Peter Farrell

The opening round heats of the Bonus Ball A2/A3 525 got off and running at Thurles Park last night and it was Bogger Seanie who set the early standard with a strong finish to land the opening heat in style.

Owned and trained by Liam Peacock, who set out a double on the night, the April 20’ son of Dorotas Woo Hoo and Ballintee Babe had impressive with a victory in recent weeks but he was to show a different thread to his bow last night in coming from off-the-pace. A 2/1 chance at the off, Bogger Seanie had broken moderately from four but was held by both Cooneen Mick and Private Jet in the early exchanges. However, showing a lovely turn of foot, he improved into second midway down the back straight and looked a potent threat to Cooneen Mick, who held a slender advantage, in front. Really motoring at this point, Blogger Seanie took charge off the final bend and he stayed on powerfully to claim a length victory over Cooneen Mick in second, with Private Jet in third. The time was a fastest of the heats, 29.27 .20s. Incidentally, earlier in the night, Liam Peacock got the double off and running as Callys Lady (Clorane Paddy - Blogger Ophelia) notched a first career win. Leading from trap-to-line, the Shaun Carroll-owned bitch made light work of her 525 contest as she won by eight lengths in 29.54 .20s.

Next best came in heat two as Ratchies Gift made it back-to-back wins for PJ Peacock. A recent winner in 28.93 at Newbridge, Ratchies Gift wasn't hanging around at traprise as she bolted from one to show immediate acceleration into the opening corner. Holding a four length lead down the back, the son of Droopys Sydney and Cashmerekhan was followed by Nowursingin and he was making swift progress midway down the back straight. However, not to be outdone, Ratchies Gift held firm and as he crossed the line a half a length in half clear of Nowursingin in second, with Abigails Power claiming third The time for the 2/1 market chance was 29.40 .20s.

In the third heat of the night, Hazelhill Kelso produced a strong-running performance for Michael O’Connell. A regular around the Limerick and Galway circuits, this was a first race for Hazelhill Kelso around Thurles but he clearly enjoyed his surroundings. A 5/2 shot at the off, the son of Droopys Sydney and Hazelhill Tess didn’t come away too fluently from trap six and after steering a wide course, he found himself occupying the rear positions rounding the opening turn. However, staying out of trouble throughout, Hazelhill Kelso never got a hair rubbed as he coursed around runners to finish at speed and land the spoils. A length clear of Ballybrack Storm at the winning line, the time was 29.59 .20s as Cabra Cleo claimed the final qualification spot in third.

In the final heat of the night, Paddy Scally did get on the scoresheet as Cabra Veyron made every post a winner at odds of 6/4. Flying from trap four to record a slick 1.63 sectional, Cabra Veyron was seeking back-to-back wins and he went about his business in good style thereafter. It briefly looked like Reckless Lee was going to motor past Cabra Veyron down the back but the latter pulled out more in the second half of the race to add to what is an already terrific win record of five wins from ten starts. Coming home two and a half lengths clear of Reckless Lee in second, the time was 29.51 .20s and it was Hollyhill Hero who claimed the final qualification spot in third.