A PARTICULARLY worthy cause benefited from racing at Tralee Track last Saturday night, namely Crumlin Hospital, and a sweepstake made possible by friends of the hospital and offering a winner's purse of €1,500 saw Ballymacelligott trainer, Liam Dowling, quite brilliantly fill the first two places with two of his charges.
Victory belonged to Piu Di Pep (Vans Escalade - Coolavanny Blue), owned by Javier Jarne, of Zaragosa, and the runner-up spot, involving a nice consolation prize of €700, was taken by Motorbar Dreamer, owned by Patrick Lynch, of Trim.
Piu Di Pep was the clear form choice on semi-final running, with 28.69 to his credit, and, from a trap 4 draw, he very quickly had victory wrapped up by trapping quite superbly. He cleared the first bend ahead of Boher Express and Motorbar Dreamer and, once that happened, the only thing to be decided was his margin of victory, which proved to be six lengths over Motorbar Dreamer. The only real battle was for second place and Motorbar Dreamer just edged out on the line by half a length from Boher Express.
The winning time of 28.39 was thirty spots better than Piu Di Pep had clocked in the semifinal, which said it all for the expertise of Liam Dowling, but, of course, all winning times everywhere on the night were put in perspective by the almost unbelievable 27.67 recorded by Paradise Madison in the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Sweepstake at Shelbourne Park.
Did anybody in greyhound racing ever believe that such a time would ever be recorded for 525yds anywhere in the world? Absolutely not.
The semi-finals of two sweepstakes, one carrying the name of Home From Home Help and the other the name of the Legion GAA Club, Killarney, also formed part of Saturday night's programme and it seems safe to predict that the first prize of €1,100 in the final of the Legion sweepstake this Saturday night is destined for young Brendan Maunsell, of Tralee, whose dog, Fire Height Star, clocked 28.69 in the first semi-final.
The in-form local father and son combination of Jimmy and Tony Griffin enjoyed a 14/1 double with Jeffs Planet (18.24) and Jeffs Kate (29.20), while the other winners were Kilcow Blond, 29.46; Rumble Titan, 29.13; Send It Hacking, 27.82; Westwind Beauty, 27.89; Manhattan Rebel, 27.95; Mossend Apollo, 29.04; Saleen Miracle, 29.37.