Peter Farrell

The semi finals of the Greyhounds Make Great Pets A3 575 highlighted a twelve-race Limerick card last night and it was Vigorous Jim who stole the show with a terrific performance in the second semi final.

Owned and trained by Ronny Wuyts, Vigorous Jim caught the eye in defeat last week to Midfield Duke but he was available at generous odds of 7/2 with fastest first round winner, Malvern Avenue, installed the even money favourite. Quickly into stride wearing the blue jacket, Vigorous Jim tracked the early leader Leamaneigh Scout into the opening bend where he took control rounding the turn. From here, the son of Droopys Jet and Vigorous Hilary, a September 19’ whelp, set a powerful gallop down the back and although challenged by the fast finishing Ballintuber Cain in the closing stages, Wuyt’s charge held on to score a second career victory. The time was a red-hot 31.48 as Leamaneigh Scout claimed the final qualifying position in third.


In the opening semi final, Knockalton King delivered a late surge to justify his even money price tag and land the spoils.

Jointly owned by John Byrne and Dominic O’Brien, Knockalton King nestled in behind Cloondarone Lady on the approach to the opening corner and it was as you were entering the back straight. Tracking the leader throughout, Knockalton King is a very strong-running type and he always represented a threat despite the leader still holding a solid advantage entering the penultimate corner. Still with three lengths to make up, Knockalton King delivered a late flurry in the closing stages and he was to chin the long-time leader, Cloondarone Lady, on the line, by a head. The time was 31.69 with Sopwell Thady also qualifying back in third.


Aside from the two semi finals, the most eagerly anticipated race on the card was the Barking Buzz Open 550 and Minuan Flyer ran out an easy winner to make it four wins on the spin.

Many eyes would have been drawn to Magical Mary in this contest after her stunning 28.10 debut performance at Limerick but this was to prove a one-dog contest as Minaun Flyer dominated from the outset to run out a convincing winner. Pinging the lids from trap six, the Gordon Vaughan-owned greyhound, a 6/4 shot, quickly asserted control on the run-up and he swooped the opening turn to take a healthy advantage into the back. Trained by Gerard Burke, the son of Droopys Cain and Droopys Dream extended his lead thereafter and he flew home to record an eight length victory over Magical Mary, who after shipping a hefty opening bend bump, made up monstrous ground to claim second. The time was a blistering 29.53 and no doubt the Matchbook Irish St. Leger is next on the agenda for this greyhound.


Bright Holly broke her maiden status in good style in race three as she made every post a winner for Mary Lynch. Fastest into stride from trap three, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Cnoc Holly set a good gallop throughout and she was a length and a half clear of Hazelhill Moll at the winning line. The time for the 5/2 chance was 28.75. It proved a fruitful night for Mary Lynch as she also sent out Bright Legend to land an A1 550 later on the card. This time trained by Michael O’Meara, Bright Legend also led from the outset as he claimed a length success over Blastoff Ben in second. The time was a useful 30.26.

Killaheen Mac (Laughil Blake - Killaheen Queen) was having only his second start in race four but he followed up a second place finish on debut with an excellent display. Owned by Fintan McNamara, Killaheen Mac, a 5/2 chance, was led early on by Balistic Larry but he pegged his rival back entering the back straight and stayed on strong thereafter to score by four and a half lengths. The time was 28.83.

There was only one sprint on the card last night at Limerick and Cu Jet made it back-to-back wins in fine style for Fintan Kennedy. A winner last time out in 18.93, the son of Droopys Jet and Lodgefield Chloe, a 4/5 favourite, was to shave another few lengths off that time as he bolted from trap one to make every inch of the running. Coming home two and a half lengths clear of Mohane Madison in second, the time was a slick 18.80.

Mohane Socks hit the post on his last outing at Limerick but he wasn’t to suffer the same fate last night as he made every yard to double his career tally to two wins. Owned by Cormac Davern, Mohane Socks, has brilliant early pace and he pinged the lids of trap two to take a commanding lead into the opener. From here, the son of Ballymac Vic and Mohane Misty, a 6/4 shot, set a strong gallop throughout and stayed on well to see off Cooneen Mick by a length and a half. The time was a rapid 28.71.

One of the most versatile greyhounds in training is that of Finnure Storm (Shaneboy Spencer - Brickfield Boxer) and he recorded an unbelievable 19th career win last night. Owned by the Finnure-Storm-Syndicate and trained by Denis O’Malley, the August 17’ whelp broke smartly from trap two and he held all the aces into the opening corner. Setting a fine gallop thereafter, Parody emerged a huge threat in the closing stages but Finnure Storm held firm to seal a short-head victory. The time was 28.96.

On a night with some brilliant performances, the final race of the evening proved no different as Millrose Brandy (Ballymac Matt - Laughil Linda) ran out a comfortable winner. Owned by Ger Cremin, the 7/2 shot broke smartly wearing red and he duly made every post a winner as he set a ferocious gallop to score by three lengths at the line. Salmic Sunset in second, the time was a hot 28.56.