Peter Farrell

The opening round heats of the Kasko Dog Foods ON2 525 served up some terrific action at Thurles Greyhound Stadium last night and it was Any Other News who set the standard with a brilliant performance for Lotto-Express-Syndicate.

Trained by Shaun Conway, Any Other News came into the event with an unblemished qualifying campaign and he was installed the 4/6 favourite to maintain his flawless card in the opening heat of the night. Only a March 21’ whelp, the lovely blue fawn wasted no time in asserting himself as he broke best of all from trap two and once doing so, he excelled into the opening corner to hold a one length advantage. Running a fantastic opening corner at this point, the son of Good News and Shes Made It forged clear entering the back straight and it was clear he wasn’t going to be caught as he galloped into a seven length lead approaching the bottom two corners. Maintaining that blistering gallop all the way to the winning, Any Other News was eight and a half lengths too good for nearest rival, Roseville Sonic, in second. The time was a rapid 29.09 .20s.


In heat two, it was another odds-on favourite, Keeperhill Cash, who prevailed for Nicholas Colton. Sent to traps as a 4/6 shot, Keeperhill Cash (Confident Rankin - Work Your Head) arrived with some fine qualifying form around Limerick and he required every yard of the tough Thurles trip to reel in Greatdistraction in a photo-finish. The duo disputed from traprise but it was the inside line which proved crucial in Greatdistraction turning in control. The contest soon developed into a two-dog affair and it was as you were for a large part of the race with Keeperhill Cash still having two lengths to bridge rounding the final turn. However, on this occasion it was Keeperhill Cash who nipped up the inside and this was the decisive move in sealing a short-head victory over his rival. The time was a good 29.28 .20s.

Heat three was a more open betting affair and it was Johnny The Greek who made every post a winner to land the spoils for Paul Brussells. An extremely young talent at just fifteen months of age, Johnny The Greek displayed no signs of inexperience early on as he blitzed his rivals from boxes to lead Fairest Roxy in second. It was nip a tuck between the duo down the back but Johnny The Greek quickly pulled clear to enter the bottom two bends in control. Borna Kitty made up some eye-catching ground to come through and claim second, and she is certainly one to keep on the right side going forward, however on this occasion it was Johnny The Greek who prevailed by two lengths. The time for the son of Pestana and Kilgowan Honey, a 2/1 shot, was 29.52 .20s.

In the final heat of the night, favourite backers go back on track as Cluain Creed obliged at odds of 4/5. Jointly owned by Daniel and Tom Cronin, this was another very impressive performance as nothing else mattered with Cluain Creed running out a facile winner. Running from trap one, the January 21’ whelp broke well and he immediately displayed fizzing early dash on the fence to lead by a couple of lengths early on. However, that lead was to extend within a matter of stride as Cluain Creed drew clear of his rivals to open an unassailable advantage. Maintaining that relentless gallop all the way to the winning line, the son of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Creed was twelve lengths clear of Russmur Special crossing the line, in a time of 29.38 .20s.