THE first meeting of 2013 at Tralee Track last Friday night will be remembered with quite a bit of satisfaction by those who slated Droumeragh Queen from 3/1 to even-money.
It takes a fair bit of dosh to shorten odds like that and, as it turned out, Droumeragh Queen delivered for her supporters in quite brilliant fashion. The March '10 daughter of Head Bound and Droumeragh Pride, which Michael A Reidy trains in Ballyheigue for Drew O'Meara and Eileen Sullivan, of Cahersiveen, timed her break to perfection from trap 2 in what was the ninth race (open 525yds) and nothing stood a chance with her as the race progressed.
She finished five lengths in front of Killahan Trumpet in a sizzling 28.64 and, for sure, it was a lovely gamble landed.
Mind you, Droumeragh Queen's time wasn't the fastest of the night, being five spots behind that produced by Miss Mitsy (Ballymac Maeve - Ballymac Mitsy} in the preceding race for A1 class. Miss Mitsy, which was wearing the blue jacket, was led out of traps by Chili Charlie, but she produced a superb turn of foot to be the leader off the first bend from Chili Charlie, Millridge Bonus and 4/5 favourite, Head Piper, and she kept the gallop going quite brilliantly up front to score by two and a half lengths from Head Piper in 28.59.
It was very much a Dowling family victory, as Liam trains this bitch at his base in Ballymacelligott for his sister, Jane. Two other winners on the night also got inside 29secs, namely Glenduff Dazzler in the seventh race (A2 class) and Facebook Kate in the tenth race (A1 class).
Glenduff Dazzler (Kinloch Brae - Do The Bookies), just like Droumeragh Queen and Miss Mitsy, brought superb early pace into play to be the leader off the first bend from Musketeer Man and Tip The Black and he wound up beating Tip The Black by two lengths in 28.95, giving local owner, Sean Leen, a fourth victory from just nine starts.
In relation to Facebook Kate (Rumble Impact - Oakfield Tara), she clicked for local trainer, Pat McMahon, and Lixnaw owner, Patrick Flaherty. Outstanding early pace was the key factor here, too, and Facebook Kate was always going to win after leading off the first bend from Jeffs Scolari, which battled really well for much of the trip before losing out in the end by two and a half lengths in 28.94.
Interestingly, bitches won seven of the ten races on the programme, which is pretty unusual, and one of them, Ballyfidora Ellie, followed up a debut win on the first day of December by winning again in a time of 29.29, which represented an improvement of an impressive 36 spots.
Also making it two from two was Freds Choice, which broke at the tail of the field in a 325yds race and still managed to come through and win by a neck in 18.09.
He was a warm favourite, at 4/5, and he is sure to be a hot market order again next time out in his bid for a three-timer.
Other winners: Mystery Head, 29.96; Baltimore Snowy, 29.58; Bound Tobe Shaw, 31.98; Another Signal, 29.35. Bound Tobe Shaw was returned at 5/2 and paid 21/1 on the tote, which is the kind of thing that happens in greyhound racing all the time and is most definitely one of its attractions for the smaller investor.