It WAS a cold night for racing in Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday night, but it turned out to be even colder for a number of the fancied dogs in the quarter-finals of The Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake. All four favourites were beaten and a number of the much talked about dogs bowed out of the stake.
The performance of the night came in the opening quarter-final as Monroe Storm showed a blistering blast of pace down the back straight. The race had been level early before Kildallon Ranger and Helens Champ went on together. The pair looked to pulling away from the pack out of the second as Kildallon Ranger held a length advantage.
However, Monroe Storm showed massive pace to stop them getting away and by the third bend he was in contention. Monroe Storm was forced to race wide of the trio and gave away valuable ground off the last bend. That did not matter as James Frisby’s Monroe Storm (Ace Hi Rumble-Theycallhersadie) stormed up the home straight to defeat Kildallon Ranger and Helens Champ. That pair dead heated for second, a length and a half behind Monroe Storm in 29.22.
The fastest time of the quarter-finals was posted by 6/1 chance, Totos Treasure (Crash-O Learys Peggy). The winner led up on the outer from trap 6 and was in front around the first two bends. The odds on favourite Ringtown Ned looked well positioned at the start of the back stretch as he trailed Totos Treasure by two lengths.
Totos Teasure was in mood to surrender his lead and was still two lengths to the good at the third bend. Any hopes favourite backers had were soon extinguished as Totos Treasure stretched out and pulled away to score an impressive five and a half length victory in 29.16.
Things went from bad to worse for favourite followers in the third contest as the jolly Belvedere Emma turned in traps and failed to take part. The eventual winner Jimmy Boy did have his supporters as he was sent off 6/4 favourite and he looked in bother early on as he was one of the dogs involved in the first bend trouble.
However, Graham Holland trained Jimmy Boy(Ninja Jamie-Supreme Hestia) rallied and stayed on well to defeat Lemon Maeves by a length and a half in 29.55.
The fourth and final heat saw another 6/1 winner. After a level start, Leonies Cracker powered to the bend to lead from trap 6, only to go missing between the bends and bumping ensued. All of a sudden, the odds on favourite Castlelyons Zack shot into a three length lead and looked as if he would take a lot of beating.
Freedom Cause went after the new leader and began to close the gap. The Kathleen Pomfret trained Freedom Cause(College Causeway-Serrano) saved valuable ground by hugging the rails and pounced late to defeat Castlelyons Zack by a short head in 29.36.
The opening race saw Kildrenagh Mate led up into the first bend. There was trouble behind the leader at the first but Ascot Maldini was unaffected and he joined the leader at the second. It was nip and tuck between the pair down to the third, while Rathorpe Boss closed up in behind them. Ascot Maldini kicked for home off the third bend but Rathorpe Boss covered that move and the fast finishing son of Hometown Boy Nga and Rathorpe Baby picked off Maldini easily.
The Joe Tobin trained Rathorpe Boss scored by four lengths in 29.87.
The s1/s2 race saw Ballybough Kid pop out of trap 2 and take charge of the race early on. Ardera Fonze was soon into stride and the Jim Scully trained son of Black Shaw and Ardera Spice easily closed up on the leader at the first bend. Ardera Fonze kept on going and eased onwards to win by a length and a half in 16.45, as Ambitious Vinnie got up for second.
The a3 race was won from the front by Tim Dunne’s Dublinhill Boy(Goldmine Ramble-Glengall Beauty). The 5/2 shot led up from trap 2 and was faultless on the bends as he skipped six lengths clear of the pack. The lead was up to ten lengths at the third as none of those in behind could get clear to challenge.
Eventually Frontier Sound did get some daylight and began to reel in the tiring Dublinhill Boy. The lead was reduced dramatically but Dublinhill Boy held on by two and a half lengths in 29.36.
Locnamon Angel bombed out of trap 2 in the a1/a2 contest and went to the bend in front. Liveanddangerous followed Locnamon Angel around the first but was two lengths in arrears into the second. Liveanddangerous closed the gap on the leader and the pair were locked together at the third bend. The front two went on, with neither able to get clear.
This allowed Monatan Ranger to close up. The trio crossed the line together and the judge was required. The verdict went to Liveanddangerous (Top Honcho-Olympic Show) by a short head over Locnamon Angel with a further head back top Montana Ranger. The winning time was 29.59.
The last race saw more good news for the bookies as 4/1 chance Pure Paphos took the win. The winner was in front early on but was joined by Rathbawn Tommy at the second. Pure Paphos upped the ante down the back stretch to lead by three lengths at the third.
John Duggan’s Pure Paphos (Crash-Pure Brief) stayed on well to hold off a late surge from Master Blaster by a length and a half in 29.11, the fastest time of the night.