Peter Farrell

Limerick has played host to some top-class racing in recent months and the standard showed no signs of dropping last night as the opening round heats of the Donal Scanlon Memorial A2 525 got underway.

Sheriff has been running at the top of his game in recent weeks and after reaching the third round of the recent Matchbook Irish St. Leger at Limerick, he continued his good form in the opening heat of the Donal Scanlon Memorial. Owned by the Murtys-Gang-syndicate, the son of Ballmac Eske and Cat Girl set the early standard in the competition as he made every inch of the running to seal back-to-back wins. Heading to traps a 6/4 joint favourite, Sheriff flashed from trap three to show a lovely turn of early pace approaching the opening turn. From here, the June 18’ whelp set a scorching gallop throughout to cross the line two and a half lengths clear of Ballymac Casey, who ran an eye-catching race, in second. The time was a rapid 28.62.


Next best came in heat two as Kyletaun Beauty sprung a 4/1 surprise for owner Joe Williams.

Seeking a fourth career win heading into last night's heat, Kyletaun Beauty broke smartly from trap five but was headed in the opening exchanges by Cooneen Mick in two. However, never too far off the pace, the daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Here Comes Pa soon took control down the back and she drew clear thereafter to cross the line four and a half lengths clear of Tally Ho Tyson in second. The time was a fast 28.79.


Vigorous Jim was expected to take a bit of beating in heat three and he proved a class above his rivals in running out a comfortable winner.

A recent stake winner over the extended 575-yard trip, Vigorous Jim was installed a 3/1 chance heading into the event and the brindle was spritely into stride from trap one to lead early doors. Ronny Wuyt’s charge was always going to be difficult to peg back thereafter as he stormed clear of his rivals to seal a six lengths victory over Fergus Lady in second. The time was 28.80.


In the fourth heat of the night, Ocean Hugo (Laughil Blake - Ocean Olive) got back to winning ways in what proved a thrilling contest.

Owned by Tom Fitzgerald, Ocean Hugo broke well from trap five but found Mohane Maggie too hot to handle in the opening exchanges as the latter shot clear from trap three. Nestling in behind the leader however, Ocean Hugo showed great determination to take control at the three-quarter mark. Still all to play for in the closing stages, Ocean Hugo just got the nod crossing the line as he came out the right side of three-way photo as Mohane Maggie and Sharavogue took the minor placings, just two short-heads further back. The time was 29.06.


In the final heat of the night, Hidden Treaty notched a first career win for Chris O’Connor and Eamonn Quinn.

After showing fine early dash in his previous starts before getting caught late, Hidden Treaty was once again off to a flier from two as she led the field a merry dance into the opening corner. Setting a strong gallop down the back, the daughter of Skywalker Farloe and Annas Lucky Girl stuck to her task well this time around as she crossed the line a length and a half clear of Parody in second. The time was 29.08.


Elsewhere on the card there was a double for Liam Dowling as Ballymac Jet and Ballymac Whispa both landed their respective contests in good style.

First up was Ballymac Jet in race three, a 350-yard event, as he justified his starting odds of 4/7. Only a March puppy, the son of Droopys Jet and Ballymac Scala was still searching for his first career win but after taking control at the halfway mark, he flew up the Limerick straight to score a three length victory over Boomin Stalker in second. The time was 18.99.

The double was completed in race nine as Ballymac Whispa came from off the pace to land the spoils. Another seeking a first career win after running into Twoinarow last time out, the son of Ballymac Anton and Ballymac Minto, a 4/6 chance, was ultra-impressive in picking off his rivals to claim the win. Showing big pace from the half-way mark, Ballymac Whispa crossed the line a length clear of Ballygibba Spray as the clock stopped in 28.95


Another kennel to land a double on the night was that of Tom Flanagan and Noel Gavin as Ballyea Sydney and Ballyea Scrutiny both recorded very nice victories.

The first representative to score was Ballyea Sydney in race two as he ran out a comprehensive winner at odds of 3/1. Quickly into stride wearing the black jacket, the son of Droopys Sydney and Sarista proved a cut above his rivals as he blitzed the field to win by five and a half lengths from Varra Biddy in second. The time was 29.04.

The double was completed in the concluding race of the night as Ballyea Scrutiny (Droopys Buick - Flanders Hawkeye) upset the odds to score at generous odds of 4/1. Millrose Brandy led early in this contest but after being pegged back by Ballyea Scrutiny down the back straight, the latter maintained a powerful gallop all the way to the winning line where he finished one length better off than his rival. The time was a brilliant 28.64, the fastest of the night.


There was also a veteran winner on the card as Mohane Vicky led from trap to line to record an amazing seventeenth career victory.

Owned by Cormac Davern, Mohane Vicky has been an unbelievable servant to the Davern’s and after being installed the 2/1 Favourite, she quickly set out her stall and made every yard of the running. Bolting from trap two, the daughter of Ballymac Vic and Mohane Maeve displayed fine pace throughout before holding off Annagh Lucy, by a neck, at the winning line. The time was 29.00 for the November 17’ whelp.