful Jane turned the contest into a procession and he crossed the line with over seven lengths to spare over nearest rival, Nocturnal Freya, in second. The time was a rapid 29.95.

The Sean Stack-owned Loxley is something of a winning machine at Limerick and he notched an incredible seventeenth career victory last night when winning from trap four. Quickest into stride from his favoured middle berth, the 5/2 had one and a half lengths to spare over Ballyea Scrutiny heading into the back straight. Setting a brilliant gallop throughout, the son of Laughil Blake and Rallying Way pulled clear late on to cross the line with two and a half lengths in hand, in a time of 28.61