Cals had the talent to see off all challengers in Barber Kennels Bitch stake at Dundalk Stadium
Last week’s headline-maker, Cals Talent, delivered the goods in the final of the Barber Kennels Bitch stake at Dundalk Stadium, taking up the lead going into the back and defending it all the way to the line in the face of a strong challenge from Leemount Venus.
Owned by former Coleraine bookmaker, Michael Calvert - who has enjoyed good fortune with charges over the years, most of them carrying the Cals prefix - the winner held on by a half-length, recording a competition fastest 28.85. She was on offer at 6/4.
Attention at the local track now turns to the Friends of Dundalk Stadium 525, first round heats of which were run off on Friday night. There’s a €1,200 prize for the winner, and going into the semi-finals Downpatrick trainer, Damien Maginn, holds a numerically strong hand.
Maginn has three standing, among them the first heat-winner, Tullymurry Min. His other two qualifiers had the look of winners about them at different stages in their heats, but just failed to deliver.
In a race dominated in the early stages by local runners, Morning Dream and Quay Flyer, Tullymurry Min put in a strong finish to win by just under two lengths from another from around these parts, Michael Doyle and Thomas Butterly’s Inslips Taz.
Jamaica Joy went fastest on the clock taking the second heat for Swords trainer, Marie Gilbert, in 29.10. Better luck for the Kerr bothers, Paddy and Philip, in this heat. The Quay Flyer owners saw their Head Superior stay on for third place, two lengths off the runner-up, Swift Auto.
Damien Maginn looked to be on to a second heat-winner when his Erins Friend came with a late run to get close to the fast-breaking Geedee Allstar fifty yards from the line, but for some reason the son of Droopys Jet eased off before finishing four lengths off the 29.18 winner.
And in the final heat, the other Downpatrick runner, Ascot Prince surrendered the lead - to Thats Your Dart – close to the line, going down by a half-length in 29.11.
Dowdallshill’s Friday night card will also feature the final of the Northwest Greyhound Supplies 400, worth €500 to the winner. Colarhouse Pajoe could be the one to be on here, though Jamaica Joey can’t be discounted.
This pair met in the opening semi-final, and at one stage Jamaica Joey commanded a big lead after flying from traps and if there’d been betting in running he’d have shown at long odds-on. However, the Swords-based runner didn’t see out the 400, and in the end was a well beaten second to Colarhouse.
The Omagh representative, Old Fort Rico, was a clear-cut winner of the second semi-final, but didn’t match Colarhouse on the clock.