3/1 shot claims the Fine Gael Novice 2 525 Sweepstake at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium
You ignore Liam Dowling at your peril. He wasn’t expected to win the final of the Fine Gael Novice 2 525 Sweepstake (winner, €1,100) at Tralee Track on Saturday night because his charge, Ballymac Sahara, was a 3/1 shot against three 2/1 joint favourites in Crossfield Wilma, Una Maachina and Sporting Shinny, but Ballymac Sahara left them all in the shade and in some style as well as she clocked a quite magnificent 28.32 (.20 fast) in winning by four and a half lengths from Sporting Shinny, which is owned and trained by Abbeyfeale’s Jerry Griffin.
Ballymac Sahara, a February ’21 daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Jaytee Sahara, did the business from trap 3. It was tight into the opening bend, but she just cleared it ahead of the Jack Kennelly-trained Una Maachina and that was that, as good as anyway.
She ran the back straight to such effect that she held a five-length lead over Steady Rambler rounding the third bend and, although Sporting Shinny ran on quite well from behind, this lady’s task was a hopeless one. Third home was Patrick Fennell’s Steady Rambler, which was the outsider of the field at 4/1.
Framing the odds, as he regularly does on a Saturday night, was Patsy Browne and, while Ballymac Sahara might have been a winner for him in the book, he could hardly have shown a profit on the night bearing in mind that seven of the nine winners were 2/1 or less.
For one thing, Maglass Sydney was slated to 4/5 in the final of an A6 525 sweepstake (winner, €480) and he duly delivered for Bill Carmody, of Ballymacelligott. There was also a bit of a gamble on an earlier winner, the Abbeyfeale-owned Rattlesnake Best, which was backed from 2/1 to 6/4.
In relation to Maglass Sydney, he could be called the winner of the A6 final once he led around the opening bend from trap 1. He might have been beaten at the semi-final stage by the Ballylongford-owned Blanemore Bucko, but he always held the strongest of advantages this time and he hit the line three and-a-half lengths ahead of Donie Mulvihill’s charge in 28.74 (also .20 fast), with two and-a-half lengths back to Feora Honey. A late withdrawal was Muingwee Dolly.
The first 525 race saw Move To Soon excel in clocking 28.63 first time out for Jack Foley, of Abbeyfeale, while the last of them, for A1 class, saw Lukie Mac win the most exciting of finishes in 28.58 for Brendan Murphy, of Cahersiveen.
Over 325yds, Hayeses Sky flew around in 17.60 (.10 fast) for Eddie Sheehan, of Athea, while Rattlesnake Best clocked 17.89 (also .10 fast) in landing his gamble. Other winners: Himalayan Kevin, 17.81; Cú Ciarraí, 17,78; Steeple Rd Music, 28.95.
AMAZING TRIALS: Before racing on Saturday night, Patrick Guilfoyle brought three stars from his Moneygall kennels for trials in advance of the start of the Boylesports Irish Derby (not Shelbourne Park for him, mind you!) and they absolutely burst the clock.
Explosive Boy broke 28.00secs for 525yds by recording 27.91 and Good Cody did even better by recording 27.83. Over 325yds, Magical Kuba flew around in 17.20.
It is some tribute to the Oakview venue that Guilfoyle chose it above Shelbourne Park for such trials, but I have it on very good authority that the man is a huge admirer of Tralee for its safety and the fact that it doesn’t take that much out of greyhounds that run there.
Those responsible for the current state of the Tralee surface can certainly take a big bow.