SPEED DEMONS THRILL IN GOLD CUP

Ian Fortune

It may have been a chilly Saturday in Dublin but the second round action in the Tote Gold Cup certainly helped to heat up proceedings at Shelbourne Park with some of Ireland’s best displaying sensational early speed.

All four heat winners went fast but honour of going quickest went to Carrick Aldo, although Glengar Martha was just behind him on the clock.

Heat 1 – A SWEET RUN FROM COCO

Boylesports Coco fluffed her lines in the opening round before qualifying in a distant fourth but she certainly atoned for that run in the opening quarter final, showing all her brilliant early speed to get the better of Ballymac Finn.

Hello Mom rocketed from the inside box but Boylesports Coco had her measure into the turn. The Dolores Ruth trained daughter of Droopys Sydney and Barn Swallow displayed massive early speed to turn in front and she was never going to be stopped once taking over. 

Ballymac Finn, after finding little room to race in the early yards, finally got loose into the back straight and soon head Neon Night to go second. He closed on the pace-setter but could never get past. John Boyle’s Boylesports Coco emerged a fully deserving winner by a length and a half in a rapid 28.30. Ballymac Finn was second with Neon Night containing Optic Chico to take third, a further two lengths adrift.

Heat 2 – EXILE HITS THE ROAD HARD

Early speed was again the deciding factor in Heat 2 with Richard Colwell’s Road Exile showing his rivals a clean pair of heels into the turn and throughout.

The Pat Buckley trained Kingdom Derby champion is also a top class sprinter and his two-bend pace was very evident.

Hukum actually broke fastest but immediately took a bump from the rail-seeking Mikeys Millie. This left Road Exile with the room required and he flew through the gears to go clear into the turn. His market rival Deadly Style also went up fast to turn second but he was always facing an uphill task.

Road Exile moved with real purpose throughout to eventually emerge a two and a half length scorer in a very slick 28.31. Deadly Style ran well in second to hold the challenge of Octane Cora by a length and a half. 

Heat 3 – AWESOME ALDO

The David Murray trained Carrick Aldo has begun 2024 like a greyhound with his eye on further classic glory.

The Irish Sprint Cup champion was simply majestic in Heat 3 as he again displayed incredible speed both to the turn and down the back straight on his way to a most impressive success.

Thomas Glynn’s brilliant son of Droopys Sydney and Minnies Hazel posted a sensational 15.79 to the third turn to comfortably lead Jetstream Breeze. As you would expect, the latter did run on well to close on Carrick Aldo up the home straight but there was no catching the pace-setter. Cruising home, Carrick Aldo hit the line two lengths clear in a sizzling best of the round 28.05. Jetstream Breeze produced a career best effort in defeat in second with another six length gap to Lotto Other News in third. 

Heat 4 – MAGICAL MARTHA

Glengar Martha was impressive in the opening round but her second round display was off the charts as she left a talented field standing on her way to a facile 28.07 success.

In doing so, she completed a tremendous double for Pat Buckley after the earlier victory of Road Exile.

Richard Colwell’s daughter of Droopys Sydney and Glengarbadminton has always been talented but she seems to have matured into a serious performer. That was never more evident than on Saturday as she shot from traps to dictate throughout. Another Holiday was again installed an odds-on favourite but h drifted to the middle of the track to bump De Foxy Devil in the early yards. All the while, Glengar Martha was accelerating into a clear advantage.

Turning with a length and a half in hand, she quickly set about putting the result beyond doubt. Running a magnificent second bend, she entered the back straight four lengths clear and continued to pile on the pressure to the third turn. Glengar Martha was six lengths to the good by the third turn and she was relentless up the home straight. This was easily a career best for Glengar Martha as she hit the line eight lengths clear of Another Holiday. Simons Cap was best of the remainder in third, a further three parts of a length back.

Undercard

BOB MAKES A STATEMENT

Boylesports Bob displayed all manner of promise in his early outings last summer.

