Greyhounds: Sparta shines on star night
THE Night of Stars lived up to its advance billing with a huge crowd enjoying a marvellous night of racing at Shelbourne.
However, a mechanical problem forced the voiding of the Red Mills 525 and this race is likely to be re-run next Saturday.
That unfortunate incident aside, it was a fantastic occasion and it ended in spectacular fashion as Phil Gough's Sparta Maestro won the much awaited battle with UK star Ballymac Eske in the Gain Feeds 550. Sparta had a length advantage for most of the journey and won the €10,000 prize in 32.29.
One of the real stars was Ruairi Dwan's Borna Gem as she became the fastest bitch ever around Shelbourne in winning the Jim & Tony Bitch 525 in 28.08. She raced powerfully to win by two lengths from College Maybe.
There was a terrific reception for the Declan Byrne-trained White Soks Roks after winning the Dandelion 750. He had a brilliant three-and-a-half-length margin over Dogwithacollar in 41.44.
Frances O'Donnell has another big star in her care in Ardfert Thunder, which belied his lack of experience when running out an impressive winner of the Track Bookmakers 550 in 29.58. He beat Cashen Mafuma by two lengths.
Jim Devlin's Big Casino made it seven wins on the trot when winning the Larry Dunne 350 in 18.70 while the other big winners were Future Boy in 47.53 and Abbeyville Tipp in 31.21.
The quarter-final winners in the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake were Leamaneigh Story in 28.15, Rockchase Reem in 28.75, Scolari Express in 28.46 and Fear Big Star in 28.42.