SCARTAGLIN trainer, Maurice O'Connor, didn't enjoy any luck with College Maybe in the last race at Shelbourne Park last Saturday night, but it was quite a different story at Tralee track where he recorded a terrific double with a relative novice called Maum Quenn and the far more experienced Black Warrior.
Maum Quenn (Ballymac Ruso - Headleys Jenny), which is owned by Thomas O'Sullivan, of Castleisland, made her competitive debut just eight nights previously at the Oakview venue and she was hugely fancied, being returned at 4/5. However, she enjoyed absolutely no luck in running and was beaten into third place in an estimated 29.50. It meant that she was able to reappear in A5 class last Saturday night in the semi-final of an 18-greyhound sweepstake, which is acting as a fund-raiser for Raheen community playground and this time, again at odds of 4/5, she revealed her true potential by trouncing the opposition.
She didn't exactly get the best of starts from trap 3, but she motored very sweetly to the first bend, to be second off it to Ahavoher Sword, and she ran the back straight to such effect that she was a two-length leader at the third bend. From this point onwards, she really devoured the ground and she finished no less than nine and a half lengths ahead of Ahavoher Sword in a quite brilliant 28.64.
It came as no surprise that it was the fastest run of the night for the standard distance and, to sweeten everything beautifully for Maurice O'Connor, Black Warrior (Black Shaw - Grainnes Girl) delivered for him three races later when clocking 28.70 in an open class race. Black Warrior is owned by the NolanO'Connor syndicate, of Castleisland, and he set himself up for victory with the slickest of starts from trap 3. Once leading off the first bend, the only thing to be decided was his margin of victory and that turned out to be three lengths over dead-heaters, Hollys Secret and Killahan Rocky.
In relation to the Raheen community playground sweepstake, the final is being run this Saturday night and it is impossible to oppose Maum Quenn.
Other winners last Saturday night: Tewmax, 29.62; Extreme Star, 18.27; Gotta Have Faith, 29.47; Book Maldini, 29.04; Crann Mara Wish, 18.22; Andthen, 29.11; Mileheight Olly, 29.08; Aughacasla Jack, 29.19.
SHELBOURNE Park is putting on a particularly spectacular show this Saturday night, with eight races over varying distances each carrying a winner's purse of €10,000. It's called "The Night Of Stars" and, of course, patrons at Tralee Track can sit back and watch all the action unfold on the track monitors, as is the case with racing at the Dublin venue every Saturday night.