SLIDESHOW: Toolmaker Josie takes Kirby prize and lands €10,000 windfall for Galbally Camogie Club

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A packed Limerick Greyhound Stadium saw Toolmaker Josie scoop the 2019 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake last night. The win saw Josie earn €80,000 for connections, including trainer Robert Gleeson and owner William Hyslop. Josie’s assigned club, Galbally Camogie Club, landed a €10,000 cheque and a free benefit night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

96 greyhounds began the event five weeks ago in what has been an extended competition this year, which has led to the involvement of Limerick ladies football, camogie and handball clubs for the first time.

Josie – who left the traps a 6/1 shot – crossed the line in 28.37 seconds, a length ahead of the Graham Holland-trained Herecomesdahoney, assigned to Bruff Camogie Club and a further two lengths ahead of Antigua Rum, assigned to Na Piarsaigh GAA club.

Ballymac Tas, trained by Liam Dowling and assigned to Granagh/Ballingarry GAA finished in 4th place, with Dromin/Athlacca’s Deadly Storm in fifth.

Herecomesdahoney’s 2nd place finish earned €20,000 for connections and €5,000 for Bruff Camogie Club. Antigua Rum took home €10,000 with €2,000 heading to Na Piarsaigh GAA. Ballymac Tas and Deadly Storm bagged €5,000 each for connections and €1,000 for their respective clubs.

Toolmaker Josie’s trainer, Robert Gleeson, commented after the race: “I saw the black jacket going to the bend in front, but when he hit the back straight in front, I knew there was a 28.30 in him. He picked the right night to do it. For a dog to even get to the final of the Kirby in his fifth race is an achievement in itself, we’re absolutely delighted. I’m going to enjoy this one! Long term we’ll give him a break and get him ready for the Irish Derby.”

Trish Ryan, Chairperson of Galbally Camogie Club said of their win: “Words cannot describe how happy we are, we’re so thankful to Toolmaker Josie and to JP and Noreen McManus. We just took it all in our stride and supported the dog throughout the few weeks. We have no plans yet on what to do with the money, we came here tonight thinking we were going to get €1000 anyway so we have to think about that.”

Gerard Dollard, CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board said: “The Kirby final was the culmination of a thrilling five weeks of racing at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, which has produced some high quality action and attracted good crowds. Many of these availed of the stadium’s top class food and hospitality packages and Tote facilities. I wish to convey our sincere thanks to Noreen and JP McManus for their continued and generous sponsorship of our sport. We cannot underestimate the importance of their continued support. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Robert Gleeson, William Hyslop, Galbally Camogie Club and all of Toolmaker Josie’s connections on a fully deserved victory, as well as the connections of all other finalists on the night.”

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.

This year’s competition was the seventh annual running of the event, which first took place in 2013.

Limerick’s next Classic event, the Barking Buzz App Irish St Leger, will begin on the 2nd of November 2019.