Greyhound racing: Hennessy left to toast Priceless triumph
Paul Hennessy's Priceless Sky raced to a hugely impressive victory in the final of the €20,000 SIS Live Gold Cup at Shelbourne on Saturday night.
A thrilling decider didn't involve the favourite Camas, which was badly bumped on the opening bend.
From a level enough break, Isabels Boy showed the superior early pace to forge ahead on the run up, but Priceless Sky was a close second on the bend and the pair were left well clear.
Priceless Sky drove around the corner as Isabels Boy checked momentarily and the race was over, with the winner crossing the line three lengths clear in 28.91.
Ardfert Thunder came through to claim second by two-and-a-half lengths from Isabels Boy.
Priceless Sky is owned by Bryan and Kathleen Murphy, who live in the Cayman Islands, and Hennessy afterwards indicated that the English Derby will be the dog's next target.
This, incidentally, was a seventh victory in this early-season feature for Hennessy.
There was some extremely fast racing in the second round of the Kirby Memorial at Limerick, with the Owen McKenna-trained Roxholme Bully producing the fastest time once again in the event.
He stopped the clock in 28.32, having won in the opening round in 28.34.
Bully took the lead before the first bend and was left clear when there was a melee in his wake, striding home with 10 lengths to spare over Ardrahan Zebo.
Next best on the night was the shock first-round winner Kisses For Cloda, which led all the way for a three-length margin over hot favourite Ashford Castle in 28.43.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney was in Athlone yesterday to present the National Greyhound awards and, not surprisingly, Derby and Oaks winners Skywalker Puma and Milldean Tally took the top honours.
There was a terrific reception for both Fraser Black and Jackie Devine as they accepted the Hall of Fame and Special Merit awards respectively.
Dog Of Year: Skywalker Puma
Bitch Of Year: Milldean Tally
Stayer: Future Boy
Newcomer: Paradise Madison
Stud Dog: Head Bound
Brood Bitch: Talita Beauty
Special Merit: Jackie Devine
Hall of Fame: Fraser Black