Friday 20 April 2018

'Ashfield Impact' forges sixth win

THERE WAS a great card again at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night last featuring the second round of the Comerford Cakes Puppy Stake. The new superstar, ' Paradise Madison', did it again as, for the second time, he broke the 28-second barrier when recording a superb 27.96, showing the doubters how good this son of 'Headbound' is.

There was also Co. Wexford success in the open 525 when 'Ashfield Impact' returned to winning ways in his first race since his somewhat unlucky elimination from the Laurels semi in Cork. 'Ashfield' got out well and showed the superior early pace to go on, keeping up the gallop well all the way to score an impressive 28.46 win - his sixth.

This son of ' Ballymac Maeve-Minglers Impact' is proving a tough nut to crack when he gets near the rail. Owner Kitty Goldsmith and trainer Vincent Morris will be looking forward to some more good nights in the coming weeks.

Last Friday night saw two good winners at Waterford as the David Jordan (Wexford town)-owned 'Archaton Brat' scored at the second time of asking when taking race two by a clear six lengths in a time of 29.26. This son of 'Archaton Pine' out of 'Mantha' is improving nicely.

The semi-finals of the Friends of Kilcohan 325 featured, and the Michael Henderson-trained 'Crucial Kaka' ('Droopys Kewel-Droopys Addie') was a very impressive winner of the first semi when scoring by four and a half lengths in a fast 17.54. Owner William Byrne will be hoping for a similar effort in this week's final where he will be joined by two more Co. Wexford runners, 'Altesse Frankel' owned by Jack Finn (Gorey), and 'Bannow Bruce' owned by Thomas Colfer (Bannow) who finished second and third in the second semi won in 17.80.

As with any final, there is no sure thing. The one that does it right on the night, especially in a sprint, will be hard to catch, but it is difficult to see beyond 'Crucial Kaka'.

Talking of finals, the Leger final at Limerick on Saturday night was touted as a two-dog race between the two dogs who went unbeaten through the stake, 'Priceless Sky' and 'Skywalker Puma'. When 'Priceless' led and 'Skywalker' missed it, it looked long odds on he would score, but along came 8/1 shot 'Cashen Mafuma' who put in a powerhouse finish to get the verdict in the very last stride.

Isn't racing great? There is no such thing as a certainty until they have passed the line.

There was another bad blow for greyhound racing last week though with the announcement of the closure of Oxford track at the end of December. With Wimbledon also under pressure and no word of Sky's intentions for next year, it seems that there are more challenging times ahead as is the case in all businesses at the moment.