Peter Farrell

Aside from the TIME Nutrition Derby action, the opening round heats of the Treaty Cup Open 350 also featured on the Limerick card and Ballnakill Alf put down a serious marker as he set new figures for the sprint trip at the Munster venue.

Fresh from winning the 2024 Islandbridge Open 350 at Shelbourne Park on his last appearance, Ballinakill Alf made his return to racing action at Limerick as he went in search of a fifth straight victory over the two-bend trip. Installed at odds of 4/9, the price was hardly surprising given he is arguably the best sprinter in the land and he cemented that status in emphatic fashion for Graham Holland and the popular Pillar-Syndicate. Running from trap five, ‘Alf’ is known for his awesome early speed after producing somewhat moderate starts, however, this wasn’t the case at Limerick as he bolted from his outside berth to quickly assert. In doing so, it was all eyes on the clock as he outpaced some brilliant rivals to draw clear and there was simply no catching the son of Pestana and Newinn Madam as he emerged a ten length winner over In A Lifetime in second. It is almost a year since Cree Jo Jo flew around Limerick to record 18.36, however, Ballinakill Alf blew holes in that time as he posted a sensational 18.22, a magnificent effort from Holland’s charge and a performance that will live long in the memory going forward.


In the second heat, Burgess Jack took his career tally to fourteen career wins as the near veteran held on gamely to see off Feshtys Mo.

A 9/4 chance at the off, Burgess Jack (Burgess Bucks - Droopys Dargle) was chasing back-to-back wins after winning at Cork last time out and Sarah Shannon’s charge was swiftly into stride from two to lead his rivals. Setting a solid gallop, Feshtys Mo did produce a big finish and was impressive given it was her first start over the sprint trip, however, it was too little too late as Burgess Jack held on to score. Just a head between the pair, the time was 18.86.


In the concluding heat, Aherla Leo made every post a winner for Jerome Crowley as he made a winning return to the sprinting scene.

A very open betting affair saw Burgess Supreme go off as the 5/2 favourite but it was Aherla Leo (7/2) that showed the superior early speed to quickly reel in the early leader, Reaching Out. Some bumping in behind aided the chances of the son of Ballymac Best and Jers Joy at the opener and he maintained a solid gallop to come home one length clear of Trionas Tribe in second. The time was 18.96.