EXCELLENT weather, strong running - and plenty of betting - saw a good crowd flock to Kilkenny greyhound track on Friday.
The fastest time of night was posted by the Frances O’Donnell trained Skip Soda (Hondo Black-Paradise Alanna) in the opening heat of the Frightful Flash Kennels A1 stake.
The race was level early before Lingrawn Oscar led Skip Soda around the first bend. Lingrawn Oscar ran very wide between the bends, allowing Skip Soda to take over at the head of affairs. Skip Soda stormed three lengths clear into the third, racing on to record a three and a half lengths success in a very smart 29.01 as Royal Blaze came through for second spot.
The second heat went the way of the sprightly veteran Uncle Eoin (Droopys Vieri-Dark Rose) trained by James Robinson. Artistic Choice and Ascot Eoin showed early pace and went to the first together. Ascot Eoin went on in between the bends and two lengths clear of Artistic Choice at the second.
The lead was down to a length by the third as Uncle Eoin improved into second spot. The February ’09 whelp kept on coming and easily picked off Ascot Eoin as he triumphed by two lengths in 29.03.
The third heat of the stake, the last race of the night, saw punters rewarded when they sent off the John O’Flynn jnr-trained Natureofthetrade as 4/5 favourite.
The daughter of Head Bound and Swift Maggie flew to the bend, getting there ahead of Mandys Blossom. Natureofthetrade shot four lengths clear of Mandys Blossom into the second bend, adding a further two lengths to that lead into the third, before racing on to a six-length win over Mandys Blossom in 29.12.
The second round of the Black and Amber Kennels A3 525 Stake saw Pure Phantom get overturned. Slaneyside Beryl led from trap three and got the bend ahead of Triangle Shiraz. Running the bends well, Beryl was two lengths clear down the back stretch. There was no change into the third bend but on the run Pure Phantom dropped back, allowing the Derek Kehoe-trained Slaneyside Beryl (Archaton Pine-Ardera Dilemma) to come home a length and a half clear of Triangle Shiraz in 29.35.
Uppergrange Tipy was fast away in the second heat but was bumped on the run up by Timbolina. Timbolina went on and led into the first, followed by Kilbriens Kerry.
The duo were level at the second, but Kilbriens Kerry took control into the third. Crossing the line, the Kevin McLean-trained Kilbriens Kerry (Droopys Vieri-Kerryroad Lucy) was a length and half clear of Timbolina in 29.36.
Rains Allo and Shelbourne Ollie were quickest into stride in the third heat, going to the first together. Although Rains Allo moved clear into the second Shelbourne Ollie closed the gap into the third as the pair battled it out on the run home. However, while the two were duelling up front, the favourite Kellymount Gem (Scolari Me Daddy-Lemon Soul) came home with a rattle and got up to deny Shelbourne Ollie by a neck in 29.33.
The fourth heat went to outsider Rains Philo at odds of 5/1. Fast away from trap six Rains Philo drove two lengths clear into the second bend as Ullid Doodle gave chase. The lead was reduced to a length on the run to the third, but Rains Philo (Ace Hi Rumble-Ballinclare Dime) won by three and a half lengths in 29.29.
The opening race of the night saw Garryglass Ros lead up from trap one before surging five lengths clear of Itellyagirl into the second bend. The lead was down to three lengths by the third as Itellyagirl kept on coming, joining Garryglass Ros on the line. The verdict went to the odds-on Garryglass Ros (Hades Rocket-Garryglass Jess) by a head in 29.43.
Yandina started well in the A4 525 and led around the first two bends but De Dixie Chick, who was slow away, simply took off from the second bend. Trained by Paul Hennessy, De Dixie Chick (Vans Escalade-Natural Energy), powered away to win by six lengths in 29.32.