DUE to a lack of entries, the Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks has been put back by a week in the hope that extra entries materialise for the valuable event.
Brian Collins reports that he had only 21 entries in the book. It is disappointing that such an event has failed to fill and perhaps it might encourage some discussion on the question of the framing of competitions with particular emphasis on the number of entries and the number of qualifiers for the subsequent rounds!
The Cork Oaks was advertised for 36 bitches and a winner’s prize of €5,500. The heats were to be run next Saturday but the new closing date will be next Monday with the first round to be run on Saturday week, March 25th. The event will now be a three-run competition for 24 bitches and the winner’s prize will remain at €5,500.
Racegoers at Limerick on Saturday night last were treated to a feast of greyhound racing with a number of high-class performances in the first round of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Juvenile 525.
There was a splendid four-timer for Kerry owner/breeder/trainer Liam Dowling while there were doubles for Pat Buckley and Graham Holland. But the highlight of the night was the flying 28.35 run from the Fraser Black trained Vancouver Shea.
The opening heat saw Pat Buckley with three runners and they filled the first three placings. Owned by Beverley Lochead and Austin Whelan, Bentekes Bocko (Tullymurry Act/ Tullig Paula) was fast into stride and led into the back from kennel companions Killinan Rosie and Droopys Cabaye.
The latter pair challenged hard on the run-in but Bentekes held on for a length verdict over Killinan Rosie in 28.61 with Droopys Cabaye a neck third.
It was another two and a half lengths to Kerrydale Bertie in third.
Liam Dowling had the first of his four winners in the third heat where the Javier Jarne owned Borsalino (Droopys Scolari/ Coolavanny Angie) displayed strength in winning by three lengths in 28.92. Jaytee Warrior displayed good early to lead but Borsalino wore him down along the back and was in front by the fourth bend. Ivy Hill Blitz came through to take second and it was another length and a half to Jaytee.
In the third race Jaytee Warrior got off to a good start and had a two length lead over Borsalino into the back straight with trouble in behind. Borsalino challenged into the third and bravely got through on the inside to show ahead on the fourth bend. He ran on well to win by three lengths from Ivy Hill Blitz in 28.92 with Jaytee Warrior a length and a half third.
Peter Cronin has a strong team on duty and his Cometwopass (Ballymac Eske/ Zero Two) was in brilliant form as he won Heat 4 in runaway fashion.
Having just the third race of his career the Stephen Carroll owned dog led to the bend and was clear down the back as there was trouble in behind. Cometwopass won by nine and a half lengths from the strong finishing Elusive Heights in 28.71 with Springwell Josie half a length third.
The second of the Dowling winners was the all the scorer Toocoolforschool (Definate Opinion/ Vicraz) which led up from Allen Junior in Heat 5. Lughill Robbie moved up to dispute the lead with Toocoolforschool down the far side but the latter resisted the challenge and asserted again around the third bend on his way to a two length margin over Allen Junior in 28.80. Third place was filled by Lughill Robbie just a length further back.
But what a night it was proving to be for Tralee handler Liam Dowling and he struck for the fourth time as the lightly raced Ballymac Laughil (Ballymac Vic/ Laughil Linda) was a surprise winner of Heat 9. The favourite here was Native Chimes which had finished second in the Leger last year at this track and he had every chance as he entered the back straight just over a length behind the leader. But he could make no impact whatever on the leader and Ballymac Laughil ran out a very game length and a half winner from Native Chimes in 28.76. Then it was five lengths to Knockfinisk Glen in third.
Graham Holland turned out his second heat winner when Drive On Tipp (Droopys Scolari/ Mohane Patient) also brought up a double for owner Larry O’Rourke when winning Heat 10. O’Rourke had been on the mark with Droopys Pogba and in Drive On Tipp he has a real early paced star. Drive On Tipp shot out of the inside box and was three in front of kennel companion Nitro Notorious into the far side. He never relented in his gallop and increased his advantage to five lengths by the line in 28.64. Nitro Notorious was four lengths clear of third placed Magical Vinny.
Brendan O’Shea’s lightly raced bitch Crossfield Kate (Sparta Maestro/ Crossfield Betty) was a most impressive winner of Heat 11. She showed the superior early pace to lead into the bend from Go On Ronnie and Hovex Mick but there was crowding on the corner and Crossfield was five in front as she entered the far side. Burgess Dubh moved second at the 750 box and ran on strongly but Crossfield Kate kept on well to win by three and a half lengths in 28.53. Hovex Mick recovered well from the first bend trouble to be a similar distance back in third.