Storm Ciara did all she could to disrupt the action at Shelbourne Park on Saturday but, thankfully, racing went off without a hitch and Ballymac Anton produced a brilliant display to capture the Best Car Parks Gold Cup.
With conditions expected to suit the stronger greyhounds in the line-up, it was no surprise that the Leger hero was installed the 7-4 favourite for the €20,000 showpiece. Grangeview Ten set a blistering gallop but Ballymac Anton was too close once turning second.
Within three lengths at the third turn, Ballymac Anton bridged the gap as the leader showed fatigue. Moving upsides as they hit the home straight, Ballymac Anton eased away to cross the line in 28.87. Ballymac Inspeed, a kennel companion, flew home to grab second.
It was a remarkable result for Liam Dowling, who owns, trains and bred the first two home. He is likely to target the Easter Cup with the duo, while an English Derby challenge must also be on the cards.
Elsewhere, Irish staying champion Redzer Ardfert was out of luck in the opening round of the Golden Jacket. The Brendan Maunsell-trained powerhouse missed the start and found bad traffic before crashing out of the competition in fourth.