Peter Farrell

The first meeting of 2021 got underway at Limerick Greyhound Stadium last night and on what was a very cold track, the racing itself provided some fine performances despite the 29 second barrier remaining intact.

The fastest time on the night came in the curtain raiser as Rockalong Sierra, who is only a June 19’ whelp, got his racing career off to the best possible start in an ON2 525 event. Out in front wearing the blue jacket, the result was never in doubt for Rockalong Sierra as the powerful son of Droopys Cain - Sues Stout followed up an impressive qualifying campaign with a virtual solo for owner Donncha McNamara. Enjoying a commanding lead throughout, Roackalong Sierra showed plenty of speed down the back straight before pressing home his advantage in the closing stages. Galloping out to a five length win, the youngster stopped the clock in a very useful 29.07 and one would suspect there is more to come going forward.


The next best in terms of the clock came in the top race of the night which was Slan Abhaile A0 525, landed by recent 28.69 winner, Sheriff. Chasing a seventh career win, Sheriff broke well from five but was headed in the early exchanges by Selinas Oscar who opened a four length lead down the back straight. Sheriff is as tough as old boots however, and the son of Ballymac Eske - Cat Girl was hot on the heels of Selinas Oscar in the closing stages of the contest. With a certain inevitability about the result rounding the bottom corner, Sheriff pounced with fifty yards remaining and duly landed the spoils for the Martins-Gang syndicate. Boasting a two and a half length victory, the clock returned a decent 29.09.

Racenight Lulu (Confident Rankin - Sizzling Daisy)doubled her tally in race five as the Kevin O’Shea trained bitch produced a fast finish to claim victory.It was Cherrygrove Bear who came away best of all from trap four to lead into the opening corner as Racenight Luluhad to make do with second place. Tracking well in behind however, the orange jacket of the latter got her rails pitch and was edging closer as the duo battled it out down the back straight. Rounding the bottom two bends and Racenight Lulu stepped it up a gear with fifty yards remaining and O’Shea’s bitch ran out a convincing winner in the end. Over four lengths better off at the winning line, the time was 29.10.

There was another trap to line winner in race seven as Hippy Chick (Taylors Sky - Barnagrane Glen) raced to victory for owner Michael Ryan. Chasing a first win from just her third start, Hippy Chick pinged the lids from trap three to take the early initiative. Galloping well throughout, Ryan’s charge was under constant pressure throughout from Lissatouk Tom but she stood firm to win by a length and a quarter at the winning line. The time was 29.18.

A greyhound who entered veteran status during the tail end of 2020 was Caulry River (Farloe Tango - Horseleap Nicola) but he showed no signs of slowing down as he claimed race eight with an off the pace performance. Owned by the Mary-Ellen's-Gang syndicate, Caulry River was chasing an eighth career win and he was well away from trap six to dispute the lead into the opening corner. Sweeping the turn in front, Caulry River soon took control to enter the back straight with clear daylight. Galloping on strongly thereafter, there was a length and a half separating himself and Mine Robin at the winning line. The time was 29.22.

Gurtnacrehy Rose landed victory last week for the kennel of James Kelly and litter brother Gurtnacrehy Tom (Laughil Blake - Tyrur Jennamarie) got in on the act last night as he made all to record a sixth win from just ten starts. Fast away wearing the black jacket, Gurtnacrehy Tom got the rails pitch he was seeking early on to enter the back straight with a clear advantage over Sushi My Friend in second. The order remained the same rounding the bottom two bends as Gurtnacrehy Tom stayed on well up the home straight to claim a length and a half victory, in a time of 29.28.