After some tremendous opening round performances, the feature of Thursday’s card at Shelbourne Park were the semis of the gogreyhoundracing.ie Unraced 525 and they certainly didn’t disappoint with both heats won in superb fashion.
Fastest was Noelle Divilly’s Noelles Phelpso as he won in 28.52 while the Graham Holland trained Newinn Trump won the other heat in 28.74.
After a promising 28.84 victory a week earlier, Noelles Phelpso was understandably one of the favourites for the opening heat and after making a fast start from the inside box he was soon in complete command. Noelle Divilly’s son of Tyrur Big Mike and Noelles Swiftco set a strong pace throughout. Quare Hill moved second down the far side, but Noelles Phelpso had no intention of letting his lead slip and he stayed all the way to the line to win by a length in a wonderful 28.52. Our Night was third, three lengths adrift.
The second heat was also won the pace-setter as Newinn Trump stayed far better than the previous week to contain the late charge of Forest Eclipse. Trained by Graham Holland for the Wotnobeanzclub Syndicate, the son of Scolari Me Daddy and Glenegat Pat shot to the corner to open a decisive advantage into the back straight.
Noelles Magneto initially gave chase, but Forest Eclipse took second entering the third turn. Newinn Trump remained clear, however, and he went on to score by two lengths in a fast 28.74. Noelles Magneto was the same distance away in third.
FINAL TRAP DRAW
1 NEWINN TRUMP
2 OUR NIGHT
3 QUARE HILL
4 NOELLES PHELPSO
5 NOELLES MAGENTO
6 FOREST ECLIPSE
PIXIE AT HER BEST
Times were generally good on the night and the Gerry Merriman trained Highview Pixie (Paradise Madison/ Highview Idol) produced easily a career best performance when winning the A3 sixth race in 28.62.
She flew from trap five and led Typical Flyer into the bend. She led by three lengths entering the back with the rest of the field having been involved in crowding. Highview Pixie went on to win by a length and a half from the staying Typical Flyer with Zach Of Hearts some eight and a half lengths third.
Reggie Roberts unleashed a very useful sort in the A5 opener as Urban Fashion made every inch to record a rapid 28.63. In what was her third career start, the daughter of Droopys Jet and Urban Chat flashed from trap six to dictate from the outset. Highview Hunter gave chase throughout, but Urban fashion stayed on well to contain that rival by two and a half lengths.
Reggie later completed a litter double when Urban Fashion’s litter brother Sir Fred won the opening semi-final of the Try A Trio Bet A3/4 525. He also displayed a fine dash of early as he led Ballygur Santa by a couple of lengths down the back. The latter faded on the run home and Sir Fred ran on strongly to win by five and a half lengths from Ballygur Santa in 28.82 with Macys Angel three parts of a length third.
The second heat of this A3/4 Stake was won by the Pat Guilfoyle trained Magical Panther (Zero Ten/ Sizzling Sarah) which wasn’t the best away but soon left his rivals dead for early pace. He cleared the bend and was eight clear on the second bend as there was crowding in behind. The lead reached ten or twelve lengths at the third bent but Magical Panther faded a little on the run-in and the gap at the line was “only” eight lengths from Lingrawn Goldie in 28.93 with Coolemount Ark a length third.
Racing concluded with an A1/2 contest and here the Willie Connolly trained Beaming Shiraz (Mind The Net/ Beaming Olive) shot out of the four box and never saw a rival. She was challenged into the third bend by Malvern but shut the door and ran on to win by two and a half lengths from Malvern in 28.74. Peregrine Billy finished a three parts of a length third.
The Liam Jones owned Lingrawn Brae (Kinloch Brae/ Lingrawn Cracker) gained a third career victory when winning the A3/4 eighth race in 29.00. He was led early by Town Pilgrim but took up the running early in the back straight and pulled clear to win by four lengths from Long Neck. Catunda Robert was a length and a half third.
Michael Fitzgerald’s Optimistic Lady (Tyrur Big Mike/ Lady Kilgraney) claimed a third win from just seven career starts in the sole sprint as she held off both Barefoot Banker and Jammin in a photo finish. Although not the fastest into stride, Optimistic Lady shot up the fence to lead from Jammin into the home straight. The pair had a great tussle to the line, where they were joined by the fast finishing Barefoot Banker. At the line, the Thomas Buggy trained Optimistic Lady held on by two short heads in 19.16.
COLA STAYS STRONGLY
There were two six-bend races and the best run, appropriately enough, came in the D2/3 contest where Pat O’Brien’s Pergrine Cola (Sparta Maestro/ Minefield) made every yard to win in brave fashion.
She just took the bend and led Yes Maybe by two lengths passing the stands. The latter challenged all the way to the sixth bend but Peregrine Cola eased clear from there to win by four lengths from Yes Maybe in 41.96 with Ardilaun Suzie three lengths third.
The fourth race on the card was a D4 750 and Foleys Gift reeled in the long-time leader Town Mystery to claim a fourth career victory. Owned by Tony O’Neill and Mick English, Foleys Gift (Kinloch Brae/ Clounanna Pixie) moved to the front around the last two bends and went on to win by three and a half lengths from the early leader in 42.72.