Greyhounds: Joker fans all smiles
Thurlesbeg Joker carries an unbeaten record into the final of the College Causeway/ Killahan Phanter Easter Cup following a brilliant performance in Saturday's semi-finals at Shelbourne Park.
Toomaline Jack set the anticipated hot gallop up front but the writing was on the wall when Thurlesbeg was a close second entering the back straight. Owen McKenna's dog edged ahead between the final bends and went on to win by two lengths from Toomaline Jack in a sizzling 29.48, with Faypoint Man three lengths adrift in third.
The four-runner first heat saw Shaneboy Lee gain a head victory over Tyrur Chris in 29.91. This pair had a great duel from the third bend and Shaneboy was just the stronger. Olympic Double also made it to the final another two and a half lengths back.
Irish hopes in the Scottish Derby virtually disappeared when both Tyrur Speedy and Newlawn Class were involved in a first-bend melee in the second semi-final. Fastest qualifier for next weekend's final was the former Davy Reynolds-trained Nambisco, now under the care of Carly Philpott. The remaining Irish hope is Ballymac Rebound which is half owned by Limerick's Joe Cahill.
The John Kiely-trained Rossa Baby will be a strong favourite for next Saturday's McCarthy Insurances Cork Oaks after another brilliant performance in the semi-final at Curraheen Park. She swept to the front at the third bend and won by five and a half lengths from Tullymurry Kiara in 28.49. The other heat winners were Pencray Lass in 28.77 and Droopys Kina in 38.54.