Paul Maher with the Barking Buzz 20 Euro Bet at Limerick greyhound Stadium Picture Brendan Gleeson
THERE is still a strong local hand in the running for the 2018 Barking Buzz App Irish St Leger in Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
The showpiece of the year in Limerick was won last year by Jim and Kay Murphy of Athlacca and they have two of the leading fancies as the classic enters it’s final three weekends.
Last year’s winner Clonbrien Hero is joined by Clonbrien Prince, who is now the competition favourite.
Elsewhere for the locals, Clearly Written is still in contention for Noel Nash and Gerry McManus, while the Rallying Racing syndicate have Rallying Jet.
Fastest through the second round last Saturday was Lenson Blinder in heat seven. One of the Graham Holland stable, Lenson Blinder had a winning time of 29.54 for the 550.
The winner was three and three quarters lengths clear on the line from defending champion Clonbrien Hero – also Holland trained.
Another to sparkle was Totos Park – also from Holland’s kennels. Owned by Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack in Co Tipperary, Totos Park had a time of 29.57. Four and a half lengths back in second was Cash is King for The Smart Teacher syndicate and trainer Brendan Maunsell.
There were eight round two heats in total.
The first heat was won by the Eric Cantillon owned Nice Charmer in 29.87. The Graham Holland trained heat winner just beat Clearly Written on the line for Nash and McManus and trainer Denis O’Malley.
Wichita won heat two in 30.03. The Maurice and Paula Heffernan owned runner had a length to spare on the line from Urban Jet for Robert Roberts from Kildare.
Another of the Leger favourites – Gurteen Feather – won heat three. Owned in Longford by Reggie Walsh and trained in Westmeath by David Murray, Gurteen Feather won in 29.61. Beaten three quarters of a length into second place was Clonbrien Prince for the Murphy’s.
Robert Roberts has a second runner in Urban Hoff – winner of heat four in 29.84. The winner had two and three quarter lengths to spare over Crohane Ronnie for Thomas Simpson and Waterford based trainer Declan Byrne.
Byrne also trained the winner of heat five – Doggy McDogFace – owned by The Dogfather syndicate. The winner’s time was 29.76. Just piped into second was Kilbride Warrior for Wicklow owner Garry Hannon.
Heat six was won in 29.78 and by three and a half lengths by Blastoff Jet for Philip Buckley. Second was the Nelius O’Connell trained Rally Jet for the Rallying Racing syndicate.
Elsewhere, on last Saturday’s 13 strong race-card, the opening race of the night went to Alice and Patrick Guilfoyle with Magical Wilma. The winner of a N2 525 had a length to spare on the line in 29.35. Second was Rallying Ripple for Nelius O’Connell and the Rallying Racing syndicate.
Joe O’Connor won with Millmount Blue in an A4 525. The winner was eight lengths clear on the line in 28.72. Second was John O’Sullivan with Lilys Law.
There was an A5 525 win for Airfield Harry in 29.45. The Bernadette Walsh owned and Denis O’Malley trained winner was just over a length clear on the line. Second was Black Paddy for Myles Cummins.
Another Limerick winner was Comogue Sparky for Brendan and Bridie Moore of Ballylanders. The winning time of 30.15 was good enough for a two and three quarter length win. Second was Paudie Ryan with Triple Eyes.
Off the track this week, news that the Irish Greyhound Board announced an upgrade to its Race Management System (RMS) worth €180,000.
The RMS system is used to build races and to pay owners and trainers in Limerick, as well as the 16 other greyhound tracks on the island of Ireland and at the IGB’s head office on the Dock Road in Limerick.
Made To Engage, based in Belfast, Dublin and London, has won the tender for the first phase of developing the new system.
The Race Management System (RMS) is the core application used by staff in the Irish Greyhound Board to build races, enter race results and pay 7,313 owners and 543 trainers nationwide.
The system is also used to feed racing content to IGB-ran websites www.igb.ie and barkingbuzz.igb.ie and to the IGB’s overseas partners.
“The RMS system is an integral part of the IGB and a modern greyhound industry. The first version of the system was published in 2006 and, like all other aspects of developing technology, it has grown rapidly since then. The system will retain all existing functionality, nothing will change in that regard, but the software redevelopment will help continue the IGB’s progression into a paperless system. This will further enhance operational effectiveness and continue to improve customer experience,” said Director of Tote Wagering with the Irish Greyhound Board, Joe Lewins.