The opening round heats of the 2022 Liam Brussels Memorial 525 were the main attraction to Galway Greyhound Stadium last night and there were no shortage of impressive performances.
Of the opening round heats, it was So Its Rapid and Kilara Ivy who posted identical times to set the early standard and Vincent McKenna recorded a nice double in the process as he landed two of the heats of offer with the aforementioned So Its Rapid and Lisk Falcon.
RAPID OFF THE MARK
In heat three, the first leg of the Vincent McKenna double was recorded as So Its Rapid justified his 4/6 starting price with an easy victory. Returning after a short layoff, the Paul Pardy-owned runner was led early on by Creevy Bird but he took control at the second bend and never looked back thereafter. Setting a strong gallop down the back, the son of Rosbirr Ranger and Classy Ebony powered his way to a seven a three parts of a length victory over Croaghill Cilla in second. The time was a brisk 29.09 .20s.
That time was equalled in heat four as Kilara Ivy dominated from the outset to make it two wins from just three starts from Philip O’Keefe and David Flanagan.
Only a March whelp, Kilara Ivy was very impressive on debut as she recorded 29.27 around the tough Kilkenny circuit and she was installed as a 6/4 shot to double her career tally. Quickest into stride from trap five, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Kilara Jessie soon put daylight between her rivals as she set a blistering gallop throughout, before coming home eight and a half lengths clear of Makita in second. The time was 29.09 .20s.
In heat five, Vincent McKenna saw his double complete as Lisk Falcon recorded back-to-back victories at Galway. Stepping up to four bends for the first time, Lisk Falcon went to traps the 5/4 second favourite and he came away racing to sit second early doors. Taking charge rounding the opener, the heavyweight son of Magical Bale and Heathlawn Robin saw off the late surge of Lady Messi to cross the line with one length to spare, in 29.11 .20s.
The competition got underway when Tadhgs First took charge late on to score. Owned by Tadhg Ward, the May 20’ whelp was racing off the back of two straight last place finishes but she put things right in good style, taking over at the penultimate bend, before staying on stoutly to record a second career victory. One and a half lengths clear of Tiger Queen in second, the time was 29.76 .20s.
The last of the heat winners was the John Croker-owned Crokers Tyson in heat two. The 6/4 joint favourite at the off, Crokers Tyson came away well from her inside berth in one and he took over from Joeys Girl at the opening turn. Setting a good gallop down the back, the daughter of Azza Azza Azza and Maldini's Flyer went about her business in fine style as she crossed the line with two and three parts of a length to spare over Joes Gone in second. The time was 29.24 .20s.
Elsewhere on the card, the penultimate race of the night saw Speedie Syd return to winning ways and clock the fastest time of the session in the process.
Jointly owned by Padraic Fannin and Leo Kelly, Speedie Syd has a terrific record and he justified his 6/4 starting price with another accomplished performance. Only moderately into stride from trap three, Speedie Syd sat third early on as Clonfert Cutie set the pace and the latter continued to gather momentum out in front. However, Speedie Syd is nothing if not game and the son of Droopys Sydney and Urban Time rallied late on to storm past Clonfert Cutie and seal a one and a half length victory. The time was a sparkling 28.84 .20s.
In the concluding race on the card, there was another polished display as Larchill Port won in emphatic style for Michael Donoghue. Another top performer on his day, the brindle rocketed from trap six and he soon put this contest to bed within a matter of strides. Rounding the opening corner in control, the son of Ballymac Best and Port West Pop drew clear down the back before maintaining a relentless gallop all the way to the winning line. Crossing over ten lengths clear, the time was 28.87 .20s.