Thursday 19 July 2018

Lynch closes in on Laurels ambition

Both semi-finals in the Shelbourne Champion 550 produced surprise winners, with the two favourites failing to qualify for Saturday’s final (stock picture)
Both semi-finals in the Shelbourne Champion 550 produced surprise winners, with the two favourites failing to qualify for Saturday’s final (stock picture)

Nohoval, Co Cork-based trainer Kieran Lynch is within striking distance of achieving a lifetime ambition after his flying greyhounds Rockybay Foley and Rockybay Rover posted the fastest times in the quarter-finals of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park on Saturday.

Five years ago Lynch got the outsider Parkgate Jet to the final of the classic, but this time he goes into the semi-finals with two of the four leading fancies for the 525-yard classic.

Both dogs are owned by Chrissie Slyne and Rockybay Foley again impressed as he led all the way when beating Native Chimes by a length and a half in a best of the night 28.38. Rockybay Rover also led all the way when winning his heat in 28.40.

The other heat winners were David Kennedy's Hazelhill Star and Pat Buckley's Nice Mystery, which beat Chawke It Down by a length after a great battle in 28.71.

Both semi-finals in the Shelbourne Champion 550 produced surprise winners, with the two favourites failing to qualify for Saturday's final.

The possibility now is that trainer Graham Holland will dominate the final as he has four of the six finalists and the two litter brothers Slippy Cian and Lenson Blinder won their heats in identical 29.55 times.

The Gain Corn Cuchulainn is due to start next Friday at Shelbourne and entries for the €12,500 event will close today. Entries have been scarce and a surge is anticipated.

Irish Independent

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