We started with 8 runners in the opening round and we’re still there with 4 in the draw for the second round drawn today. There was a lot of pressure given the tough qualifying criteria of only 2 places in the opening round so to get half our team through is pleasing. Obviously we would of liked for them all to progress but that’s dog racing.
Millbank Stevie started the team off on Wednesday. Missing his break at trap rise, he was always up against at this point. In arguably the toughest of the heats on Thursday and was never able to land a blow in a race good enough to grace a final of a competition. He has now moved to Seamus Cahill to continue his race career in the UK.
Thursday was a better night as 3 of our 5 runners progressed. We didn’t have to wait long either as Gaytime Hawk won the opening race of the evening. Facing a small bit of crowding at the opening turn he was looming large along the back straight. Round the final two turns he ran a very clever bend before running on strong to take the win. A solid 28.51 recorded time.
Next up was Riverside Pat and Hoffs Nephew in Heat 18 together. Riverside Pat progressed here, when going down by half a length in second spot but Hoffs Nephew ran a brilliant race for one so young and inexperienced. Leading everywhere but the final strides he’ll come on bundles for the experience.
Vans Viking never showed his true form in Heat 19. He trapped well but failed to stamp his authority on the race going into the opening bend and once in behind in this class you face an up hill battle. He was found to be sore the next morning so will head back to Ireland in the coming days.
Heat 20 saw Clares Wonder display his brilliant early pace to take control early on. Trapping well he was some four lengths clear into the opening turn. Showing good pace down the far side he was eventually run down to a length crossing the finish line. Another good end time of 28.44.
Friday saw Sidarian Blaze and Sidarian Vega, our final two runners, take to the track. Sidarian Blaze did everything right in Heat 30. Breaking well, he paced up to the bend nicely before going round on the rails in front. Going through the gears along the back straight he cruised to a three and three quarter length victory in 28.33. Sidarian Vega, having his first competitive race since early March failed to lead up to the first bend. Showing great pace along the far side he moved in to contention heading into the third turn before drawing along side the early leaders around the final turn. Unfortunately he ran out of gas slightly and faded on the run in. An encouraging run given his recent absence from the track.