Racing on Friday night at Kilkenny greyhound track started on a very wet circuit but as it dried out, the excitement kept coming. The racing surface was rated differently during the night with the early races rated slowest.
The best race was the last one, a very tight a2. The race was bumpy early on, especially on the inner, giving those in traps four to six plenty of daylight. Emers Boy took full advantage to lead up, followed by Raheen Rondo.
There were two lengths in it at the second bend but Raheen Rondo edged within a length into the third. There was nothing between the front pair coming off the last. They had a battle royal up the home straight. In an exciting finish, Raheen Rondo denied Emers Boy by a head in 29.08.
The opening sprint was level early but within a matter of strides Rathbeg Rover was in charge. The leader powered five lengths clear of Kendys Gallery around the first bend and was in complete control. Rathbeg Rover won impressively in 16.53.
Royal Oak Betsie and Belgrave Millie showed early in the second race. ’Betsie went on and was joined by Feed Me Caviar around the first bend. Feed Me Caviar shot two lengths clear into the second before adding to that lead by a length racing down to the third.
There was no stopping Feed Me Caviar, who raced away to win in 29.68 with Royal Oak Betsie back in second.
Rock Maggie flew up from trap 5 and led Tory Sapphire around the first bend. The latter was forced to check and dropped three lengths back turning down the back stretch. Tory Sapphire came again and went up the inner of Rock Maggie.
Rock Maggie faded as Tory Sapphire raced on to defeat Ascot Fiona in 30.01.
Dysert Song landed the first leg of a double for trainer Maria Byrne. The winner was slow away and down the field around the first two bends. Courageous Boy set the early fractions and was in front of Garryglass Daisy and Blue Ballydaniel into the third.
Garryglass Daisy ran into the rear of the long time leader at the third, ending both her chance and the chance of Blue Ballydaniel. Courageous Boy was left clear but the strong running Dysert Song easily picked him off as she galloped on relentlessly to win in 29.81.
Shaws Blaze justified favouritism as he ran out an easy winner. Shaws Blaze was well away and went to the first with Canvas Torres. Shaws Blaze eased a length up into the second before powering three lengths clear into the third. Shaws Blaze stayed on well to win comprehensively by five lengths in 29.38.
The a3 race was level early and into the first. Luminous Rock asserted into the bend and went on to lead Raheen Boy by a length at the second turn. There was no change into the third but turning for home Raheen Boy lodged his challenge.
However, the evens favourite ran wide and gave away valuable ground. This helped Luminous Rock see it out in 29.13.
The favourite Mas Hostage was in bother early as she failed to lead in the next race. Ascot Lydia had no such problems. She led Zippy Sixpence to the first. There were two lengths in it at the second but Zippy Sixpence halved the deficit into the third.
Ascot Lydia found plenty for pressure and stayed away to win by two lengths in 29.46.
In race eight, Hare Bound and Dysert Oisin went to the opening bend together. Dysert Oisin went on and was a length up at the second, a lead maintained down the back stretch. Dysert Oisin was that bit sweeter on the bends. That proved vital as he completed the double for trainer Maria Byrne in 29.38 with Hare Bound in second spot.
The Open race was level early and into the first bend. They was plenty of bumping with a number of dogs impeded at the opening turn.
Kellymount Gem, on the outer, and Station Panther, on the inner, came out of it best and they had the race between them. A length clear at the second, Kellymount Gem opened up to treble that lead into the third.Station Panther was not finished though and came home strongly. Station Panther kept coming at Kellymount Gem but in the end, Kellymount Gem held on by a neck in 29.30.