Peter Farrell

Next week’s opening round of the Centenary Tipperary Cup will be hotly anticipated based on some of the fantastic performances put on show last night at Thurles Park. Boylesports Xtra was the star over the four bends but Azzabi gave the clock a real scare over the sprint distance.

The Centenary Thurles Open/A1 525 topped the billing on what was a ten race card at the Premier track and Boylesports Xtra (Droopys Jet - Droopys Adelaide)fulfilled expectations with a paw perfect performance. The Night Of Stars Open 525 winner had an encouraging return to racing at Shelbourne Park last week and despite this being his first race at Thurles Park, the Paul Hennessy trained star looked right at home. Out like a bullet from trap four, Boylesports Xtra clocked a slick 1.77 split on route to the opening corner and was well on his way to victory at this point.

Anytime Joe looked the biggest threat prior to the race and this so proved as the veteran performer set off in chase of the leader. However, John Boyle’s greyhound was flying out front and although Anytime Joe contributed by running a huge race in second, he was three and a half lengths adrift come the winning line. The time was a blistering calculated 28.49 and should this greyhound take his place in next week’s opening round of the Tipperary Cup, he will have massive outright claims.


Elsewhere on the card there was a sensational performance from the Thomas O’Donovan owned & trained Azzabi as she gave the track record a real scare over the 330 yards.

Perhaps more known for her exploits over the four bend distances, Azzabi warmed up after lockdown with a fast 18.87 trial at Limerick and shook off any track rust with a satisfactory display at HQ last week. However, the daughter of ‘Azza Azza Azza - Miss Pyromaniac’ stepped it up several gears last night with a phenomenal display. Leaving traps on a spring from trap four, this race was firmly put to bed upon entrance to the opening corner as Azzabi outpaced her rivals to scrape the paintwork rounding the bottom two corners. Soaring up the home straight to an easy six and a half length victory, the time returned a sizzling 17.48, just shy of the track record. A huge effort from O’Donovan’s bitch. 


Another hot looking contest on the night was the ‘Ardnasool Jet @ Stud A2 525’ and Shaws Striker produced a trap to line performance to hold off Boyhero for the win.

Well away from trap five, Shaws Striker showed the superior early dash to take the field into the opening corner. Boyhero was close heading into the back straight and the race was still very much up for grabs as the greyhounds set a strong gallop into the bottom two bends. Owned by Jim Armshaw, Shaws Striker was nothing if not game out in front though and despite being asked questions by Boyhero in second, the son of ‘Ballymac Vic - Shaws Impact’ stuck to his guns well to grab victory by half a length. The time was a sharp 28.89.