Racing at Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday night saw a bumper crowd in attendance for a benefit night in aid of Michael Davitt’s GFC. The track was in fine order for the running of the Langton House Hotel Derby semi finals.
The first semi produced the fastest time, though both races were marred by trouble at the first turn. In the opening semi, Garryglass Marco led up a wall of dogs. There was a lot of trouble behind and the contest was reduced to a two dog affair as Dannys Zebo moved within a half a length of Garryglass Marco. The Karol Ramsbottom trained Marco pushed on and was three lengths clear into the third. Cheered on by connections, Garryglass Marco raced on to win by two and a half lengths in 28.97.
The second semi final was a tough contest which went the way of Ascot Eoin after first bend bother. Trainer Paul Hennessy enjoyed his night with an early double while Ger Langton also went home happy as Locnamon Angel took the last race on the card with a career best effort.
The Paul Hennessy trained Swift Pippa made every yard of the running to justify favouritism in the opener. Showing good early from trap 2, Swift Pippa gradually built up a nine length lead into the third. Abbeys One clawed back three lengths on the run in but Swift Pippa won easily in a time of 29.64.
The re-run of last week’s void race threw up the same winner in the shape of the Paul Hennessy trained Istabraqs Back. The winner took a flyer from trap 5 and got the bend a length in front of Uppergrange Bob. Istabraqs Back came wide off the last but it mattered not as he won smartly by three and a half lengths in 16.68.
In the first of the 12 dogs Druids Lodge veterinary surgery semi finals, there was little to choose between the six going to the first. Lasse Viren took advantage of the rails berth to get the bend and then move two lengths clear into the second.
The strong running sort added another length to his lead over Drakelands Star into the third and maintained that advantage all the way to the line in a time of 29.27.
From a level break in the second semi-final Random Idea led around the turn. Mister Bates was forced to check between the bends and this saw Old Road Cody moved up to second spot. Random Idea increased his lead to three lengths into the third and with none of the three being the strongest of stayers, that looked to be a key move.
In the end, Random Idea saw off Mister Bates by three and a half lengths in 29.19.
Maggieismymammy blasted her way to a three length lead into the first bend, followed by Kellymount Dale. The lead was up to five lengths passing the halfway point but it would not be enough. Maggieismymammy bravely led to the last bend but eventually faded her way back to third place. Kellymount Dale picked her off as he stayed on to defeat Old Road Ken by two and a half lengths in 29.17.
The a2/a3 race was even from traprise before Staplestown Road asserted into the first bend, cutting off Movealong Bob in the process. Staplestown Road was a length up at the second but stretched out to take his advantage to five lengths into the third.
With plenty of jostling for position in behind, Staplestown Road was able to come home an easy six length winner in 29.14. Flomur Antics finished in second.
The second semi-final of the Langton House Hotel derby was a very messy affair. From early on, it was clear that there would be mayhem at the first bend. With every dog impeded, the race did not take shape till out of the second turn. At that point Ascot Eoin was a length up on Fiancee Alsation.
The lead was up to three lengths by the third as Ringtown Ned moved in pursuit. The challenger shaved off a length but it was Ascot Eoin who triumphed by two lengths in 29.62.
The finale saw the locals go home happy as a number of them backed the trap to line winner Locnamon Angel. Angel went up fast and led her rivals a merry dance. Movealong Power tried to make a race of it early on and Zip Flyer ran on but both had to give best to Locnamon Angel who romped home five and a half lengths clear in 28.96.