The going was good in Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday night and there was a nice crowd in attendance when the fastest time for a number of years was recorded by a dog who only came back into the Red Mills Juvenile Stake as a reserve.
The traps were moved in recent months so it is understandable that times would get faster, but this was still a very special run by the dog in question. That dog was Skywalker Puma, who came back into trap one after the withdrawal of Skywalker Kate from the first semi-final. In an open betting heat, Skywalker Puma was sent off the slight favourite at 2/1.
After a level start, Bawnfune Bound, Mahogany Boy and Priceless Sky battled it out to the first. Skywalker Puma got a run on the rails and there was a ball of dogs together at the second bend. Skywalker Puma asserted as he passed the sprint box and impressed as he raced down to the third.
Galloping onwards without missing a stride, Skywalker Puma (Royal Impact-Dianes Ranger), trained by Frances O’Donnell, came home five lengths ahead of Ringtown Sony in a blistering 28.63.
The second semi-final saw Keelogs Diamond sent off the odds on favourite. Liveanddangerous and Lachteens Shaw showed early and they were joined going to the first by Keelogs Diamond. Keelogs Diamond and Lachteens Shaw tangled and this conspired to leave Liveanddangerous clear.
The Paul Hennessy trained son of Top Honcho and Olympic Show was three lengths clear down the back stretch and stayed clear to finish those three lengths in advance of Allen Master in a time of 28.86.
All the eyes in the opening semi-final of the James Tynan memorial a3 525 were on Priceless Pilot after his Houdini acts in recent weeks. While Priceless Pilot once more came from another parish, it was not enough to secure victory this time around.
Gortkelly Rooney led up to the first bend, where he avoided the trouble behind. Inkerman also avoided the bother and the pair went on with Gortkelly Rooney two lengths in advance.
The remaining quartet were brought to a near standstill, including Priceless Pilot who was the best part of 15 lengths behind as he rounded the second bend. Inkerman closed up on Gortkelly Rooney between the last two bends before kicking for home.
All this time Pricelesss Pilot was working his way back into contention. Priceless Pilot flew home but could not get to the professional Inkerman (Nobooth For Gary-Zigzag Shot) who held on by a half a length in 29.28.
In the second semi-final the Martin Leahy trained Ballybough Pa (Ace Hi Rumble-Droopys Bambi) gave his supporters no worries until late on as he popped out of trap three and made every yard. The 6/4 chance got the bend in front and cleared three lengths ahead of Knockdrinna Duke down the far side.
Stoney Rebel and Locnamon Bridie went after Ballybough Pa in the latter stages and they closed the gap as the long time leader began to tire. In the end, Ballybough Pa held on by a half a length in 29.27, with Stoney Rebel in second.
The winner of the opener was Cilleve Maeve (Ballymac Maeve-Cilleve Minnie). Flomur Ruby and Sixpence Win went to the first best and avoided the trouble behind. That bother saw a number of dogs, including the winner, baulked.
Flomur Ruby and Sixpence Win reaced on, with the former just shading it. Sixpence Win kicked on off the third but Flomur Ruby came back for more. Flomur Ruby carried Sixpence Win very wide between the bends and this allowed the field to recover and come into the picture.
None were finishing better than Cilleve Maeve and she got home three and a half lengths ahead of Caras Friend in 29.98.
After a level start to the a4 525 Jimmys Biscuit took control of the race and was never headed. After getting clear around the first, Jimmys Biscuit’s early pace carried him four lengths clear of the reserve Itellyagirl.
Itellyagirl kept plugging away and closed to within a length and a half, but she was never getting to Christy Hayes Jimmys Biscuit. Jimmys Biscuit (Ballintore Brave-Bradan Niamh) stopped the clock in a career best 29.15.
The a1/a2 race went the way of the improving Kerry St Boy (Premier Fantasy-Lemon Abby), trained by David Flanagan. After a fairly level start, Daring Panther, Kerry St Boy and Rathorpe Boss went best to the first bend. Daring Panther and Kerry St Boy went on out of the bend, with Daring Panther holding a length lead.
Kerry St Boy made a move up the inner at the third bend but found the door shut. Kerry St Boy came again off the last and took over the lead as Daring Panther faded. Rathorpe Boss stayed on into the picture but last his chance when switching sides. Kerry St Boy got across the line a half a length in front of Rathorpe Boss in 29.33.
The Red Mills Xcel a2/a3 saw Martin Leahy complete a double thanks to the efforts of Princess Gael. The winner was smart into stride and led Dublinhill Boy into the first bend. Dublinhill Boy went by Princess Gael and moved two lengths clear.
Princess Gael (Head Bound-Lemon Sophie) is a strong running lady and came back at Dublinhill Boy. She outstayed her rival in the latter stages and powered away up the home stretch to win by three lengths in 29.29.
Tedo Shadow took up the running early doors in the a3 525. Kishlawn Bullet followed Tedo Shadow around the first and was within a half a length turning down the far side. Kishlawn Bullet moved with purpose and took control of the race in the second of the contest.
Kishlawn Bullet edged away at first but when Tedo Shadow tired, he powered away. Kishlawn Bullet (Crash-Kishlawn Ten) finished five lengths ahead of the running on In Bound Lady in 29.32.