Friday night at St James Park greyhound track a packed card produced some class racing.
There were three semi-finals of the Coursing Bred Stake, two semi-finals of the Novice stake and the final of the Superior Product at Stud a2 stake.
Despite the persistent rain which left the track heavy, there were a number of excellent performances.
The a2 stake final produced the performance of the night from the brilliant Lamestep, trained by David Flanagan.
Dutch Dream took a flyer from trap four and led into the bend. Dutch Dream surrendered plenty of ground between the bends and this allowed Lamestep to close up as the leaders went down the back stretch.
The front pair were locked together turning for home, but Lamestep kicked on and the race was put to bed. Owned by The New Gang Syndicate, the daughter of Tullymurry Act and Locnamon Sarah held off the late surge by Ballybough Murt by a length and a half in 29.31.
In the novice stake there were wins for the excellent Lemon Peyton and Nametab Ophelia.
The first heat of the coursing stake was dominated by Smokey Megan.
The winner was best away and led the field by four lengths into the first bend. There was trouble behind at the turn as Smokey Megan eased away to a four and a half length victory in 18.25. Foggy Hill chased the winner home.
The second semi-final saw Obair Na Mban and Funny Fella go head to head.
The pair were close into the first bend with Obair Na Mban just shading it. Obair Na Mban was that bit sweeter on the turns and this saw her pull away.
Obair Na Mban got the better of Funny Fella by three and a half lengths in 18.28.
The third and final semi was a thriller. Biscuit Girl was well away and she set the early fractions.
However, into the first both Marshals Blaaze and Freestone Hill passed the early leader. There was little in it between the pair at the bend, but Marshall Blaze raced the turns that bit tighter and saved valuable ground.
Freestone Hill came back at the leader as the line approached but Marshalls River held on by a head in 18.17.
There was an early battle for supremacy in the opening semi-final of the Track Unraced 525 between the reserve Pookies Millie and Lemon Peyton.
Lemon Peyton swept to the lead out of the turn before racing clear down the back stretch. The impressive youngster powered onwards and off the third turn Pookies Millie had no more to give.
Lemon Peyton galloped on to win in fine style by 12 lengths in a fine 29.31.
The second semi-final of the novice stake was level early on. Hey Black Magic and Nametab Ophelia went on with the latter edging two lengths clear into the second bend.
Nametab Ophelia added another length to her lead into the third before pulling away late on. Nametab Ophelia had eight lengths to spare over Hey Black Magic in a time of 29.81.
The Geoff Bateman trained Spanko was the winner of the a4/a5 race. The winner led up on the rails and opened a two length lead over Phillys Choice into the second turn.
The lead was up to three lengths by the third. Spanko was in control. Phillys Choice kept trying to close the gap but Spanko saw it out by three and a half lengths in 29.78.
In the eighth race, Tommys Dream showed best into the bend and led Killenane Freddy into the first.
The pace setter moved a length clear of his rival into second and maintained that advantage all the way down to the third.
Hello Vickie loomed up late on and looked a real danger. However, the Murt Leahy trained Tommys Dream kept all challengers at bay by a head in 29.74.
The ninth race was level at traps. Coolside Walker showed best into the bend to take over up front.
The leader quickly skipped five lengths clear of Goldmine Scarlet into the second and extended that lead by a length into the third.
Cadre Noir finished well but it was not enough as Coolside Walker took victory by two and a half lengths in 29.65.
The finale was won by Foulkscourt Rush. ’Rush won the all-important dash to the bend.
After leading into the turn, Foulkscourt Rush opened up a lead over Random Teddy down the back stretch.
Random Teddy came to challenge into the third but Foulkscourt Rush found plenty for pressure. Crossing the line, Foulkscourt Rush was two lengths clear of Random Teddy in 29.76.
Run of the week
Lemon Peyton - the youngster looked a dog of real potential as she remained unbeaten in the novice stake.
One to follow
Cadre Noir- caught the eye when finishing strongly to claim second on his first race at Kilkenny.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.