Greyhounds action. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Droopys Sonny went so fast in the opening round of his CX+ Sport 525 first round heat at Dundalk Stadium, the stewards wanted to speak to connections, asking them to explain the dog's improvement on previous runs.
The Waterford-owned, Navan-trained runner ran in the last of the four heats, and whereas only one of the previous winners had narrowly broken the 29-second barrier, Droopys Sonny scorched around in 28.54, finishing ten lengths clear of his nearest rival.
Ian Reilly's charge had won one of his two previous races - both at Shelbourne - and in the one in which he was down the field, he met trouble at the opening corner. There was never a danger of that happening on Saturday night.
The son of Aero Majestic and Droopys Coast, bred on the famous Dunphy lines, flew from four and was well clear before turning into the back. Another Navan runner, Deer Hunter, was best of the others, doing his best work at the finish.
Deer Hunter's kennelmate, Some Scholar, took one of the earlier heats in impressive fashion. Fast away from three, Catherine Bray's dog made light of his inexperience, winning by two-and-a-half lengths in 28.90.
Stall The Engine won his heat on debut, Niall Minto's local runner battling all the way to the line to just get the better of Newry runner, Set The Pace, and Leathems Trump was the other heat winner for Irvinestown owner, Patrick McCrosson. The CX+ Sport 525 carries a first prize of €1,250, and the semi-finals take place this Saturday night.
Dorotas Del Mar, shocked by the relatively inexperienced Quare Dame the previous week, got back on the winning trail, taking the top sprint on Friday night. Certain to be near the head of the betting when the Irish Sprint Cup gets underway next month, Martin Lanney's charge was again drawn in two, and as is his wont showed a lot of early pace.
The Ballymac Vic dog, a litter-comrade of this year's English Derby winner, Dorotas Wildcat, hit the corner in 7.14, before going on to win by just over a length from Blame The Game in 21.30.
Santro Bull, running for Gary Silcock's in-form Co. Down kennel, was an easy winner of his 400 in 21.43, and Paul Whyte's Donegal runner, Fridays Zico made it three from three, taking a 360 in 18.86. Experience might not be on this lad's side, but he could be a contender for some big prizes in the future.
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