Greyhounds: Turbo boost for McKenna
It was very much a case of as you were when the final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger was run for the first time at the new Limerick Stadium on Saturday.
The McKenna name is synonymous with this classic and Farley Turbo became the 15th winner for the Borrisokane kennel with a superb record-breaking performance. Ger McKenna, who still lives in Borrisokane, had won the Leger 13 times during his illustrious training career. Now his son Owen was gaining his second victory, following on from Lughill Jo in 2007.
The Farley Turbo success was no surprise given the fact that he's undoubtedly one of Ireland's fastest trackers, but he was difficult to fancy in light of his very slow starts in the classic to date.
It was all change on Saturday, as the son of Hondo Black flew out of the four box and raced to the corner, neck and neck with Hare Mack, and just ahead of Judicial Academy.
Having the inside berth, Farley Turbo led from the first bend and the outcome was inevitable when he was a few lengths clear into the back straight. Most of the field had been involved in a first bend dust-up and from here it was exhibition stuff as Farley Turbo powered clear to win by seven and a half lengths from Hare Mack in 29.57 with Judicial Academy five lengths back in third.
This was a superb performance from Farley Turbo, which is owned by Belfast butcher Paul Ellis, and he can now dream of bigger things ahead; trainer McKenna immediately nominated the Easter Cup as his first target in 2011. The Townview Foods Champion Stakes and Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby are other likely targets.