Ultimately, he had a relatively disappointing end to 2023 but Paul Hennessy was clearly right to give the son of Good News and Roanna Bess a sabbatical as he returned in rare form on Saturday.

John Boyle and Ned Murphy’s tracker was a brilliant winner of the finale over 550yds. Showing huge pace and strength, he turned a close second to Scooby The Jet before moving through the gears from the second bend. Ranging up to the leader on the third turn, Boylesports Bob powered his way to the front before running on strongly for a three-length victory over the early leader in 29.42. Have no doubt, Boylesports Bob is a greyhound that will challenge for major honours in the coming year.

BIG JIM TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Ballinabola Jim returned to Shelbourne Park to produce a stunning run over 575yds in the A1 second race.

The Brendan Murphy trained powerhouse was weighing in at a massive 90lbs but it was scarcely evident as he shot from traps like a nimble puppy to dominate.

The Murphy Ballinabola Syndicate owned son of Good News and Ballinabola Rum was in control from the opening yards and he pulled right away to leave his rivals standing. At the line, Ballinabola Rum had no less than six and a half lengths to spare over the always second Tribal Syd in a brilliant 30.97.

TREAT COMPLETES A MERRIMAN DOUBLE IN STYLE

Dolores and Gerry Merriman had a superb double with the victory of Highview Treat in the RCETS Open Bitch 525 the undoubted highlight.

Here Droopys Kamari set a strong pace after a flying start but she was always under pressure once Highview Treat moved second as they entered the back straight.

The daughter of Superior Panama and Highview Picture narrowed the gap to the third turn before making her move on the run in. Powering home, she emerged an impressive length winner over Arent We All in 28.42.

ROSIE LEADS LATE

Highview Rosie had earlier initiated the Merriman when returning from a lengthy layoff to win the opener.

The strong running bitch came home well to deny long-time leader Mikeys Gamber. The latter took charge on the bend from the luckless Twofourone, who was clipped from behind, and set a strong gallop until running out of steam on the run in.

Highview Rosie was left second early in the back straight and the daughter of Jaytee Jet and Highview Lauren stayed on well to secure a two length victory over the fast-finishing Twofourone in 28.93.

BONO ON SONG

Daring Bono found himself in a perfect position to strike in the penultimate race of the card over six bends.

After the big two in the market, Kinturk Road and Delightful Izzy clashed on the opening bend, Velvet Jeny found herself in control but Daring Bono was ultimately too close in second.

Showing superior strength to the leader, Jimmy Maguire and Michael Millar’s son of Broadstrand Bono and Emers Diva came through in the closing stages to emerge a good winner. The Michael Meade trained November ’21 whelp emerged a three length winner over Velvet Jenny in 42.08.

MARCIA JUSTIFIES FAVOURITISM

There was a very competitive Novice 750 on the card and Michael Butlers Ballymac Marcia eventually came out on top despite being forced to check her stride on more than one occasion.

The talented daughter of Ballymac Cashout and Ballymac Minton was never too far back and came with a decisive charge around the last two bends. Getting up the inside of Chelsea Pat, she stayed on to win by three parts of a length from the same rival in 42.33.

REBELDE GETS LOOSE

Early speed was the key to success in the second semi-final as La Rebelde flew into thee turn to just escape his rivals.

Avongate Venus emerged a close second but his limited experience was clear as he checked sides on three different occasions when attempting to challenge.

It all meant that the Micky Corr trained La Rebelde maintained his advantage. Owned jointly by Roy Ball and Trevor Pearson, the well bred son of Good News and Coolavanny Chick held off Avongate Venus by three parts of a length in 29.01.

PINTS ON PILATES

Sprightly veteran Pintsnotpilates made the most of a near perfect draw in the A1 fourth race to come home in front for Martin Lanney and the Pintsnotpilates Syndicate.

Always to the fore, he charged past Daring Bowie down the back straight and eased on to see off the staying on Brayview Picture by a length and a half in 29.03.