The semi finals of the Limerick A1 600 was the feature on last night’s card at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and upsets proved the state of play as both Down An Hour and Glowing Exile stepped up to land their respective contests.
It was Down An Hour who went narrowly fastest in the opening semi final as John O’Neill’s bitch won at big odds of 6/1, while Glowing Exile left it late to land the second final at odds of 3/1.
In the opening semi final of the night, Edencurra Brae went to boxes the 6/4 favourite to turn the tables on last week's defeat but he was once again slowly into stride which ultimately ended any chance of landing the spoils. In contrast, you could set your watch by Down An Hour and she once again pinged the lids from trap four to lead the field into the opening corner. Some traffic ensued in behind at this point which allowed Ganja Gun to follow Down An Hour into the back straight. Setting a strong gallop in front, Down An Hour showed fine determination thereafter and despite coming under pressure from Ganja Gun in the closing stages, John O’Neill’s daughter of Laughil Duke and Miss July held firm to win by a comfortable length. The time was 32.80 as Bob Olinger also booked his place in next week’s decider, some six lengths back in third.
EXILE LEAVES IT LATE
Glowing Exile had caught the eye in recent starts with her staying power and she once again finished at speed to come out the right side of a photo finish.
As expected, it was Strides Banjo who showed fine early dash to lead from trap three as he went in pursuit of four wins on the spin. Meanwhile, the even money favourite, Yellow Brick, had missed the kick from two and suffered an early bump which left her with plenty on her plate going forward. Sitting in third at this point was Glowing Exile and although Strides Banjo was setting a good gallop up front, the daughter of Vulturi and Ballymac Scala was edging closer and she was to deliver a late flurry. Making steady progress in the closing stages, Glowing Exile wore down Strides Banjo as she powered past her rival late on to score by a short-head in 32.91. Liscanny Ruby was a further two lengths back in third.
LOXLEY LEADS THE WAY
The fastest time of the night over the standard trip was the Sean Stack-owned Loxley who recorded his tenth career win in an open 525 in race ten.
A Limerick regular, Loxley broke well from trap four to record a slick 1.22 sectional early doors and despite disputing briefly with Ballyea Scrutiny, he took charge at the early stage. Setting a ferocious gallop down the back, the son of Laughil Blake - Rallying Way was never under any pressure thereafter and he maintained his momentum all the way to the winning line. Four lengths clear over Ballyea Scrutiny in second, the time was a brilliant 28.53.
Minaun Flyer was chasing a hat-trick of wins in race nine and the Gordon Vaughan-owned runner duly obliged to see off the fast finishing Sporting Rita.
Trained by Gerard Burke, Minaun Flyer is in a real purple patch of late and he broke smartly wearing the black jacket to follow the early leader, Salmic Sunset, into the back. However, Minaun Flyer took control at the penultimate bend and from here, the son of Droopys Cain and Droopys Dream, a 6/4 chance, stuck to his guns well to hold off the fast finish of Sporting Rita in second. A length separating the duo at the line, the time was a slick 28.66.
IN OTHER RACES
One of the most intriguing contests on the night was that of the novice 750 which included the likes of Coolavanny Chick and Magical Poppy. However, it was the Imelda Sinclair-owned Canya Goforit who stole the show with an excellent display. Trained by David Flanagan, Canya Goforit sat in third early on but the daughter of Definate Opinion and Soho Ark took off from halfway to pull clear of her rivals and win by an extending seven lengths. A lot to like about this performance, the time for the 6/1 shot was a good 41.97.
There was a sparkling display from the Barbara Rees Jones-owned Keeperhill Jimmy in race six, the Matchbook Irish St. Leger 525. Chasing two wins from his last two starts, Keeperhill Jimmy came away well from six to follow Balistic Larry into the back straight. The latter proceeded to lead for large parts thereafter but Keeperhill Jimmy collared his rival at the final bend to draw clear. Staying on strongly, the son of Droopys Jet and Cats Belle accounted for a four length win in a fast 28.78.
Another greyhound to dip under the 29-second mark last night was the evergreen Sporry Majestic and the August 16’ veteran recorded an incredible eighteenth win in the concluding race of the night. A 4/1 chance at the off, Sporry Majestic, owned by Patrick & Ciaran Dillon, sat in midway early on from six but as the norm, he finished with real gusty to storm past his rivals and claim a brilliant win. A length and a half better off than Tiswhatitis, the John O’Brien-trained dog recorded a time of 28.85.
Aside from the four-bend action, the fastest over the sprint distance went to Horreilly in race two. Jointly owned by Pat Horgan and Francis O’Reilly, the coursing-bred son of Vale Vale Flyer and Winter Hillside was quickly into stride from trap five and he never looked back thereafter. Never under threat, the 3/1 shot raced to a four and a half length success over Hawkeye Panther in second. The time was a rapid 18.99.