No fewer than four sweepstakes got underway last night in Thurles Park and the standout performer was once again Star Blake who produced a masterclass of front running to make it back to back wins.
Owned by the Amazing-Four syndicate, Star Blake is certainly in the form of his life at present and after producing a career best 28.75 last week, the son of Laughil Blake lowered that mark once again in the second semi final of TTSC Good News/Belles Direction A1 525. Posting another rapid 1.77 split from the trap six, Star Blake flew into the opening corner to take the race by the scruff of the neck. Rounding the opening bend clear, the impressive black stretched out brilliantly down the back straight and stayed on strong close home. Three lengths better of that Moonlight Melody in second, the time was a terrific estimate of 28.55.
The opening semi final was also claimed in nice style by the Dominic O’Brien and John Meehan owned Dashing King. Swiftly into stride from trap five, Dashing King showed scorching early pace to take a commanding lead into the back straight. Maintaining a strong gallop thereafter, Save Me Paddy served as the biggest threat entering the bottom bend. This was short lived however, as the John Byrne trained son of Good News - Tomahurra Cloud pulled out more late on to account for a half length victory over Double Good in second. The time was 29.31.
JOEY QUICKEST IN 330
The first of the sweepstakes to get up and running was the Track Supporters Club S1/S2 330 and the fastest of the two semi finals was Trap Joey (Droopys Jet - Mt Heaton Daisy).
Seeking his first career win, Trap Joey was only moderately into stride from trap one and had to play second fiddle early on as Kiwi Kaye led early doors. However, the Karen Murphy owned dog ran a brilliant bend and stormed up the home straight to come home three parts of a length clear of Kiwi Kaye in second. The time was a fast 17.97.
The second semi final was also claimed by the red jacket as Totos Cottage (Droopys Kewell - Ronans Lass) ran out a trap to line winner. Owned by Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack notched his first win since May 2019 as he came home two lengths clear. The time was a good 18.06.
BEE LEADS THE BUMPER
The fastest return in the semi finals of the Christmas Bumper Raffle A3/A4 525 came in the opening semi final as Borna Bee made it back to back wins for Ruairi Dwan.
A daughter of Mileheight Alba - Borna Heidi, Borna Bee came from off the pace in her last outing and it was a similar story last night as after a moderate start from trap one, she had to do things the hard way to grab the win. Vics Vicky led around the opening turn but the writing was on the wall midway down the back as Borna Bee took control. Staying on well thereafter, Borna Bee had a half a length in hand at the winning line as she saw off another strong finish from Great Jet, who ran a big race, back in second. The time was 29.23.
Not too far behind on the clock was Bogger Coco (Skywalker Farloe - Alien Gem) who landed the third semi final for owner Liam Peacock. Well away from trap four, ‘Coco’ was outpaced in the early exchange by Tekapo Proposal and it was the latter who led into the back straight. However, Bogger Coco was never too far away and she produced a strong running performance from halfway to stay on best of all and snatch victory. Half a length clear at the line, the time was 29.28.
Montore Joe (Laughil Blake - You See Bolt) was perhaps expected to produce a make all performance in the second semi final given his abilities over the sprint distance but he had to reel in the longtime leader, Leamaneigh Drean to land the spoils. Four lengths adrift heading into the back straight, James Treacy’s greyhound wore the leader down and eventually ran out a half a length winner. The time was 29.37.
ABIGAIL STORMS HOME IN POT
The final sweepstake of the night was the two semi finals of the Christmas Split The Pot A5/A6 525 and Abigails Sky was quickest to ensure her favourites tag ahead on next week's final.
Running in the opening semi final, Abigails Sky took a decent break from six and stayed out wide in the early exchanges as Deecee Farloe led the way. The outlook of the race soon changed midway down the back straight as Abigails Sky mowed down the early leader and it became apparent that Tina Morrissey’s bitch was going to run out a convincing winner. Stretching out well around the bottom two corners, the daughter of Toolatetosell - Mandeville Can stayed out strongly in the closing stages and had five lengths in hand at the winning line. The time was a good 29.23.
The second semi final was won by the Thomas Everard owned Mackee Mikado (Droopys Nidge - Mackee Biscuit). Having broken well from the inside box in two, Mackee Mikado surrendered the lead to Monadreen Pearl around the opening corner but after clinging to the coat tails down the back straight, Mackee Mikado swept back to the front at the crown of the penultimate corner. Running out a convincing winner thereafter, there were three lengths between them at the winning line. The time was 29.38.