The biggest crowd for a long number of years attended the annual BEAM benefit night in St James Park greyhound track, Kilkenny on Sunday.
There was a great atmosphere on the night, with the parade for each race led by a retired greyhound from the racing community.
The main race was the Red Mills Cup Open 525. The contest was level early doors before Boyhero and Fainne Chiarri showed up best on the outer.
Fainne Chiarrai got the bend and then raced four lengths clear of Holycross Idaho into the second. The lead was up to seven lengths by the third as Pudgie Budgie went second.
The son of Farloe Blitz and Pennys Lady, owned by Gavin Johns, crossed the line four lengths clear of Pudgie Budgie in a time of 28.97.
The first race, the Kilcarrig Quarries Open, went the way of the favourite, Monbeg Me Daddy.
The jolly led early and got the bend in front of Lambeth Way. The latter kept up the challenge on the bends but Monbeg Me Daddy pulled clear up the home straight.
Monbeg Me Daddy went on to defeat the running on Rosbirr Ranger by two and a half lengths in 16.42.
Race two was the McDonnell Clan/Ann McDonnell memorial a7 final. There was more good news for favourite backers here.
Kishlawn Caylia went up well on the rails and got the bend in front. There was trouble behind and she was left eight lengths clear.
Tried in vain
Bogger Sunny tried in vain to chase down Kishlawn Caylia, but Caylia easily scored by seven lengths in 29.61.
In the Karlow Kennels Open novice final, Sunset Daisy looked to be taking it up into the first bend when clipped from behind.
This allowed Hillroad Milo skip into the lead and he was a length clear of Talbot’s Inch by the second. Talbot’s Inch showed the pace of the race to power three lengths clear of an improving Monagore Sam into the third.
The Jim Morrissey trained Talbot’s Inch stayed clear on the run home to win by three and a half lengths in 29.37.
In the Peter Meaney memorial a5 525 final, the rank outside Knockroe Bog showed first and led into the bend.
Dance Dearbhail joined the pace setter between the bends and went on to hold a half a length advantage turning for home.
However, in behind the front duo, Lemon Kerrie was making rapid progress and looked a real danger. In a thrilling finish, Lemon Kerry got up to deny Dance Dearbhail by a length in 29.76.
In the Kilkenny Limestone Quarry 725 final, Sound Chap and Mylane Lady started best. The latter went two lengths ahead at the third, but Sound Chap was within a length by the fourth.
Hit the front
Sound Chap hit the front into the fifth and the repelled the late challenge of Kingsmill Rio by three lengths in a time of 41.16.
In the Dobbs Oil Open novice 525 final, Kicking King began best and led Ballyhooly Cian into the first bend. The favourite Ballyhooly Cian drew level into the second and it was nip and tuck all the down to the third.
Out of the third turn the Tom O’ Neill trained Ballyhooly Cian took charge. He raced on to win in 29.18.
In the Black and Amber Kennels final, Tommy’s Dream started fast and led Condor Judy into the bend.
Tommy’s Dream raced six lengths clear into the back stretch. Condor Judy flew down the far side to close the gap.
However, that was as close as she got. The Murt Leahy trained Tommy’s Dream galloped on to victory in 29.42.
In the ninth race, Random Jet led up on the rails.
The pace setter got the bend in front of Rental Dispute and slipped three lengths clear of the chasers into the back stretch. Random Jet continued to lead into the third, but Rental Dispute was now within two lengths.
Rental Dispute kept coming and joined Random Jet on the line. The judge was required to separate them. Random Jet got the nod by a head in 29.00.
In The Hi-Spec Engineering Open 525 it was some race. Night Time Mammy showed first but ran wide into the bend.
Sawdust Paw slipped up the inner, as did Town Jacko. The pair were level into the second before Sawdust Paw went on to lead by a length into the third.
Town Jacko came back for more up the home straight as Likely Gift flew home on the outer.
As the three crossed the line it was Likely Gift who got up to win by a short head in 29.42.
In the Dublin Coach a1 525 final, the last race on a memorable night, there was some respite for the bookies.
Fill The Till started fast from trap four and led the favourite Lamestep into the first bend. Running the bends well, Fill The Till opened up a two length advantage, a lead that remained intact into the third.
Lamestep tried to close the gap up the home straight but the Brian Ellard trained Fill The Till stayed clear to win by those two lengths in 29.14.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.