Greyhound Racing: Break leaves Ballymac Vic primed for Easter Cup
Ballymac Vic, one of last year's top trackers, is all set to return to action and will challenge for the College Causeway/Killahan Phanter Easter Cup at Shelbourne.
The brilliant son of Kinloch Brae and Ballymac Vicky was given a trial over the 350 yards sprint distance at Limerick last Saturday and flew around in a scorching 18.45 – 15 spots faster than the official track record. In an earlier trial around Tralee, he clocked 17.41, which is just one spot outside the record there.
Owner/trainer Liam Dowling said yesterday: "He is in great form and I think he is a stronger dog this year. He had a couple of months off and mated 12 bitches.
"We will give him either a trial or a race at Shelbourne on Saturday night and then we will go for the Easter Cup. If things go well there, we might well have a crack at the English Derby."
Ballymac Vic ran up the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes last year and won the Consolation Derby before being knocked out in the Laurels semi-final.
Ollie Bray's national record holder Paradise Madison may also feature at Shelbourne on Saturday.
He cracked his head off the trap lid in his sprint trial last Thursday at Shelbourne but still strode out impressively and hugged the rails as usual.
Big race of the week is the final of the GMHD Juvenile Classic at Tralee on Friday, and the Owen McKenna-trained Farloe Calvin will be a short-priced favourite. He has reached the final unbeaten with a best time of 28.39 and he will be ideally suited by the inside trap.
But there is quality in depth in this contest, which carries a first prize of €15,000.
Matt Noonan's Conna Kingsmill is well capable of challenging for the first-bend lead and he appears to be getting stronger with each run. Willow Man can go up well on the outside, while Coolavanny Angie, Broadstrand Xola and Ballymac Jordan will all be doing their best work late.
The Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick reaches the quarter-finals stage on Saturday.
In heat three, we have the strong favourite Roxholme Bully, also trained by McKenna, but pitched against him are strong performers like Droopys Banner, Rockview Turbo and Leamaneigh Turbo.
Clare hurling legend Davy Fitzgerald is making headlines in greyhound racing now as the joint owner of the fine young tracker Droopys Banner. He owns the dog in partnership with vet John Garrahy, and reports suggest that he is not lacking for vocal support in the Kirby Memorial at Limerick.