Twelve greyhounds and their assigned clubs remain in the race for the 2019 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
Two semi-final races will be ran on Saturday night’s race card, with the top three in each semi progressing to the Kirby final, to be held on Easter Saturday.
The event’s quarter finals were full of thrills and spills, with highly fancied greyhounds such as Graham Holland’s Riverside Leo and Patrick Guilfoyle’s Cabra Firmino failing to make it through their heats.
Holland’s Herecomedahoney – assigned to Bruff Camogie Club – ran the fastest time of the round in 28.30, with the Tom O’ Neill-trained Antigua Rum – assigned to Na Piarsaigh GAA Club – also running an eye catching 28.39 in his quarter final win.
The competition sees Limerick clubs share in the event fund, with each of the greyhounds in the event assigned to a club. The winning greyhound earns €80,000 for connections, with the greyhound’s assigned club receiving a nominator prize of €10,000 and a free benefit night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
View this post on Instagram
Thrills and spills at the weekend’s at the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake at Limerick Greyhound Stadium! Some highly-fancied top dogs bow-wowed out as 12 roll over into an exciting night of semi-finals this Saturday! See a full slideshow of pics by Brendan Gleeson on @limerickleadersport tonight! . . . . . . #WatchMeWhippet #limerick #dog #sport #greyhound #racing #limerickcity #ireland #FollowTheLeader
GAA clubs make up just half of the total left with hopes of taking home the prize, with four camogie clubs and two ladies football clubs still in the mix.
Racing Support Officer with Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Liam Kennedy, commented: The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake always attracts the best calibre of young dogs and trainers nationwide and even further afield. There’s been a real buzz in the air over the last few weeks as we get closer and closer to crowning the overall Kirby winner for 2019. It’s been a Classic in every sense of the word so far and we’re all really looking forward to hosting semi-final night here in Limerick. I want to wish the very best of luck to the twelve semi-finalists, their assigned clubs and their connections.”
Sponsored by Noreen and JP McManus in honour of her parents, Con & Annie Kirby, the competition has the biggest prize fund in Ireland after the Irish Greyhound Derby, with a total fund of €160,000. Limerick clubs avail of €20,000 of this prize money.
This year’s competition is the seventh annual running of the event, which first took place in 2013.
The Sean O’ Connor Memorial Cup – named after the Claughaun GAA clubman – also enters its semi-final stages this weekend. The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake Final will be held at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Easter Saturday, April 20th.