Tide of joy for Tralee's Reidy clan
WE said last week that there would be no happier doggy man in the whole of Ireland than well-known Tralee trainer, Michael J Reidy, if Ballyglen Tide won the final of an A4 525 sweepstake at Tralee Track last Friday night and, sure enough, Ballyglen Tide duly delivered. In some style, too, let it be added.
There was €800 at stake, thanks to sponsorship by the track supporters' club, but, for Michael J Reidy, this wasn't about money. It was about the fact that the joint owner of Ballyglen Tide is none other than his grandson, Stephen Reidy (the other joint owner is Brendan Reidy, of Ballyheigue), and one can only imagine the delight of the grandfather at watching Ballyglen Tide stride magnificently to victory.
Back on October 26, Ballyglen Tide won her first race and Michael J Reidy said afterwards that it was the happiest night of his life, such was the pride he took in the victory of a greyhound jointly owned by his grandson.
It sets a new Reidy doggy era in motion and, of course, the people in the track supporters' club who sponsored last Friday night's sweepstake final will be very pleased that Stephen Reidy was the joint owner of the winner, bearing in mind the tremendous role this young lad plays each week in pushing the sales of the club's lotto tickets.
Turning to the story of the victory itself, Ballyglen Tide started really well from trap 1, as did fellow 2/1 joint favourite, Fermoyle Bale, from trap 5 and these two were nicely clear of the field rounding the first bend.
The advantage lay with Ballyglen Tide off the bend and she was most definitely not for catching after that. She held a two-length lead over Fermoyle Bale rounding the third bend and, with Fermoyle Bale checking behind her rounding the last bend, Ardbeg Champ came through quite strongly from the back to chase her home, three and a half lengths adrift, in 29.17 (.20 fast).
Fermoyle Bayle was third, two lengths behind Ardbeg Champ.
Last Friday night's programme also featured three semi-finals of an A3 525 sweepstake, also sponsored by the track supporters' club for its own members (winner, €850), and, clearly, the one to beat in the final this Friday night is the Adare-owned Sausalito May, which clocked 28.66 in the first semi-final.
A powerful pace was cut out by Ballyflynn Lady and she was clocking an estimated 28.87, but she had no answer to the finishing power of Sausalito Bay from the third bend home and lost out to her by three lengths.
Also well inside 29secs in the third semi-final was the Ballylongford-owned Clounamon Queen. She took a flier from trap 4 and decisively controlled matters all the way to the line where she had two and a half lengths to spare from Killahas Tom in 28.87.
In the third semi-final, victory in 29.14 belonged to the Beaufort-owned Skybound Mayo, which prevailed by a short head from Do Damage.
A stewards' inquiry was subsequently held into the running of Do Damage, which had come from a sizeable distance off the pace to be involved at the finish, and he cannot now compete in Friday night's final, his place going to the third greyhound home, Baltovin Gary.
As it turned out, there was another stewards' inquiry later in the night into the running of West In Less, which actually won (by a short head) in 29.50.
Could Baltovin Gary wind up winning Friday night's final? Stranger things have been known to happen, but the two with the strongest claims are undoubtedly Sausalito May and Clounamon Queen and the vote goes to Sausalito May.
The draw for the final is (trap order): Skybound Mayo, Baltovin Gary, Clounamon Queen, Sausalito May, Killahas Tom, Ballyflynn Lady.
Other winners last Friday night: Moyvane Stone, 29.50; Mountleader Ilya, 17.76; Faranbeg Sky, 29.30; Cappa Legend, 17.80; Droumeragh Debby, 28.94; Fermoyle Bolt, 31.49.