The third night of racing at Kilkenny greyhound track for the week was on Sunday night when the Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake was the main attraction. There was a good crowd and enjoyable atmosphere, and the racing was good too.
The big race was an open affair with Whatsonjack coming in as a reserve for Monroe Storm. The race was decided early as pace from traps proved key.
Helens Champ who had finished second in every round prior to the final, picked the right night to get his first win. From traprise Helens Champ was in front and avoided the bumping that took place on the run up. There was more bother behind the leader at the first and this enabled Helens Champ clear eight lengths ahead of Boherna Rumble down the far side.
The lead was down to six lengths by the third bend as Whatsonjack joined in the chase. The challenger Whatsonjack closed to within two and a half lengths but this was Helens Champs night.
The son of Droopys Kewell and Hooch Babe, owned by Helen Cashin, stayed away to win in 29.30, claiming the first prize of 5,500 euro in the process.
The first race, the Track Supporters n2 525 final, was won by Liam Dwan’s Hometown Pet (Hometwon Boy Nga-Boherna Pet). Punters sent Ascot Eoin off as favourite but he found trouble at traps.
Hometown Pet took advantage to lead up on the inner. Kilkenny Madame tried to go up the inside of Hometown Pet between the bends but found the door firmly shut. Hometown Pet galloped three lengths clear down the far side and though Kilkenny Madame chased hard, Hometown Pet was always holding by a length and a half in 29.65.
The second race was the final of the Red Mills Racer s1 300. The race was level early bar Drumgower Champ who missed the kick. Even Number Out shaded it from trap 6 into the first and cut across his rivals at the first bend causing mayhem.
A number of dogs were sent flying as Even Number Out was left clear. Thomas Downey’s son of Hello Homer and Bims Girl came home all alone to claim the 400 euro first prize by seven lengths in 16.52. Maroon Cha Cha claimed the runner up spot, some way back.
The final of the Red Mills Xcel a3 stake was next up. Noel Named Holly and Dublinhill Boy led to the first. The pair went on and were five lengths ahead of Locnamon Bridie at the second turn.
The front duo were still in the van at the third but Locnamon Bridie was within two lengths. There was trouble between the pace setters approaching the last and Locnamon Bridie was also forced to take a step back.
Field closed up
This saw the field close up and in a mad dash to the line, Locnamon Bridie, trained by Paul Hennessy got up to win by a head in 29.69.
Lemon Daisy took the spoils in the a1/a2 race. The six dogs were level till near the first where Lemon Daisy managed to get across to the rail in front despite running from trap 6. There was trouble in behind and this left Daisy three lengths ahead of Kerry St Boy heading down the far side.
Lemon Daisy soon increased her lead to four lengths but by the third bend Kerry St Boy was little over a length behind. Airforce Liberty also came into the picture late on but Colin Rafter and Tom Lennon’s Lemon Daisy (Droopys Scolari-Lemon Blossom) held all comers by a half a length in 29.66.
The final of the Reflex Printing a4 stake was won by trap 6 Flomur Phoenix on what was rapidly becoming a bumper night for the books. Slaneyside Diego was sent off the favourite but he crowded early after traps.
Flomur Phoenix had no such problems as he led up from trap 6. However, the pace setter was not good on the bend and this allowed Knockdrinna Duke join him on the inner. The pair were level into the second, but Flomur Phoenix asserted again to lead by a length at the third.
Slaneyside Diego improved to move within a length further back in third. Try as Slaneyside Diego might, he was unable to get to Flomur Phoenix (Droopys Scolari-Flomur Pebbles) who won by two lengths in 29.28, a career best effort.
St Mullins Pride was the winner of the Open 725. The contest was level early and into the first bend. St Mullins Pride benefited from being on the rails and though he was impeded he was the first to get clear.
Olympic Stunner went after the leader off the second bend but three lengths behind around the third bend. St Mullins Pride continued to gallop away up front and was five lengths clear of the favourite Olympic Stunner into the fifth.
St Mullins Pride (True Honcho-in Between) has an excellent record around Kilkenny over 725 and he was never going to be caught as Leap of Faith came through for second. Patrick Mullet’s St Mullins Pride obliged by four and a half lengths in 40.93.
The a2/a3 race was dominated by the Paul Hennessy trained Priceless Sky (Royal Impact-Priceless Pearl). The 4/6 favourite came away running from trap 1 and that was the end of the story.
Emmas Assurance gave her all in second but never managed to threaten the leader. Priceless Sky has posted some of the fastest time around Kilkenny this year, and he did so again as he defeated Emmas Assurance by two and a half lengths in 28.95.
The last race on the card was another a1/a2 race. Lonergans Pub hit the ground running and led to the first where Ballygur Ted moved into second. There was alength between the front two all the way to the third bend.
Ballygur Ted looked to move up on the outer but Lonergans Pub found plenty. Shes Only Saying charged home but Lonergans Pub (Kinloch Brae-Distant Darkie) refused to yield as he won for trainer David Flanagan by a length in 29.33.