Greyhounds action from Dundalk Stadium.
Six non-runners, two of them first round winners, robbed Friday night’s April Novice Open 400 at Dundalk Stadium of much of its appeal. And with the track not running as fast, times weren’t nearly as good as the previous week.
Still, the change in going wasn’t an obstacle to Droopys Milo. The Dungannon dog, boasting a 21.28 debut win, was just over a length slower this time, again running from the outside berth, but was even more authoritative. He had seven-and-a-half lengths to spare over his nearest rivals and is now the one the others have to beat.
Break Ball was the only other first round scorer to keep his unbeaten record intact, and in doing so lowered the colours of warm favourite, Drumcrow Charles. The Armagh runner went from one, and was led to the corner by Caoimhe Hoey’s Mystic Mo Chara.
When a gap appeared on the inside, Break Ball darted for it, and it was this manoeuvre that was decisive. Seán Devlin’s charge won by a little over a length from the fast-finishing Drumcrow, recording 21.73.
Arthur Boyle and Seamus Casey’s Groveshill Echo went into the semi-final draws along with other runners from around these parts, Laurence Jones’ Forninst and Gerry Callan’s Knock Them Bandy.
Also on Friday night’s card were the first round heats of the consolation stake for dogs beaten in the opening round of the April Novice. The one to catch the eye here was Fahy Paddy, trained in Newry by Gerard Martin, a son of the late John Martin, who sent out many a good one from his Crossmaglen kennel.
Hox Boom won for Laurence Jones. The home-bred was a warm order in the betting, and after making a good break got to the bend ahead of Channon Screamer. He went on from there to win by four lengths from the dead-heaters Aintree Phoenix and Fox Brae in 21.79.
The semi-finals of both stakes will be run off this Friday night.