It would have been all hours before Niall McDaid got home from Dundalk Stadium on Friday night. He lives in Letterkenny and didn’t leave Dowdallshill until after 11.
Still, when there are three winners in the van and it’s not raining, it’s surprising how quickly the signposts skip by.
The litter-brothers, Backdoor Whipper and Backdoor Scolari (Droopys Scolari-Selecta Hiawatha), along with Miss Lucille combined to give McDaid a 63/1 treble, and with Fridays Alfie winning for Lifford’s John Paul Brennan, the north-west enjoyed another lucrative night at the ‘Hill.
Backdoor Whipper got the McDaid bangwagon rolling in the first of the card’s eight races. The December ‘10 black won twice at the track in January and was a close enough second to Oarsman in the meantime.
Francie Murray’s first runner of the season at the track, Money Printer, was made at odds-on shot to add to two recent wins at Longford, but a poor break scuppered that dog’s chance.
In contrast, Backdoor Whipper was very fast away and had a lead from Fun Time Lucy going to the bend. The 5/1 chance cornered well to carry a length advantage into the home straight, and he stayed on well to hold Fun Time’s challenge, winning by a length-and-a-half in a smart 21.56.
Miss Lucille was out in a 525, having won over the distance here a fortnight earlier. The Westmead Diver bitch was game, answering every call in a tightly-run race.
She led out, but was quickly joined by Tomdabarker and Tullymurry Elmo. The three had it between them in the back, Miss Lucille always showing that bit in front. She held Tomdabarker’s persistent challenge, winning by a length in 29.00.
Two of McDaid’s winners bookended the meeting, Backdoor Scolari taking the concluding race, a sprint, in good style. Held up on his most recent run at the venue, the now winner of two from 13 wore the striped shirt and was second to show behind Click This.
He just made the bend ahead of the Ashbourne runner, and was clear turning in. His win, by a comfortable three lengths from Bessbrook Jamie, who got up to pip Click This for second, was owner McDaid’s sixth of the season, and he now sits at the top of the table with Newry’s Deirdre Walsh.
Another of the night’s highlights was Eoins Billy celebrating his 100th outing will a clear-cut win. Gerry Irwin’s Castleblayney home-bred has been the essence of consistency since making his debut back in 2009, and his win on Friday night was the 24th of his career.
The son of Razldazl Billy won by four-and-a-half lengths from the Peter Noone-trained Fergus Run, while back in third was another Monaghan veteran, Buiochar, who has had 112 runs and twenty-eight wins and is even older than Eoin’s Billy, having been born in January of 2007. It must be the Farney air.
Dromiskin’s David Dunne saw his recent purchase, Amintialways, come from the next parish, as they say, to win on Saturday night. Having made a slow start, the Kilkenny-bred was last going into the back straight, but then got motoring.
He was in touch at the second-last bend, and in front at the last, and on reaching the line was seven lengths clear of his nearest rival. A quite remarkable win, and huge interest will surround his next outing.
On the same card, Cill Dubh Magic, another to makes her way up from the south-east, won for Dunleer’s Kevin Kearney. The Thurles Sales purchase had a terrific battle with Shauneen’s Rocket, a kennelmate of Eoin’s Billy, prevailing by only a neck in a useful 29.19.