There was plenty of high-quality racing in St James Park greyhound track, Kilkenny on Friday night when a number of semi-finals were down for decision.
In the second semi-final of the Gain Dog Nutrition a3 Stake, Barbergreen showed first from traps but it was Sawdust Sammie who led up on the outer.
The new leader moved four lengths clear out of the second as Tentothedozen gave chase.
Lemon Ronald showed the pace of the race into the third bend to move within in two lengths of the leader. On the run home, Denis Lennon’s son of Droopys Jet and Lemon Belle picked off Sawdust Sammie as he galloped on relentlessly to win by three lengths.
The improving and impressive winner stopped the clock in a sizzling 29.01.
The other a3 semi-final saw Fennis Brae successful while in the a2 semis there were wins for Monadreen Sky and Hello Sparky.
After drawing a blank in his first nine races, the Murt Leahy trained Fleece Em Jim got his first career success with a comfortable five length win in the opener.
After a level beginning Fleece Em Jim asserted into the first bend and took charge of the contest.
The leader moved three lengths clear into the back stretch before extending his lead over Related Dan to four lengths turning for home. Totos Sprite ran on late for second spot but Fleece Em Jim was home and hosed in 29.42.
Ballintine Belle enjoyed a step back in trip as she pinged out and made every yard of the running in the a4 race.
Belle led Rathduff Sarah into the first and then kicked four lengths clear heading down the far side. Rathduff Sarah tried to close the gap into the third but to no avail.
On the run home Ballintine Belle went further clear. Ballintine Belle won by six and a half lengths in a time of 29.51.
Gain Dog Nutrition a3 525 semi-final
Fennis Brae flashed out in the first of the semis and led Alien Tears and Condor Judy to the first bend.
The leader was a length clear of his two rivals going down the far side but it was all change into the third turn as Condor Judy moved into a half a length lead.
Fennis Brae was not finished, however, and he rallied up the home straight. In a head bobbing finish, Fennis Brae got the better of Condor Judy by a short head in 29.58.
The fourth race saw Arcturus Legacy make every yard of the running.
After leading up on the rails, Arcturus Legacy slipped three lengths clear of Totos Act out of the second bend.
The challenger clawed back two lengths down the far side but Arcturus Legacy still had plenty left in the tank. The trap to line winner saw off Totos Act by a length and a half in 29.41.
In the first of the Mary Ramsbottom memorial a2 semi-finals, Ninja Burgess and Monadreen Sky showed up early doors.
The pair were close together at the first and it remained that way all the way down the far side as each dog gave their all.
The pair continued to battle all the way to the line, with Monadreen Sky eventually getting the better of his rival by three quarters of a length in 29.15.
Five runners went to traps for the second semi-final and there was nothing between them on the run up.
There was trouble at the turn with the favourite Dun Aonghasa taken out of contention.
Hello Sparky went on and was two lengths clear of Coolside Walker at the second bend.
The gap remained at two lengths behind the pair into the third and all the way home as the Paul Hennessy trained Hello Sparky remained in control to take the spoils.
Hello Sparky won by a length and a half in 29.45.
Karlow Leader was the winner of the eight race.
After leading up on the outer, Karlow Leader cut off Foulkscourt Rush at the first bend.
Karlow Leader skipped six lengths clear into the second, but saw that lead halved down the back stretch.
Foulkscourt Rush tried to close the gap even further late on but Karlow Leader was not for catching. Karlow Leader took the win by two and a half lengths in 29.43 as Oldburrin Queen came through for second.
The early pace in the last race of the night came on the outer from Slaneyside Kerri.
Just as she looked like she would lead around the first, Kerri was bumped and her chance was gone. After more bumping, Foulkscourt Eye shot into the lead and it was a lead that he would not relinquish.
Going Places ran on late to put pressure on Foulkscourt Eye, but it was not enough. Foulkscourt Eye won by two lengths in 29.31.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.
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