Peter Farrell

The finals of the Willie Maher ‘It’s Good to Talk’ A5 525 and the Sonny Butler Memorial A4 525 came to a conclusion last night at Thurles Greyhound Stadium and both produced two excellent winners to cap off some brilliant racing at the Premier venue over the past number of weeks.

Kindly sponsored by Ger Butler, the Sonny Butler Memorial A4 525 carried the biggest prize with €1,650 up for grabs to the winner and this went the way of the 4/5 favourite, Paleriva, as he made it three wins on the spin in the competition. Owned by Shannon Smith, this greyhound came into the decider in red-hot form and his 29.06 .20s from the semi finals was a quickest of the stake up to that point. Brilliantly housed in trap one, Paleriva broke well from the inside and was bettered only by Micks Elite early on as the latter displayed his customary early pace on the outside. However, despite being forced to check at the second turn, the well bred Paleriva quickly asserted down the back to storm past Micks Elite and take a healthy advantage into the penultimate turn. From here, the son of Droopys Sydney and String Of Pearls romped to victory as he quickly excelled into a seven and a half length lead crossing the line. Short Again came through well to grab second and it was Timahoe Cavani who managed to pick up a podium position back in third. The time was a slick 29.07 .20s.


Prior to that, the final of the Willie Maher ‘It’s Good to Talk’ A5 525 took centre stage and this saw Totos Farloe (Farloe Blitz - Rosmult Racer) produce a big finish to land the spoils.

Kindly sponsored by the Maher Family, this looked a wide-open affair on paper and it was Pookies Future who went off as the 7/4 favourite to land the €1,300 first prize. From a level break, it was in fact Anytime Boss who emerged from the pack to show sizzling early gears to lead around in trap five. Next up was Stage Man in second and the duo battled it out down the back with eventual winner, Totos Farloe, some four lengths further adrift in third place. However, the complexion of the race was to change around the bottom two bends as Stage Man faded, which in turn saw Totos Farloe storm into second and he was to give chase to Anytime Boss rounding the final turn. The leader clipped at this point, Totos Farloe was to take full advantage as Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack’s charge finished at speed to cross the line one length clear of the unlucky Anytime Boss in second. The time was 29.35 .20s.


Elsewhere on the card, there was another mini-sweepstake final on offer and this came in the form of the Split The Pot A6 570, carrying a winner’s purse of €600. 

The talking dog in the final was of course Sober Speed after his impressive 31.49 .20s performance in the semi final but he was to go even faster for Sean Malone and David Flanagan as he produced another scintillating performance. Running from trap three, Sober Speed went off as the understandable 4/6 favourite and he broke well from the middle to show the best of the early speed to lead around the opening corner. Chased in second at this point by Blaketon, there was just over one and a half separating the pair down the back but it was in the latter half of the contest where Sober Speed would excel. Drawing clear around the final two turns, the June 21’ son of Magical Bale and Bull Run Ballad flew up the Thurles straight to cross the line with six lengths in hand over the gallant Blaketon in second. Another brilliant performance from this promising puppy, the time was a red-hot 31.34 .20s.