It was a busy weekend with runners in both the UK and Ireland and we returned with some very nice winners at Clonmel, Curraheen Park and Nottingham.
Despite a disappointing start to the English Derby campaign which saw our only runner on Friday, Black Parachute eliminated, we bounced back with all five of our Saturday runners progressing. Wolfe, looking back to his very best form, produced a brilliant display to take Heat 10. Turning just behind in second he ran a brilliant bend and showed his powerful back straight gears to take control of the race. Continuing to pull clear he crossed the line by nearly eight lengths in 30.72 (-100). Ballydoyle Valor, himself running well in recent contests, continued to come forward with a powerful display to land Heat 15. Hitting the opening turn on the rails but back near the rear of field he railed well to come turn along the far side in 2nd place. Flying down the back he closed the three length deficit with ease before exploiting the gap on the inside at the 3rd bend before easing away to a two and three quarter length success in 30.86 (-120).
The hat-trick of heat winners was complete when Newinn Session produced a professional performance in taking the 16th and final heat of the opening round. Breaking smartly and showing good early pace he looked like he would lead into the opening turn but ran off the opening turn which allowed Bockos Doomie to take over. Now finding himself in third place as they turned along the back he showed brilliant pace to move up to second and closing with every stride. Continuing to close the gap round the final turns he headed the leader as they entered the run in before seeing off the fast finishing, recent Irish Derby Finalist Kilara Icon, as he crossed the line a length and a quarter in front in 31.20 (-130). Lenson Bocko and Feudal Spirit both ran big races in defeat as they both finished 2nd to confirm their spots in the 2nd round draw.
Friday evening saw youngster Fiveoclocksomwer record his second career success with a hugely impressive 28.84 victory at Clonmel. Breaking smartly, holding a wide line, he showed great all round pace as he cruised round to a seven and a half length success. A victory that is that extra bit special having be bred and reared here from two of our stars in recent years, Sonic and Ballinakil Clare. There were 8 top class heats of the Irish Greyhound Laurels at Curraheen Park on Saturday and we came away with qualifiers and one winner as Sweep The Yard took the honours in Heat 2. It was kennel mate Russian Blake who had led early and was leading along the back as Sweep The Yard started to make inroads to the early leaders. Powering home off the final turn he grabbed victory by half a length in 28.25. Chasing Belfast, Newinn Lester and Sevenheads Rock also line up in next week’s Quarter Finals.