The opening round of the Bresbet Easter Cup provide some tremendous racing at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
By and large the cream rose to the surface and it bodes well for the remainder of the classic with some mouthwatering clashes to come ahead of the April 8th decider. Each of the six heat winners displayed real class and ability but the headlines went to Derby runner-up Ballymac Finn as he posted a fastest of the round 29.60.
Heat 1 – BEST LEAVES IT LATE
Allforthebest seemed destined to run a big race in defeat in the opening heat with Trinity Junior looking a likely scorer when clear but this was to go right to the wire with the judge called into action.
Trinity Junior actually missed the kick but flew into the turn to take over from the fast starting Jirano Supreme. Once going to the front he quickly moved on to lead by five lengths at halfway. Allforthebest was only third to this point but
set a strong gallop out front after recovering from a moderate start to lead on the corner. The latter built a five length advantage to halfway but Allforthebest is exceptionally strong and, once moving second at the third turn, the son of Vulturi and Auguasantas was always a threat.
In a desperate finish, the HDJ Syndicate owned Allforthebest got up on the line to deny Trinity Junior by a short head in 29.81. Pied Piper finished closest to the front two, some five lengths adrift.
Heat 2 – CASHOUT TOO STRONG FOR BLAKE
Much like the opening heat, the early paced setter seemed likely to come home in front only to be collared late by a stronger rival.
Part Blake was the pace-setter on this occasion but could never shake the challenge of Storys Cashout.
The latter actually charged up the inside of Part Blake into the third turn but put the brakes on as the leader closed the door. He recovered quickly, however, before storming home to win in fine style for Gavin O’Mahoney and handler Murt Leahy. Taking over on the run in, the well-bred son of Tullymurry Act and Droopys Hunch had two lengths to spare over Part Blake in 29.80. Hello Mom ran a fine race to grab third another two and a half lengths back.
Heat 3 – SLICK SYDNEY GETS LOOSE
Swords rex was a red-hot favourite for Heat 3 but he was always playing catch-up after his Graham Holland trained kennel companion Galloping Sydney displayed his awesome early speed to lead around the corner.
Galloping Sydney was never going to be easy to pick up and did seem to stay on better than in the past, suggesting he is a stronger greyhound this term.
Una Creed’s son of Droopys Sydney and Mags Image continued to set a searing gallop down the back straight keeping his more fancied kennelmate at bay, although he was under serious pressure on the final turn as Here Comes Syd flew to challenge Swords Rex for second.
Galloping Sydney was not for catching, however. The June ’20 whelp maintained his stride pattern to emerge a deserving winner. Despite having to ride a bump off the final turn, Swords Rex rallied on the run in to take second. Galloping Sydney took the verdict by three lengths in 29.79. In turn, Swords Rex had a half length to spare over here Comes Syd.
Heat 4 – CRYSTAL A REAL GEM
Bockos Crystal may have been the slowest heat winner but she was in many ways the most impressive heat winner as she had to overcome some hardship to get to the front.
The Graham Holland trained daughter of Droopys Sydney and Vigorous Hilary wasn’t the fastest into stride and was left tight of room but she suddenly burst from the pack to chase Capitan Garfio into the turn.
Challenging the early leader on the bend, she took a bump which impacted her momentum. Bev Lochead’s starlet quickly recovered, however, and showing real determination began to close on Capitan Garfio.
Despite being forced wide by Capitan Garfio, she drew upsides into the third turn before cutting the turn to move on. From there, she raced on to record a two and a half length victory over her long-time adversary by two and a half lengths in 30.02. the fast finishing Toolmaker Wilde was just a neck away in third.
Heat 5 – CALLAWAY A TRUE PRO
Those that took the hugely restrictive odds available about Callaway Pro Am in the penultimate heat didn’t have a moment’s worry as he lived up to his name with a thoroughly professional display of front running.
Breaking smartly, Denis Murphy’s son of Skywalker Farloe and Bottle Of Banter was soon in complete control. Three lengths clear at the turn, he increased his advantage to five lengths before halfway.
Bockos Vieira turned second but was never going to land a glove on the leader. The Owen McKenna trained Callaway Pro Am strode out well to emerge the easiest of winners, five and a half lengths clear of Bockos Vieira in 29.90. McNeill caught the eye in third, finishing fast to sit just a head behind the runner-up.
Heat 6 – FLYING FINN SETS THE STANDARD
Derby runner-up Ballymac Finn is clearly going to be a force in 2023 if his display in the red-hot final heat was any indication.
Liam Dowling’s son of Droopys Sydney and Ballymac Petsy displayed real determination to get to the front early in the back straight and ran right to the line to see off some very talented rivals.
Stream Of Sydney actually went up fastest, holding a narrow lead around the opening two turns but she was under severe pressure from both Ballymac Finn on her outer and Romeo Magico, who attempted to go up her inner.
In doing so, Romeo Magico just brushed the back end of the early pace-setter, costing her a little momentum. It was all that Ballymac Finn needed. Charging to the front, he quickly put daylight between himself and the chasers. Showing no signs of rust or fatigue, Ballymac Finn raced to a superb two length victory in a fastest of the round 29.60. Stream Of Sydney ran a big race in second with Clona Blu staying on well for third, just a half-length further back.
MOLLY LEADS HOME A 1-2 FOR TOM
Tom O’Neill had reason to be happy after the feature of the undercard, the final of the RCETS A3 Tri-Distance, as he sent out both the winner and the runner-up.
Ballyhooly Hi was the hot favourite for O’Neill but it was his lesser fancied kennel companion Our Dog Molly that ran out a tremendous winner.
Owned by the Boys From Bally Syndicate, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Fortune Himary displayed superior early speed to her rivals to move into a comfortable advantage by the corner. In contrast, Ballyhooly Hi found himself with plenty on his plate at the second turn.
Despite showing fine back straight pace and staying on well, Ballyhooly Hi was never going to threaten. Instead, Our Dog Molly ran right to the line to run out a deserving, and most impressive, three length winner in 31.34.
MEENAGH MOVES LIKE A MISSILE
Michael Corr sent out Meenagh Missile to win the A2 opener, in turn initiating a double for his handler.
Second behind the fast starting Abbeyville Best into the back straight, the son of Droopys Cain and Meenagh Midget flew into the third turn to take charge before holding the strong late surge of Neon Lights to win by a length in 28.84.
BATTERY CHARGES HOME TO COMPLETE A CORR DOUBLE
The second leg of the Michael Corr double came in the A1 penultimate race on the card as Droopys Battery displayed his fine early speed to lead from soon after the drop of the hat.
Owned by Roy Ball and Trevor Pearson, the son of Romeo Recruit and Droopys Harbour went on to beat Brayview Bally by a length and a half in 29.01.
SUPERB SUNSHINE DOMINATES
Racing ended with a superb front running display from Noeleen Bray’s Sunshine Tiger.
Making a flying start from trap five, the son of Laughil Blake and No Recollection was soon three lengths clear and he had little more than a solo trial thereafter. Highview Mags ran on strongly to take second but Sunshine Tiger emerged a comfortable three length winner in 28.71.