There was a good crowd in attendance at Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday night with a lively betting ring also. One of the main fancies of the punters was Caesars Rocket running in the Track Supporters a4 Stake final.
The prolific son of Crash and Howleys Pride came up trumps when the chips were down. With Boherna Inn slow away from trap 6, Caesars Rocket got a clear run to the first. The Rocket was clear into the bend and never looked back.
Happy punters who availed of even money never had a moments worry. All they had to do was form an orderly queue at the bookies as Caesars Rocket romped home, claiming the 1,000 euro first prize in the process. The winning distance for Caesars Rocket was nine and a half lengths in 29.04.
Boherna Inn ran on into second spot but there was no catching Caesars Rocket who was winning for the sixth time in seven starts.
The opening race was an n2/n3 race and there was plenty of money about with Garryglass Oscar sent off the favourite. Kildrenagh Holly (Cabra Cool-Burnpark Nancy) was well away from traps as the favourite struggled at the back of the field.
Kildrenagh Holly took control as she raced four lengths clear down the back stretch. The long time leader was still clear at the last but Royal Oak Betsie was being to stay on.
Royal Oak Betsie (Make My Day-Nos Na Coinin) finished with a flourish and the pair crossed the line together. The judge could not separate them and a dead heat was called in a time of 30.27.
The a6 race was won by the Paul Hennessy trained Oh Sally (Barefoot Bolt-Ballinree Lass). The winner was well away but had to work to get the lead ahead of Vin Master into the first bend.
After getting the bend, Oh Sally was soon challenged by Ascot Pixie. Of the pair, it was Oh Sally who showed that little bit more back straight pace to lead by two lengths at the third. Oh Sally kept about her business and stayed away to defeat Ascot Pixie by two lengths in 29.88.
In the first of the a4 12 dog semi-final Micks Royal and Royal Oak Oscar were best away. However the pair were usurped by Ballygur Dubh on the run to the first as they got in each others way. Ballygur Dubh was a length clear at the second but the strong running Uppergrange Tipy was well poised in behind. Uppergrange Tipy hit the front around the third and then did enough to hold off the rallying Ballygur Dubh and the fast finishing Head Barman by a length in 29.61.
The second semi-final was won impressively by Downtowntonight (Kinloch Brae-Lemon Divine). Flomur Phoenix showed nice early pace to lead Danesrath Hero and Downtowntonight around the first bend. Flomur Phoenix poured it on to move four lengths clear down the far side as Downtowntonight went in pursuit. Downtowntonight displayed big pace to catch the long time leader by the last bend before storming three and a half lengths clear up to the line in 29.38.
The fifth race was the final of the 12 dog Broadway Pet Foods d2 725. St Mullins Pride was sent off the ½ favourite but he looked in trouble early on as he was last into the first. However, there was nothing to worry about as St Mullins Pride was up into third place by the third behind Ascot Megan and Noreview Silver.
A breeze to finish
St Mullins Pride picked off Ascot Megan at the fourth bend and it was a breeze from there. Galloping on relentlessly St Mullins Pride (True Honcho-In Between) raced home nine and a half lengths clear of Ascot Megan in a time of 40.58.
The a4/a5 race was won cosily by Frontier Sound. The race soon developed into a contest between Frontier Sound and Howsyerdaymurt. Frontier Sound got the better of it out of the first and though Howsyerdaymurt looked to be closing late on, Frontier Sound was always holding on by two lengths in 29.20. The performance was a big step up from the son of Droopys Kewell and Frontier Music as he took his record to two wins from ten starts.
Some Touch led early in the Kilford Arms a3 race but was joined on the inner at the first by Locnamon Angel. The pair were nip and tuck all the way to the third bend where they were joined by Go Ahead Prince and Cant Touch This. There was trouble between the quartet at the second last before Cant Touch This shot clear on the outer. Cant Touch This trained by Sean Leahy pulled away to win by three and a half lengths in 29.41, with Locnamon Angel back in second.
The last race on the card was an a2/a3 contest. A wall of dogs went to the bend together and a number of dogs were hampered including the favourite Emmas Assurance. Lemon Major, Slaneyside Diego and Graigues Classic came out of the muddle and had the race between them. Lemon Major and Slaneyside Diego went on together and there was nothing in it until thirty yards from the line. That’s where Slaneyside Diego (Head Bound-Smooth Sky) got on top and he took the victory by a length in 29.61.