The large crowd at Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday were treated to some great racing. The main attraction was the four second round heats of the McCalmont Cup a1 stake.
The heats were very competitive, especially when you consider they were run in a downpour. Raheen Boy and Raheen Boy stopped the clock at 29.09, with both remaining unbeaten in the stake.
The first rounds fastest winner Droopys Der looked in all sorts of bother going to the first, but when Garryglass Sammy ran off the bend, Droopys Der got a dream run into contention. Move Over Neale had set the pace with Kellymount Gem and Raheen Rondo also in the frame.
Droopys Der took off down the far side and hit the front into the third. Kellymount Gem came at Droopys Der up the home stretch but the John Linehan trained Droopys Der (ace Hi Rumble-Droopys Twirl) held on by a neck in 29.11.
The other heat winners were Garryglass Marco, Raheen Boy and Woolie No Shoes.
Race 1 was an a5 525. Blue Ballydaniel took a flyer and led to the first bend. With a lovely show of early dash Blue Ballydaniel moved seven lengths clear of Kilara Donna around the second.
Woodsgift Diva went second into the third bend but remained seven lengths adrift. The heavily punted Woodsgift Diva came home with a rattle, but the Brian Mullan trained Blue Ballydaniel saw it out in 29.38.
In race 2, a3/a4 525, Clomantagh Minor, Karlow Master and Cill Dubh Sky went to the bend together. Cill Dubh Sky asserted into the bend, and went on to lead Ballyhoe Icon by four lengths. Ballyhoe Icon halved the deficit into the third before joining the long-time leader between the last two bends.
The strong running Karlow Master came through to take victory in 29.53.
Race 3 was an a3/a4 525. The early leader was Condor Bobby. He set the fractions around the opening two turns. Scooby The Joker flew down the back stretch. It was nip and tuck between the pair on the run to the line.
As the field closed up, Kellymount Dale swooped by on the outer to win by a length in 29.66.
Race 4 was a Frightful Flash Kennels McCalmont Cup heat. Drunken Thought came out running and led Skyview Blue around the opening bend. Drunken Thought was a length up at the second, with Raheen Boy third.
Skyview Blue hit the front into the third but his rivals were in hot pursuit. On the run home Raheen Boy got up late to deny Skyview Blue in 29.09.
In the third Cup heat five ran. As expected, Woolie No Shoes led up from trap 5 and was four lengths clear of Ardrahan Zebo at the second bend. The lead was down to three lengths by the third as Zebo began got closer.
Woolie No Shoes began to tire up the home straight but the line came in time and Woolie No Shoes held on by a neck in 29.37.
In the next heat Garryglass Marco and Barefoot Arthur started best, with Marco going on to get the bend on the inner. Marco went on to lead by two lengths over Pookies Plan at the second bend.
Pookies Plan powered down the back straight to shade the lead around the third bend. Garryglass Marco didn’t go away though and when Pookies Plan came wide across the last. Marco hugged the rails and got back up to snatch the win for trainer Karol Ramsbottom.
Garryglass Marco won a thriller by a head in 29.25.
In race eight Jolly Roy and Shaws Blaze vied for the lead early on. Jolly Roy railed and went a length clear of Old Road Ken into the second.
The lead was up to six lengths by the third, with Graigues Trade now in behind. Graigues Trade finished strongly but had too much to do as David Flanagan trained Jolly Roy held on by a length and a half in 29.25.
Garryglass Ros was quickest into stride in race nine and led Droopys Kenzi into the first. There was little in it as Woe Katie gobbled up the ground. Woe Katie tried to challenge into the third but the door was shut. Garryglass Ros defeated the strong finishing Triangle Shiraz by a half a length in 29.38.