HAS greyhound racing ever provided better fare than that which was on offer in Shelbourne Park last Saturday night? Very doubtful.
There was a bit of a blip towards the end of the night in Dublin when the mechanical hare broke down in the tenth race with €10,000 at the mercy of the Cork-owned Knockglass Billy, the Irish Laurels winner, but it was very easy to forgive that and the remaining two races were run off, albeit with a bit of a delay.
This was the night when €10,000 was on offer to the winners of eight races, for just the one run, and the fact that the hare problem was sorted out meant that one of those €10,000 prizes was claimed in the 11th race by the Ardfert father and son combination of Noel and Adrian Clifford, whose dog, Ardfert Thunder, raced to victory against none other than Chris Houlihan's Irish Leger winner, Cashen Mafuma, to make it a marvellous Kerry 1-2.
Another Kerry greyhound running a blinder in Dublin was College Maybe, which finished second in one of the €10,000 races for Scartaglen trainer, Maurice O'Connor, and what should come along and win the big race at Tralee track on the same night but another O'Connor-trained runner, Maum Quenn, owned by Thomas O'Sullivan, of Castleisland.
Maum Quenn (Ballymac Ruso - Headleys Jenny) was the clear form choice in the final of the Raheen Community Playground A5 525 Sweepstake and she absolutely routed her field from a trap 3 draw, winning by no less than thirteen lengths from Andthen in a quite brilliant 28.49 and, in process, putting a very nice price tag on herself.
People from Raheen, Co Limerick turned up in force and, altogether, it was a marvellous night of action at the Oakview venue, especially with so much focus on the televised Dublin programme.
Kerry interest in Dublin also centred on quarterfinals of a €15,000-to-thewinner puppy stake, but, unfortunately, the two big Kerry hopes, Melodys Gamble and Lassa Expedition, were eliminated, the latter being particularly unlucky.
In one of the €10,000 races, over 750yds, another Chris Houlihan runner, Dogwithacollar, finished a very creditable second.
On Tralee's supporting card last Saturday night, 28.77 was clocked by Fire Height Star in the first round of a Legion GAA A2 sweepstake, while the other winners were: Balyfidora Ellie, 29.65; Try Manhattan, 18.35; Satellite Sanna, 29.27; Brackers Fawn, 29.13; Oak Rover, 17.88; Millridge Bonus, 29.06; Boher Supreme, 29.05; Toms Brett, 31.20; Waycross Jane, 29.29.