Peter Farrell

The second round heats of the Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup served as the highlight on Friday night at Thurles Greyhound Stadium and it was Tribal Syd that went quickest on a night where three of the four favourites were turned over.

Running in the opening heat of the night, Singalong Dolly went to traps as the 6/4 favourite just ahead of Mustang Fever at 7/4, however, Tribal Syd (2/1) dominated from the outset to bounce back from a messy opening round affair. Trained by Murt Leahy for Martin Costigan, Indeed, ‘Syd’ didn’t come away too fluently from his wide draw in six but as the field tightened up on the inside early doors, this allowed the terrific son of Droopys Sydney and Myahs Friend to swoop the opening corner with a clear advantage. Holding a two length lead from Grouchos Finn down the back, it was at the three-quarter mark where Tribal Syd really pressed home his superiority. Extending his advantage around the bottom two bends, the June 21’ whelp stayed on with real intent as he saw off Grouchos Finn by six lengths crossing the line. Singalong Dolly, who was squeezed out in the early exchanges, ran a fine race to claim the third qualifying position just another half length shy. The time was a blistering 28.66 .20s.


In the second heat, Bonkerandyonkers bounced back to winning ways for the first time since April as Murt Leahy secured a quick-fire Tipp Cup double.

Understandably, Seven Beach was installed as the 4/9 favourite after his incredible opening round effort that saw him stop the clock in a brisk 28.64, however, the jolly failed to repeat his blistering start on this occasion and this ultimately cost him the race. That said, there was nothing fortunate surrounding the circumstances of victory for Bonkersandyonker as he returned to his very best at traprise. Bolting from two, the son of Droopys Sydney and An Cailin Alainn, a 4/1 shot, powered into the opening corner and he took a slender lead into the back from the fancied runners, Bobsleigh Syd and Seven Beach. Quickly outpacing his rivals down the back, the McLean-Avenue-Syndicates owned charge soon manufactured daylight and he was to stay on stoutly and record a comfortable two length winner over the staying-on Seven Beach in second. The final qualifying position was claimed by Bobsleigh Syd and the time was a fast 28.80 .20s.


In the final two heats, Dolores Ruth saw her representatives produce fine displays and it was the early-paced Ballymun Boy that kick-started proceedings.

Road Exile went off as the 5/4 favourite in heat three and he looked in a spot of bother in the early yards after another sluggish start by his high standards in six. In contrast, Tinahue Pappone broke best of all from his middle berth in three, while Ballymun Boy was charging up the inside after a moderate start from trap one. Road Exile showed all of his sprinting power however, and he quickly soared past his rivals to sweep the opening bend in charge. Ballybun Boy, meanwhile, barged his way through at the opener and he emerged as the main threat to Pat Buckley’s brindle as he gave chase some two lengths adrift in second. Owned by Peter Sutcliffe, Ballybun Boy at this point showed terrific back straight pace to motor alongside Road Exile and within the blink of an eye, the son of Droopys Sydney went clear. Scraping the paintwork around the bottom two bends, it was all one-way traffic in the closing yards as Ballybun Boy stayed on expertly to see off Road Exile by three and a half lengths, in a time of 29.09 .20s. The remaining qualifying position was claimed by Tinahue Pappone, who finished just a further one length back in third.

Jointly owned by Paul Horig and Sean Bourke, Mustang Sally won her opening round assignment with a trap-to-line performance and she implemented similar tactics in the concluding heat, albeit resulting in a judge's call.

As expected, given her 28.77 .20s victory last time out, Mustang Sally went off as the 4/5 favourite and although she failed to reproduce her flying start of previous, the strapping black still had too much early on for her rivals. It was in fact Ballymac Murty that led early in this contest, however, ‘Sally’ quickly asserted on the run-up and she took a three parts of a length lead into the back from Coolavanny Percy in second. Little to separate the pair, further back was Borna Flame and she was showing eye-catching speed in her attempts to get herself into qualifying contention. Mustang Sally continued to dictate however, and she was to prove a tough nut to crack as the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mustang Kay Cee pulled out all the stops to see off the fast-finishing Borna Flame in second. A short-head between the pair, Coolavanny Percy was a further one and a half lengths back in third, in a time of 29.22 .20s.

Incidentally, all four second round heat winners were sired by Droopys Sydney, which is another feather in the cap of the Country’s leading stud.