Peter Farrell

Sweepstake action was the order of play at Galway Greyhound Stadium on Saturday night and the performance of the night came in the second semi final of the Go Greyhound Racing A1/A2 525 as Lilys Beauty ran to a convincing victory.

Running for Tommy Richardson, Lilys Beauty is as consistent as they come and he was chasing a ninth career victory heading into last night’s concluding race. Sent to traps as a 5/2 shot, the son of Laughil Blake and Droopys Viola was to bounce back emphatically from his fourth place finish last time out to make every yard. Bolting from trap five, the strapping black quickly put the contest to bend within a matter of strides to take control around the opening turn. Trouble in behind allowed ‘Lily’s’ to build a six length advantage heading into the back straight and it was all over barring incident thereafter. Staying on stoutly close home, Lilys Beauty was seven lengths too strong for Ballyea Buck as he stopped the clock in a brilliant 28.67 .10s.

The opening semi final of the same stake was landed in off-the-pace fashion by 4/1 chance Donies Wood. Running from trap four for Declan Kilkenny, Donies Wood had to settle for a place in midfield early on as Hanover Storm dictated the pace out wide. Drombeg Bear showed fine determination to take over midway down the back, however, Donies Wood was edging menacingly closer at this point. Showing the superior stamina late on, the son of Magical Bale and Notimetotalk powered up the home straight and he emerged three parts of a length better off than Hanover Storm in second. The time was 29.25 .10s.


In the opening semi final of the Talking Dogs A4 525, Thisisthelife justified 4/5 favouritism with a comfortable win for Sean Hayes and Michael Malone. Without a win since March, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Maroon Maid took a flier from trap five and she took a healthy four length lead into the back. Maintaining that strong gallop, Thisisthelife never relented as she accounted for a three and a half length defeat of Dryland Phoenix in second. The time was 29.35 .10s.

In the second semi, Brickhill Julie (Ballymac Bolger – Brickhill Layla) made it back-to-back wins for John Collins and Albert Long with a game performance to hold on and score. Just a November puppy, the 6/4 chance broke second behind Heathlawn Black but showed awesome early speed to take over proceedings rounding the opener. Three lengths in hand down the back, the latter did make a real fist of it in the closing stages, however ‘Julie’ kept just enough in hand to score by half a length. The time was 29.46 .10s.

Next on the agenda was the semi finals of the This Runs Deep A5 Dual-Distance and it was Hollywell Viper (Superior Panama – O Mahoney) that set the standard in the opening semi. Running for Alison Coxon, the even money favourite played second fiddle in behind Balrobuck Shadow for the majority of the contest, however, delivered a flying finish to get up on the line by a neck. A bitch that will certainly appreciate the extra yardage next time out, the time for ‘Viper’ was 29.43 .10s.

The second semi was landed by 2/1 chance Crokers Barky as he duly made it three wins on the bounce for John Croker and Stephen Murray. A strapping October puppy, the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Crokers Ruby, the brindle controlled the early running, however, was joined midway down the back by both Fast Fit Rex and Fantasy Penny. Showing fine determination, ‘Barky’ came back for more in the closing stages to get the nod, by a head, from Fast Fit Rex in second. The time was 29.76 .10s.


Elsewhere on the card, there was a fine debut display from Gob Smacked as the Dona Duggan-trained bitch blitzed her fellow debutants.

Jointly owned by Mary Flynn and Irene O’Sullivan, Gob Smacked came into the contest with modest trial form, however, made her intentions clear from the outset. Sent off at 2/1, the daughter of Broadstrand Bono and Blacklabel Magic was briefly headed by Positive Tom, however, took charge on the run-up from trap six to quickly put the contest to bed. Drawing clear down the back, Gob Smacked was hugely impressive from the halfway mark on as she raced to a ten length win over Positive Tom in second. The time was 29.28 .10s.