SUPPORTERS were in full voice Pippy put in the fastest return of the night at the Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday.
In the final race on the card, the second semi-final of Frightful Flash A1, Uncle Eoin was put in as the 7/4 favourite but Pippy (Shaneboy Lee - Fahrenheit Belle) had her backers.
Pippy left her recent tardiness at traps behind her and quickly asserted herself to go into the first bend with Ascot Eoin. Rival Eoin went slightly in front down the back straight but Pippy, who was always handy, went by into the third and went on to win three lengths from Ascot Eoin in 28.97 with Skywalker Silk a further length back in third.
The opening race, an A2/A3 affair, saw evens favourite Pure Phantom get off to a winning start. Phantom and Garryglass Ros were best away and led to the first with Kellymount Dale and Broc also in attendance.
Down the back Phantom had a length and a half lead over Ros and Dale and there was no change on the way to the line with Phantom being confirmed the winner two lengths from Garryglass Ros and Kellymount Dale in third place.
The second race on the cards, heat one of the Stone Development A3, saw Kilara Shark go to traps as a 4/6 favourite. Avoiding trouble at the first, Ballyrobin Pirlo went clear off the second.
Down the back straight the favourite was eight lengths back from the leader, but he showed impressive pace from half-way to grab a dead heat in the very last stride.
In the second heat punters got stuck into Arrigle Cody, who went off as the 5/4 favourite, but it was Old Road Ken who was fastest away. Old Road Ken, Hughs Comet and Arrigle Cody all came out of the second bend together and Cody went a half length clear down the back straight.
In what turned out to be a confusing finish the lead changed hands a number of times before Old Road Ken got up on the line for a head victory in a slow 29.98.
Punters sent Rackethall Bond off as the 6/4 favourite in the third heat. Condor Bobby led from Woolie No Shoes into the first and down the back straight but the favourite Rackethall Bond had moved into third. Rackethall Bond kept coming and ran well to get up close to home to win by a neck from Condor Bobby with De Dixie Chick running on to get third in a time of 29.37.
Bookies had open betting in the fourth heat. At trap rise Goldmine Josie moved wide and led to the corner with De Exception a length behind. Coming into the last bend tragedy struck for De Exception where he went lame, allowing Goldmine Josie to win by 10 lengths from Mt Leinster Ash, with Master Daniel in third place.
The first semi-final of the Black & Amber A3 Stake saw Shelbourne Ollie go off as 6/4 favourite. Rains Philo was fast away but ran off at the first, allowing Early Blue to take the lead. Blue was two and quarter lengths clear down the back and stayed that way to win in a time of 29.39.
The second semi-final was won in impressive style by Kellymount Gem. Slaneyside Beryl led up with Rains Allo down the back straight the order was the same but Gem had now gone third two and half lengths off the leader. Easing into second between the last two, Gem switched outside close to home to win by a neck from Slaneyside Beryl.
The first semi-final of the Frightful Flash A1 Stake saw punters put in Skip Soda as the 6/4 favourite but it was the John O’Flynn jnr-trained NatureOfTheTrade who gave a very impressive display of all round pace to win in a very fast 29.05.
From trap rise the winner moved smartly giving herself a solo and posting a nice section of 4.35. She led around the first bend and down the back straight, where she was two and a half lengths clear of the favourite. There was no change at the line and NatureOfTheTrade won by two lengths from the favourite Skip Soda, with Ask Tom getting third a further length and a half behind in a time of 29.05.