Greyhounds

John Downey’s Tullyallen kennel claims significant scalp at Dundalk Stadium, writes Joe Carroll

Greyhounds

Joe Carroll, at Dundalk Stadium

Reporter:

Joe Carroll, at Dundalk Stadium

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joebellurgan2014@yahoo.ie

John Downey’s Tullyallen kennel claims significant scalp at Dundalk Stadium, writes Joe Carroll

John Downey’s Tullyallen kennel, which is renowned for its emphasis on quality rather than quantity, claimed a significant scalp at Dundalk Stadium on Friday night with one of its star performers.

John Downey’s Tullyallen kennel, which is renowned for its emphasis on quality rather than quantity, claimed a significant scalp at Dundalk Stadium on Friday night with one of its star performers.

Monleek Michigan, running in the name of the trainer’s wife, Rita, was on to a seventh win – from 14 outings – when he lined up for a 400. In opposition was a runner, Blame The Game, who can rightfully claim to be the second-best sprinter to grace the track this year – Ardnasool Jet is tops – and it was odds-on the Martin Lanney-trained 19-times winner.

But in a cleanly-run race, for which the County Fermanagh-bred Monleek went off a 3/1 chance, Blame The Game had to give way. There were just two in it with a chance, and the lightweight Downey representative – he tips the scales at just 64lb – had the call for all of the way, winning by one length in 21.47, a time he has bettered in the past when the track was running much faster.

Those who follow breeding and have taken an interest in Blame The Game’s exploits would have been attracted to Pinch Of Salt, a runner in the heats of Saturday night’s novice stake, run over the 400. This lassie is by Farloe Rumble and Rios Girl, and that makes her a half-brother to BTG.

Paul Matthews’ Newry tracker did the business, winning her heat in 21.82. There was a faster time, however. Athboy Jet won in 21.68, the Co Meath runner putting five lengths between himself and Skryne Flyer.

Another Royal County runner, Bracklyn Rose, took heat four, followed home by the  locally-based And What Else (Raymond Bellew and Mark Durnin), and Into The West, owned by Owenie and Eugene Duffy.

The second round of the €950 stake takes place this Saturday night.

The night’s feature was the final of the novice 525 final, and the winner here was the Craigavon representative, Bandicoot Pakie. There was a big contingent to shout on the odds-on Bellmore Katie, running in the name of the McCourt Syndicate, Tallanstown, but while the 4/6 chance was there with every chance turning on, Bandicoot Pakie proved the stronger finisher, getting up for a one-length success in 29.16.

In the noticeable absence of runners from around these parts, Northern kennels continue to dominate. Leading light, Downpatrick’s Damien Maginn, had a double over the weekend, consolidating his position at the top of the trainers’ table, and Derry’s Willie Mullan was also on the mark, along with Donegal’s Paul Whyte.