Collins hoping to hit winning note with Melodys
Melodys Gamble was supposed to be resting just now in advance of a big end-of-year campaign. Instead, he will be a leading fancy for the final of the Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel on Sunday.
Indeed, he could be completing a massive double for Ballylongford owner Paddy Collins and his long-time greyhound partner, London-based Patsy Byrne, as they also have Gamble's litter sister Melodys Diamond in the final of the Roche's Feeds Oaks at Limerick the previous evening.
Gamble is normally trained by Timmy O'Donovan, but when he decided to take a month's holiday in Australia to visit his trainer-son Tommy, the dog went back to Collins for a 'rest'.
Collins was contacted by Eddie Anderson, who was seeking entries for the Produce Stakes, and the dog was in such good form, he decided to have a crack at it.
Gamble is now in the final and is running extremely well. Obviously Paddy and his brother-in-law Donie Mulvihill are doing a fine job with the dog. "He is really getting things together, coming away better than he was and isn't badly drawn," said Collins. "We're hoping for the best on Sunday."
The Race of Champions at Tralee could be next on the agenda, with the Champion Stakes and the Derby the big targets, while Melodys Diamond will have the Irish Oaks very much as her number one priority after Saturday's Limerick final.
She is trained by Declan Byrne and has really matured in recent weeks, reaching the final unbeaten, with her finishing bursts the feature of the competition.
Collins bought the two pups from Peter Carberry, having already owned a number of pups from Talita Beauty's previous litters, including Puppy Derby winner Melodys Royal, which is now doing very well at stud with Willie Brennan. Collins hopes that Melodys Diamond will take over the breeding mantle from her late mum.
The Collins-Patsy Byrne partnership have enjoyed considerable success, with the likes of Melodys Royal and Melodys Pat, and they are now on the threshold of a fantastic weekend.
An eight-month-old bitch sapling by Premier Fantasy out of Dial A Diagnosis will be auctioned on behalf of the Bruff Community Playground at Limerick on Saturday.
Bully for Tralee
Owen McKenna's Roxholme Bully, winner of the Kirby Memorial at Limerick, is to challenge for the Race of Champions at Tralee instead of the original English Derby target. He clocked 28.52 in a trial around Shelbourne last Saturday night.