There was another excellent crowd at the greyhounds racing in Kilkenny on Friday. The card included four semi-finals and a number of graded races.
In the eagerly awaited Droopys Stud a4 Stake semi-finals, Paul Hennessy’s Zip Flyer delivered for those who kept the faith after a number of recent failures. The 4/6 favourite started fast and led Wise Fantasy by two lengths into the first bend.
The lead was up to four lengths by the second and then eight by the third as Zip Flyer took complete control. Lakeshore Lane ran on into second spot but Zip Flyer (Head Bound-Zip Fastener) was home in 29.14
From an even break in the next semi, Trapper Dempsey led up easily and got clear around the first bend. There was mayhem behind. Trapper Dempsey was left 12 lengths to the good at the second.
With the race all but over, it was all about the winning margin. The win was by seven lengths over the recovering Pinedale Persie. The son of Catunda Harry and Arch Enemy clocked 29.17.
In the Bridies Bar and General Store opening semi Gobekli Tepe was sent off as favourite. The race was level from traps apart from Drakelands Star, who failed to go. Gobekli Tepe tried to get the bend from trap 6 but was impeded as Blackstone Hawk went on to lead Maggieismymammy by two lengths at the second.
Blackstone Hawk dominated down the far side. Shaws Blaze came through for second, but Blackstone Hawk (Westmead Hawk-Youraisemeup) was home and hosed by six and a half lengths in 29.22.
Old Road Cody showed first in the second semi but the evens favourite Shaneboy Jim went up the inner at the first bend. The front duo had a battle down into the third bend where Shaneboy Jim took control.
Old Road Cody came back for more, while Dolcino Don flew home also. Shaneboy Jim (Black Shaw-Shaneboy Kylie) held on by a length in 29.48.
Foulkscourt Echo, Ballygur Dubh and Ballycaum Lass went to the bend together in the a5 525. Echo and Dubh were locked in a battle out of the second turn. Foulkscourt Echo ran the back stretch better to move a length clear but between the last two turns, Ballygur Dubh came back.
In the end, Foulkscourt Echo (Head Bound-Graigues Echo) stayed on best to win in 29.50.
The Novice 725 saw Uppergrange Tipy set the early fractions. Garryglass Jerry tracked the leader before taking over at the fourth turn as Uppergrange Tipy cried no more.
Kilkenny Pippa got into second and looked to be about the hit the front off the fifth turn. However, Garryglass Jerry (Head Bound-Pennys Kim), trained by Karol Ramsbottom, found plenty and stayed on to win in 41.22
The a3/a4 contest saw the favourite Airforce Liberty and Ascot Donal go to the bend together. Airforce Liberty was that bit tighter and took a length off Ascot Donal.
The leader hit top gear and powered four lengths clear. The Paul Hennessy trained daughter of Black Shaw and Grainnes Girl galloped on to win in 29.18 from the running on Itellyagirl.
Karlow Ming led up in the a3 525 and got the bend in front. Karlow Ming moved four lengths clear into the second bend.
Condor Star continued to chase all the way down to the third bend but it made no difference. Karlow Ming (Droopys Maldini-Quam Celerrime) raced on to win by six lengths in 29.07, the fastest time of the night. Condor Star was second.
The a2 finale was level early. Garryglass Ros was brave at the opening turn and darted to the front. Flomur Antics tracked Garryglass Ros into the second, with the rest of the field not too far away.
Garryglass Ros continued to shade it into the third bend and then kicked for home. Tinahue Summer came home with a flourish but the Karol Ramsbottom trained Garryglass Ros (Hades Rocket-Garryglass Jess) held on in 29.33.