Race for €80,000 Kirby Memorial down to 12 dogs

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Race for €80,000 Kirby Memorial down to 12 dogs

Limerick Greyhound Stadium is the place to be this Saturday

TWELVE greyhounds and their assigned clubs remain in the race for the 2019 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake in 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.

Graham Holland’s Herecomedahoney – assigned to Bruff Camogie Club – ran the fastest time of the quarter finals 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 win last weekend.

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.

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.

Sponsored by Noreen and JP McManus in honour of her parents, Con and 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.

“The Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Stake always attracts the best calibre of young dogs and trainers nationwide and even further afield,” said Racing Support Officer with Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Liam Kennedy.

“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,” explained Kennedy.

This year’s competition is the seventh annual running of the event, which first took place in 2013, and the final will be held at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Easter Saturday, April 20.

In conjunction with the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial is the Sean O’Connor Memorial Cup, named after the Claughaun GAA clubman, which also enters its semi final stages this Saturday night in Limerick.

Kirby Memorial line-up

Semi-final 1: Grangeview West (Castletown-Ballyagran), Toolmaker Josie (Galbally camogie), Spoofer (Claughaun), Deadly Storm (Dromin-Athlacca), Rattling Conor (Granagh-Ballingarry camogie), Ballymac Syd (Tournafulla camogie).

Semi-final 2: Ballymac Tas (Granagh-Ballingarry), Toolmaker Me Dad (Ballylanders), Deadly Diamond (Cappagh Ladies Football), Tullig Footpad (Athea Ladies Football), Herecomesdahoney (Bruff camogie), Antigua Rum (Na Piarsaigh).

On top of the usual Thursday and Saturday racing in Limerick, there was an extra night this week – Monday.

There was 13 races run on the extra card, which included four heats of an Unraced 525.

Kathy Scanlon had a A2 525 win with Ballyelan Turbo. The winner had a length to spare on the line in a time of 28.97. Second was Dromberg Beauty for Fergal and Evan McAuliffe.

Another local winner was Christine Taylor with Bound ToBe Smart in an A9 525. In 30.09 the winner was three quarters of a lengths clear on the line. Second was Small But Good for Thomas McGrath of Co Tipperary.

An A8 525 was won in 29.29 by Ballinulty Black for Michael O’Brien of Co Tipperary. The winner was three lengths clear on the line. Second was Elldan Act for Timothy Keane of Co Clare.

Donal and David Duggan won with Rylane Boy in an A6 525. The winner was three quarters of a length clear on the line in a time of 29.06. Beaten into second was Inislosky Joshua for Mary Crotty.

Devilsbit Storm won an AS6 525 in 29.19 and by three lengths for Michael Duff of Co Tipperary. The Rachel Wheeler trained Soloman Secret was back in second place.

The Co Galway based Kevin Connolly had an A2 525 success with Caislean Minnie. The winner was two lengths clear in 28.78. Back in second was Hazelhill Wonder for Michael O’Connell.

Sean Roche and Patrick Keyes teamed up to an A7 525 with Ballymartin Mac. The winner’s time of 29.48 was good enough for a half length win. Second was Istabark for The Other Guy syndicate and trainer Rachel Wheeler.

The penultimate race of the night was an A5 525. Success went to Michael Murphy with Corcass Skippy. The winning time was 29.25. Five and a quarter lengths back in second was Milesian Misty for Patrick Conlon of Co Clare.

Last from the traps on Monday night was an A4 525. Kyletaun Diamond won for Anthony Supple in 29.50. The winning margin was four and a quarter lengths.

Beaten into second was Swallow Secret for Doon's Patrick and Aoife Coffey.