Peter Farrell

It was the biggest night of the year at Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Saturday as the final of the 2024 Centenary Agri Tipperary Cup came to a conclusion and it was Tribal Syd that produced a hugely impressive performance to hand Murt Leahy another big race success.

Boasting a top-class €7,500 to the winner, it was great to have the continuous backing of the sponsor Centenary-Agri and they were richly rewarded at the outset with an outstanding entry for the renewal. Each round thereafter produced thrilling action and on the night, it was a very open decider with the betting market reflecting as much with Seven Beach just installed as the 6/4 favourite. Tribal Syd was the next best at 2/1, while Singalong Dolly, who alongside Bobsleigh Syd was bidding to give Pat Buckely a third consecutive win in the stake, following closely at 5/2. There were joint 3/1 chances in the shape of Bonkersandyonkers and Bobsleigh Syd, while the outsider of the pack was the local hope Borna Flame at 5/1.


With the break set the prove all-important given the multitude of speedsters in the line-up, it was Seven Beach, who posted that sensational 28.44 in the first round, who broke best of all as Jennifer O’Donnell’s charge posted a 1.79 sectional from trap five to dictate. Some bunching in behind put an end to the chances of both Bobsleigh Syd and Bonkerandyonkers, who were reliant on ping starts in order to prevail, while the big finishers in the race in Singalong Dolly and Borna Flame also gave themselves plenty of work to do as they sat closer to the back of the field than the front early on. Tribal Syd, meanwhile, was very much in contention as he followed Seven Beach into the back straight and Martin Costigan’s charge already looked like a real threat to the jolly as his striped jacket loomed large.


While Seven Beach continued to set a scorching gallop down the back, he simply had no answer to Tribal Syd as the son of Droopys Sydney and Myahs Friend breezed alongside his rival around entering the penultimate turn, before showing him a clean pair of paws to take control. Thereafter, it was a matter of how far for ‘Syd’ as he put on the after-burners to pull clear of Seven Beach in second. Staying on superbly on the run for home, this was a sensational display from Leahy’s charge as he crossed the line an emphatic, three length winner over Seven Beach and the fast-finishing Singalong Dolly, who dead-heated for second place. The time was 28.93 .20s.