Peter Farrell

The opening round heats of the Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup got underway at Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Saturday night and of the seven heats on offer, the standard was set in brilliant fashion by Jennifer O’Donnell’s Seven Beach.


A greyhound that really came to the fore at the tail end of 2023 when winning at the Winter Racing Festival in 28.13, Seven Beach has only had two outings since that fantastic effort, however, was clearly in fine fettle heading into the Tipperary Cup after two blistering trio efforts around HQ. Owned by the Beach-Boys-Trio-Syndicate, the son of Pestana and Whitings Gift, the evens favourite, meant business from the off in the opening heat as he absolutely pinged out from six to record a rapid 1.58 sectional. From here, it was lights out for his rivals as he set a relentless gallop to race into a four length lead down the back. Bobseligh Syd improved into second for defending champ Pat Buckley, however, there was no catching Seven Beach on this occasion as he romped to an emphatic eight length win over Bobsleigh Syd in second, while Cabra Keiser took third. The time was a magical 28.64 .20s.




Paul Horig and Sean Bourke sent out a double in the first round heats as litter comrades Mustang Sally and Mustang Fever scored impressively.


In heat three, Mustang Sally (1/1) got the ball rolling as the Dolores Ruth-trained bitch made every post a winner. Fastest into stride wearing black, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mustang Kay Cee stopped the sectional clock in 1.66 and she turned in control from Beepers Lariat in second. The latter proved a massive threat as he closed the gap rapidly between the bottom two bends, however, ‘Sally’ kept just enough in reserve to see off her rival by a decreasing one length. The time was a terrific 28.77 .20s with Cabra Kostas claiming third place.


The double for Horig and Bourke was secured in heat six as Mustang Fever (1/1) also ran out an impressive winner. This time trained by Pat Guilfoyle for the aforementioned connections, ‘Fever’, like his sister was quickly into stride from trap three to post 1.71 early doors and he took a commanding lead into the back. Ballymac Murty occupied second place at this point, however, the main rival to emerge was Piccadilly Attic as he kept the leader very honest out in front. Not to be denied however, Mustang Fever was nothing if not game as he made every inch to account for a one length victory over Piccadilly Attic in second, while Ballymac Murty came again a close third. The time was 28.96 .20s.




The last time Singalong Dolly ventured to Thurles she took home the Droopys Stud Champion Bitch stake and Gilbert Anderson’s terrific servant looks primed for another tilt at silverware as she flew to victory in heat five.


Trained by Pat Buckley, the Mullingar track record holder was returning from an unsuccessful venture at Towcester and she showed no ill-effects from her journeying as she powered to a convincing victory over some talented rivals. A moderate start from four saw ‘Dolly’ only manage a midfield berth early on as Ballybun Boy set the pace for Rachel Wheeler in one. However, maneuvering through the field magnificently, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mydras Dawn tracked incredibly to storm past her rivals and take control rounding the final turn. Drawing clear to win by four and a half lengths thereafter from Ballbun Boy in second and Grouchos Finn in third, the time for Singalong Dolly (5/4) was a blistering 28.72 .20s.




Coolavanny Percy (5/4) is still relatively unexposed as an August whelp with just the eight starts under his belt but he certainly looked the real deal in landing the concluding heat of the night to bring up a kennel double for Pat Buckley. Running from trap five, the son of Droopys Sydney and Geelo Evie, owned by Kenny Glen, broke best of all early doors and was dictating the pace with Cabra Venom around the opener. Looking a likely winner midway down the back, ‘Percy’ pressed home his advantage and despite coming under a little late pressure from Borna Flame, comfortably saw off his rival by two lengths. The time was 28.85 .20s with Burgess Canon coming through for third.





In heat three, the Paraic Campion-trained Splendid Fellow wore down Road Exile to record an amazing fifteenth career victory.


Owned by Gary Pepper, Splendid Fellow (5/2) has proved an incredibly consistent tracker and his victory in heat three saw him secure a sixth win from his last eight starts. Normally a greyhound that likes to do it off the front, on this occasion it wasn’t surprising to see Road Exile dictate the pace given he has a reputation of being one of the best speedsters in the Country. However, Splendid Fellow wasn’t to be overawed as the son of Confident Rankin and Vivaro Swift went about his own business in expert fashion to wear down Road Exile in the closing yards. Crossing the line a half a length too strong for Road Exile, this was a brilliant effort from Campion’s charge as he stopped the clock in a good time of 28.96 .20s. Bonkersandyonkers claimed third.




Corporal Jack landed a top-class 600-yard event at Limerick on his last start and despite stepping up in grade, he made it back-to-back wins for Declan Beary.


In what was a very messy affair that saw big trouble early doors, the son of Vic Vega and Ontheredcarpet, a 3/1 chance, reeled in Tribal Syd to emerge a one and a half length winner. The time, which is irrelevant given the traffic, was 30.17 .20s, with Borna Mick claiming third.