There is no doubt amongst the racing fraternity in Kilkenny that winning a McCalmont Cup is right up there with any achievement in dog racing. The honour for 2012 went to the Kiely family from Kilmallock and Shaneboy Spencer (Droopys Scolari-Shaneboy Maria).
A bumper crowd was in attendance for what was an excellent night’s racing on Friday. Amongst the crowd were people out to support the Castlecomer Community School Benefit Night. Punters sent Shaneboy Spencer off at evens favourite. He did not disappoint.
The evens favourite blasted from trap 1 and none of his rivals could live with him to the bend. Shaneboy Spencer poured it on down the back stretch and was six lengths to the good by the third turn. Sawdust Terry chased hard and closed the gap as Shaneboy Spencer began to fade.
Sawdust Terry came home with a rattle but Shaneboy Spencer held on to win by a length and a half in 29.01. It was the early pace of Shaneboy Spencer that proved the key to victory, enabling him to claim the 4,000 euro first prize and his place in the history books.
The opening race was an a4/a5 contest. After a level start, Dixies Special showed the early pace to lead to the first bend. Dixies Special was a length ahead of Knockdrinna Duke into the second bend but by the third, the duo were locked together.
In behind Chicago Matt getting into top gear but he still had five lengths to find. Matt closed the gap in a matter of strides pushed his way to the front at the last turn. Chicgao Matt (Hades Rocket-Kilcloney Wine), trained by Thomas Leahy eased away from the front duo and galloped to a four length win over the running on Staplestown Hawk in 29.51.
The s1 300 final saw an even break from traps. Holding the prime position in a race like this, Ballybough Kid moved to the fore along the rails into first. Even Number Out went around the outer but never troubled the Martin Leahy trained Ballybough Kid. Ballybough Kid (Ace Hi Rumble-Droopys Lynx) took the final by three lengths in 16.50.
The third race was the Glanbia a3/a4 and it produced a lucky winner. Brickfield Duke was very slow away from trap 6 and trailed the field into the opening turn. There was chaos at the bend and Brickfield Duke went from a bad last to a clear first in a matter of strides.
Two lengths clear of Flomur Phoenix at the second bend, Brickfield Duke maintained that lead down to the third bend. Staying on stoutly, John Delaney’s Brickfield Duke pulled away to defeat Kerry St Boy by three and a half lengths in 29.80.
Paddys Kimberly showed best early on in the S.R.S a3 525 and led Frontier Sound and Flomur Perla into the first bend. Perla joined the leader into the second and the pair were neck and neck down the back stretch. Frontier Sound was hot on their tails but ran into the back of Paddys Kimberly.
This bother allowed Siobhan and Grace Murphy’s Flomur Perla(Droopys Scolari-Flomur Pebbles) to kick clear and she took full advantage to score by four lengths in a career best 29.15.
The final of the M and A Coaches a5 saw the impressive Kilara Alice sent off the ½ favourite. The favourite was well away but Lemon Mel and Raggtaggle Mia showed the early dash to lead to the bend. Lemon Mel went on as Kilara Alice was bumped out of contention.
Lemon Mel kept on going up front and was six lengths clear at the second last. Incredibly the challenge on the run home came from Kilara Alice. Alice flew home and got within two lengths but could not get to Lemon Mel. Pauline Lennon’s daughter of Premier Fantasy and Lemon Abby was foot perfect all the way round as she took the first prize of 950 euro in a time of 29.33.
The Harrington Bookmakers Open 725 final was a five dog affair after the withdrawal of St Mullins Pride. Leap Of Faith was sent off the 4/7 favourite but failed to show as Skywalker Cindy popped out of trap 2 and got a solo. Three lengths clear early on, the Niall Dunne trained Skywalker Cindy was left with only Woe Girl to beat after trouble at the third bend.
The daughter of Westmead Hawk and Droopys Williams easily held off that challenge as she won by six lengths in a smart in 40.54.
The Gunner a1 525 saw the best time of the night posted by local favourite Mickys Trickster(Westmead Joe-Sporty Woman) trained by Martin Fortune. The semi-favourite was matched for early pace for the first number of strides by Fast Transfer but could the better of his rival on the run to the first.
Mickys Trickster cleared five lengths ahead of Fast Transfer out of the second as he took control. Welesbourne Dan went second coming home and though he reduced the lead to three lengths, he was never catching Mickys Trickster who triumphed in a time of 28.93.
The last race was the Academy Hotel Dublin a2 race. Shes Only Saying was fast away while both Mt Leinster Link and Locnamon Angel both showed early pace. Locnamon Angel continued to show big early dash as she led out of the second, moving four lengths clear of Shes Only Saying.
The pace setter started to come back to the field by the third and she was eventually picked off by Shes Only Saying at the last. Shes Only Saying (Maryville Rumble-Tyrur Tara), trained by Paul Hennessy was first past the post, a length and a half ahead of the fast finishing Master Blaster in 29.29.