Peter Farrell

With all things BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park, there were a few future stars being blooded down in Limerick and it was Jerrys Stag who set the standard in the opening round of the Slippy Cian @ Stud ON3 525.

There were clearly whispers surrounding the talent that Jerrys Stag possessed prior to making his debut last night and as such, he went to traps an odds-on 4/6 favourite to land heat two. Trained by Patrick O’Connor for the Crossofwood-syndicate, Jerrys Stag broke well from trap three and despite having Racenight Mandy for company in six, he displayed the superior early gears to hold all the aces approaching the opening corner. It was a straightforward night’s work for the son of Droopys Cain and Clounbrane Kerry thereafter as he stretched clear down the back and powered up the straight to score by seven lengths. Lubagh Range was next best in second and the time was a brisk 28.64.


Despite it being a novice contest Oh Oh Rapido still looked the one to beat in the opening heat of the night and the Pat Guilfoyle-trained bitch scored in impressive style.

Only a January 20’ whelp, Oh Oh Rapido broke like a seasoned performer as she rocketed from trap two to quickly take control. It was one-way traffic thereafter as the choicely bred daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Killinan Baby, owned jointly by Eoin Flynn and Colin O’Connor, drew clear to cross the line a comfortable five and a half length winner. The time for the odds on 4/6 favourite was a swift 28.79.


The concluding heat of the novice unraced was landed by Dripdropsnackbox for owner Darryl O’Lone.

Heading to traps a 5/2 market chance, Dripdropsnackbox came away well wearing the red jacket and he defended the rails smartly to lead into the opening corner. The son of Candlelight King and Balance sheet maintained a good gallop thereafter and despite Cree Loch making some eye-catching ground up in second, Dropdropsnackbox still had two lengths to spare over his rival at the line. The winning time was 29.30.


The concluding race on the card looked a cracker and it was Ballyea Scrutiny who followed up on his recent fine form for Noel Gavin to come out the right side of a photo finish.

Trained by Tom Flanagan, Ballyea Scrutiny (Droopys Buick - Flandys Hawkeye) was chasing an eighth career win and after his recent form, which has seen him hit top grade at Limerick, he went to post a 9/4 chance to maintain his brilliant run. It was Magical Poppy and Madams Belle who broke best of all from the middle as Ballyea Scrutiny sat menacingly in third rounding the opening corner. However, after running an excellent second bend, Ballyea Scrutiny took charge down the back and looked an all-out winner on the run for home. Magical Poppy was to come back for more late on though, but despite her best efforts, Ballyea Scrutiny held firm to see off his rival by a head at the winning line. The time was a very nice 28.59.


The AO/A1 550 looked like another closely run affair on paper but it was turned into a procession as Minaun Flyer ran out an easy winner.


Owned by Sean Hayes, Minaun Flyer and Loxley soon turned this contest into a two-dog affair as the duo battled it out early on in what was an exciting buckle. Loxley was at the head of proceedings after a fast break from five and he held a narrow advantage over Minaun Flyer heading down the back straight. The latter took charge at the sprint box however, and from here the son of Droopys Cain and Droopys Dream stormed home to seal a five length win over Roaming Mystery in second. The time was a brilliant 29.77 for the 3/1 chance.


Excess Golf is a Limerick regular and he sealed a hat-trick of wins last night in race five, an A3 550. Owned by John Kirwan, Excess Gold led early on from trap two and it was a case of extending his lead with every stride as the son of Skywalker Puma and Coolavanny Spice set a powerful gallop to come home over eight lengths clear of nearest rival, Dromore Fiveo, in second. A 2/1 market chance, the time was a swift 30.07.

Race six saw the first of the marathon contests and Sporting Rita justified her 1/3 starting odds to come home a comprehensive winner. Owned by Michael Rowe and trained by Jerry Griffin, Sporting Rita was already in close proximity at trap-rise as she held her rails pitch in trap one to sit second behind Caspian Bleu early on. Taking charge on the home straight first time around however, Sporting Rita was a certainly at this point given her prior strong running abilities and she upped the ante from halfway to sail home a comfortable winner. Over six lengths clear from Caspian Blue in second, the time was a slick 41.73.

The formidable team of Javier Jarne and Pat Buckley sent out 6/5 favourite Takat Aka (Droopys Sydney - Palatine Diva) to win race seven in off-the-pace fashion. Moderately away from trap two, Takat Aka sat third in the early exchanges behind the expected leader in Nodgos Pet. However, after showing good courage at the opening corner, Takat Aka took charge and from here, he stuck to his task well to see off the fast finishing Vigorous Vincent in second. The time was a fast 28.78.

Airfield Oscar was seeking his second win from three starts in race eight and the Bernadette Walsh-owned tracker obliged in good style. Breaking well from trap four, Airfield Oscar immediately sought out a rails pitch and he showed fine determination to nip through at the second turn. Trained by Denis O’Malley, who had a winner earlier with Finnure Storm, Airfield Oscar drew clear thereafter and the son of Laughil Blake - Airfield Buddy pressed home his advantage in the closing stages to win by six lengths from Adamant Phoenix in second. The time was a smart 28.82 for the 11/8 favourite.

Jerry Griffin recorded a double in race nine as Mister Cool (Droopys Sydney - Silver Charm) landed the novice 750 in comfortable style. Like his kennel companion, Sporting Rita, Mister Cool took over from Mustang Moll midway up the home straight first time around and from here, the 9/4 chance, owned by Ann Corry, was never in any danger of being caught. Staying every yard of the trip, Mister Cool crossed the line four lengths clear of the dead-heating pair of Knockalton King and Tyrap Ferage in second. The time was 42.00.

Ballyelan Bingo is running at the top of his game at present and after clocking 28.82 last time out at Limerick, Kathy Scanlon’s charge went faster again in coming from behind to land the spoils. An 11/4 market chance, Ballyelan Bingo was forced to play second fiddle to Castleivy Blake for the majority of the contest but after sticking to his guns well throughout, the son of Laughil Blake and Ballyelan Comet pounced late to cross the line with a short-head in hand over his rival. The time was a terrific 28.69.