Manilla Breeze’s win in 29.04, Saturday night’s fastest for the 525 distance, has given Deirdre Walsh the lead in the owners’ table at Dundalk Stadium, WRITES JOE CARROLL
Cork-born, but based in Hilltown just outside Newry, M/s Walsh is on 11 wins, one ahead of Dublin’s Michael Byrne and the local, Colm Farrelly, who has also been successfully campaigning at Shelbourne Park.
Manilla Breeze was caught close home in each of her two runs prior to this one, and it looked for a while as if the same fate might again befall her. She was first away from one and holding the inside line, led Ballymac Whitney and Sparta Bolt down the back.
An injection of pace pushed the 58-pounder clear turning in, but there was another run in Sparta Bolt. George Matthews’ charge closed the gap, but not by enough to deny the gallant frontrunner.
Channonrock trainer, Seamus Casey, had, by has own admission, been waiting a while for a Dowdallshill winner. Understandable, therefore, was Seamus’ delight when Pit Pony, which he trains for a syndicate, bolted up in the second race.
Pit Pony is coursing bred and had outings in the winter game gone by. At 86 pounds he’s very heavy for tracking, but in this race he carried his huge frame to an easy success, winning by just over three lengths from Amy Lou in 21.89.
At the tail-end of the same card, Steely Passion won for young Castleblayney owner, Terry Kerr. The locally-bred, by Hondo Black and Girl With Guitar, is trained by the owner’s mother, Catherine, and after being led in the early stages, she put in a strong finish to win from the fast-finishing Maytown Impact.
Friday night’s card at the local track featured another winner for the Kilkerley brothers, John and Tommy Woods. They had scored then week before with Belrobin Mentor, and this time were represented by Belrobin House
The 5-year-old made the best of his wide outside draw in a 350 to win by almost four lengths in 19.15.
Friday June 7
Race 1: Belrobin House (March ‘08) won in 19.15 for John Woods (Dundalk); Race 2: Move Over Emma won in 22.19 for Kaci McKee and Lisburn trainer James McCorry; Race 3: Quarterland Tico won in 21.72 for Dennis Jamison (Newtownards); Race 4: Catunda Charlott won in 28.99 on 3rd attempt for Michael Byrne (Dublin); Race 5: Crown Lucky won in 29.30 for Joe Campbell (Armagh); Race 6: Saladins Honi won in 21.71 for Neil Conroy (Sion Mills); Race 7: So Mo Chara won in 29.33 for owner/trainer Veronica Weir (Dungannon); Race 8: Homeless Hawk won in 29.58 for Shane O’Neill (Armagh); Race 9: Hather Ski won in 21.35 for Jason Whyte (Lifford); Race 10: Beaming Owl won in 28.88 for Patrick White and Hillsborough trainer Ronnie McKeown; Race 11: Allen Cherry won in 33.15 for Robert Bonner (Ballymena).
Saturday June 8
Race 1: Scally Joe won in 21.75 on 2nd attempt for Ian Lindsay (Clones); Race 2: Pit Pony won in 21.89 on 9th attempt for The-Duelling-Banjos-Syndicate C/o Seamus Casey (Dundalk); Race 3: Maggies Chips won in 19.28 for Desmond Gilbert and Skerries trainer Marie Gilbert; Race 4: Catunda Patsy won in 29.14 on 4th attempt for Michael Byrne (Dublin); Race 5: Shesgotitall won in 29.07 on 9th attempt for Joe McKinley (Belfast); Race 6: Monleek Diamond won in 21.60 on 3rd attempt for Rita Downey (Tullyallen); Race 7: Branstown Rex won in 29.24 for Rohan Monerawela (Tara); Race 8: Manilla Breeze won in 29.04 for owner/trainer Deirdre Walsh (Newry); Race 9: Ravenswood Lar won in 21.82 for Gerry Barber and Derek Hatch and Dublin trainer Gerard Barber; Race 10: Quarterland Puma won in 29.14 for Dennis Jamison (Newtownards); Race 11: Steely Passion won in 29.01 for Terry Kerr and Castleblayney trainer Catherine Kerr.