Peter Farrell

Kindly sponsored by Willie Rigney, the eagerly anticipated opening twelve heats of the €20,000 to the winner TIME Greyhound Nutrition Confined A4 Derby took centre stage at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Friday night and as expected, there was no shortage of impressive displays.

Given the incredible prizemoney on offer, it was not surprising to see this event burst at the seams with entries and the sponsors have been richly rewarded for their generous sponsorship in that respect. On the night, it was Canya Mags that set the standard for David Flanagan in respect of the heat winner’s that are permitted to advance into the second round, however, despite being only halfway through the opening round, this Derby is already proving hugely competitive.

Heat 1 - Cloonturk Honey was still searching for her first win of 2024, however, she got back to winning ways in very convincing fashion, running out a comfortable three and a half length winner in the end. Owned by the Tigue-Family-Syndicate, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Brickhill Sharon was quickest into stride from one to take a three length advantage into the back. Extending her lead down the back, the 5/2 chance made every post a winner as she saw off Bellagors Kate in 29.12.

Heat 2 - John Croker and Vincent McKenna were double handed in the second heat and they sealed a one-two for the kennel as Crokers Hugo emerged victorious from Crokers Captain in second. A June son of Droopys Sydney and Crokers Princess, this fellow is a model of consistency and he duly recorded a seventh career win with a flawless break from two. Seeing off his kennel companion, who was flying home, there were just three parts of a length separating the pair as the 3/1 heavyweight stopped the clock in 29.15.

Heat 3 - Avongate Sturdy came into heat three riding the crest of a wave having won his last three starts and the Rory Hickey-owned runner duly made it four wins on the trot. A poor start from six saw the son of Droopys Buick and Droopys Cutey occupy the rear placings early doors, however, traffic at the opener saw ‘Sturdy’ benefit and it was game over thereafter as he set a powerful gallop. Staying on strongly to secure a two and a half length win over Killduff Barkley, the time was a smart 29.06.

Heat 6 - David Flanagan is always a trainer worth following and Canya Mags recorded her first win since December of last year, while maintaining her status in the Derby by a mere two spots on the clock. Owned by Imelda Sinclair, the daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Mags Angel made her intentions felt from the outset with a slick exit from trap two. From there, ‘Mags’ held a solid advantage throughout to cross the line two and a half lengths clear of the staying-on Stac Lee in second. The time was 28.91.

Heat 8 - Adamant Mia won her last outing at Limerick in 29.44 and the John Rainsford-trained October puppy built brilliantly in heat eight as she emerged a fine winner. Owned by Seamus Rainsford, the daughter of Ballymac Cashout and Adamant Freya was briefly headed by Gurtnacrehy Winx early on, however, soon outpaced her rival to take control. In charge from that point on, she was never under any serious pressure in accounting for a two length defeat of Glengar Petsy in second. The time was 29.02.

Heat 9 - Rowlers Lane may be approaching his fifth birthday, however, he took his career tally to a brilliant sixteenth career victory with a determined display for the Liars-Club syndicate. Another who was searching for a first win in 2024, the son of Laughil Blake trapped lively from one before surrendering the lead to Kanturk Power. However, showing all of his experience, ‘Rowlers’ came back for more late on and he raced to a two and a half length success over Yotota Lad in second. The time was 29.20.

Heat 10 - Patsy and Aoife Coffey are never too far away from the winner’s enclosure at Limerick and they tasted success in heat ten as Carrigmore Dante claimed a maiden victory at the fourth time of asking. Indeed, the son of Droopys Sydney and Carrigmore Dizzy sharpened up well at traps to get off to a fast start and although threatened to be undone by Ballycoole Boss at the three quarter mark, he showed the superior stamina to prevail by a comfortably three lengths over his rival. The time was 28.92.

Heat 11 - It certainly was a night to be out in front at Limerick and Trumpers Del followed that trend for Shane Ronayne in heat eleven. A strapping fawn tracker, his red jacket emerged first from traps and he excelled into the opening corner to take charge. Setting a smart gallop thereafter, the son of Ballymac Eske and Trumpers Pebbles crossed the line three lengths better off than Cabra Castro in second. The time was 29.00.

Heat 12 - Anthony Hamilton was represented by Ranchers Crybaby in the concluding heat of the night and the September puppy duly obliged in making every inch of the running. Arriving with some fine Mullingar form, the daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Assarula Runner took to her Limerick surroundings in professional fashion with a slick exit from six to lead. Thereafter, the 4/1 chance was made to work extremely hard Hollyhill Walko, however, the determined black stuck to her guns well to come out the right side of a photo finish. Getting the nod by a head, the time was 28.96.


Given the rules of the Derby, and living into the ‘Confined’ circumstance, there were three heat winner’s that will not be permitted to advance to the second round of the competition due to breaking the magical 28.90 barrier.

The first to do so was Group Starseeker in heat four as David Hanley’s charge powered his way to a fourth career victory. A 4/1 chance, Grangeview Yan led this contest early on, however, was overrun by ‘Starseeker’ as he took control by the opener. From here, the son of Droopys Sydney had Unlock Queen for company but saw off the 5/4 jolly to emerge a one and a half length winner. The time was 28.87.

Heat five saw Ashmore Susie go two spots too quick for John Boyle and Paul Hennessy as the beautifully bred daughter of Susie Sapphire displayed her clear ability. A 6/4 favourite, ‘Susie’ took charge at the second turn before drawing clear in majestic fashion to run out an emphatic, nine length winner over Admiral Croft in second. The time was 28.88.

The quickest winner on the night came in heat seven as By Yourside galloped to a career best effort for John O’Brien and James Mulcahy. 5/2 at the off, the son of Grangeview Ten and Liscanny Skippy came away best of all wearing the stripes and this proved decisive in running out a three length victor over Yousonofathena. Bringing his career tally to five wins, the time was a rapid 28.78.