There was an excellent crowd in attendance on Friday night at Kilkenny greryhound card track as the Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake moved to the second round.
Once again the track was in fine condition and there were a number of fast times posted. The fastest time was posted by the Paul Hennessy trained Priceless Bolt (Barefoot Bolt-Barefoot Contessa) in the fourth heat.
Priceless Bolt was well away with Shiloh Ben on his inner. Bolt showed more dash to the opening bend and kicked on to lead by six lengths down the far side.
Mustang Blitz ran on into second place as Priceless Bolt tired a little.
However, the long time leader had enough done to secure his place in the next round. Priceless Bolt obliged in fine style by four and a half lengths in 29.04.
In the Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake round two, Paul Hennessy sent out the opening winner. Picked as one to watch last week, Barefoot Bandit was supported into 5/4 and he did not disappoint.
Prince Louis took a flyer from trap 1 and led up and around the first two turns. Prince Louis was a length and a half to the good at the second bend with Lough Messi in pursuit.
Lough Messi took it up between the last two bends as Prince Louis faded. There was still time for Barefoot Bandit (Kinloch Brae-Camp Lady) to come home with a rattle and get up to deny Lough Messi by a length and a half in 29.14.
In the next heat Clerihan Bullets, trained by Declan Byrne maintained his unbeaten record in the stake with a 29.08 spin.
Ruby Rouge started fast and led to the first where Cill Dubh Royal was badly baulked and knocked out of contention.
Ruby Rouge was also impeded and it all conspired to leave Clerihan Bullets clear.
Paddy Flannery’s son of Whiteys Hawk and Valais May powered onwards to win by eleven lengths in 29.14, with Oakfield Grundy a distant second.
The third heat saw the bookies lay and lay Farloe Ace and that appeared justified as he trailed last to the first bend after a very slow start.
However, once they turned down the far side Farloe Ace (Skywalker Ace-Final Orchid) cut threw the field and blew them away. He went past the early pace setters Global Tallyho and Dodging Bullets with ease and powered away to an impressive eight length win over Global Tallyho in 29.21.
What will he be like when he learns to come out of traps!!
In the Southwell Kennells a2/a3 525, all the money was for Helens Champ in the opening heat and he delivered with a trap to line success.
After a level start, the son of Droopys Kewell and Hooch Babe showed the best early pace up and never saw a rival from there.
Garryglass Sheba gave chase but made no impression till it was too late. Helens Champ won well by four and a half lengths in 29.19.
There was better news for the bookies in the second heat as the odds on favourite Garryglass Marco was defeated. From a level start, Coolard Chief led up despite running wide. Garryglass Marco had space on the rails but Coolard Chief showed more pace around the first two bends.
The Declan Byrne trained Coolard Chief continued to lead and eventually saw off Garryglass Marco by two and a half lengths in 29.29.
In the Southwell Kennells a2/a3 525, the Martin Leahy trained Princess Gael (Head Bound-lemon Sophie) brought her twentieth career win when she took the final heat.
Drawn well on the rails, Princess Gael made the most of that position to led at the first. Hugging the rails, Princess Gael pulled two lengths clear out of the second.
Follom Flair tried to make a race of it as the pair moved away from the field. Princess Gael kept about her business and won by a length and a half in 29.20.
The first race was won by James Butler’s Staplestown Road (Mineola Farloe-Shanless Carol). Dinn Re Bunter trapped fast but it was Staplestown Road who led up from trap 4.
The leader went quick between the bends and slipped four lengths clear of Ballygur Dubh at the second bend.
There was no stopping Staplestown Road and he galloped onwards, eventually taking the win ahead of Ballygur Dubh in 29.34.
Back on trail
The winning distance was six and a half lengths.
Raggletaggle Mia (Head Bound-Raggletagglrosie) got back on the winning trail in the a3/a4 race.
Garryglass Ros started well and led to the first bend. Raggletaggle Mia closed the gap on the pace setter and hit the front turning down the far side.
A length in front, passing the halfway point Raggletaggle Mia dug deep in the latter stages and saw off Garryglass Ros by two lengths in a career