Greyhounds action. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Groveshill Echo is the only runner from around these parts going in either of the two finals listed for Dundalk Stadium on Friday night.
Owned in partnership by Dowdallshill’s Arthur Boyle and Seamus Casey and trained at the latter’s Channonrock kennels, the fawn will be at big odds to win the April Novice 400, but she has improved with every run in the €1,100 competition, and could benefit from her inside draw.
Groveshill finished third in her semi-final, going down by just under two lengths to the only unbeaten finalist, Break Ball, who is trained by former Armagh footballer, Seán Devlin.
Though unspectacular on the clock, Break Ball has been lowering his times with each run, and in making it three on the trot withstood the late run of Drumcrow Charles, who was a very fast first round winner.
The other semi-final went to 7/1 shot, You Say Potato, with 8/1 being available about the runner-up, Nanny Kaye. Droopys Milo was odds-on to keep his unbeaten record intact, but a bad break left the Dungannon runner needing a big run to qualify.
Droopys came in a total of five lengths off the winner, but that run can be ignored. He has a 21.28 from the first round to his credit and drawn in four can rediscover the winning touch in the final, the line-up for which is:
- 223 Groveshill Echo : Owner/trainer, Arthur Boyle and Seamus Casey, Dowdallshill and Channonrock
- 111 Break Ball: Owner, Toronto Five Syndicate, Armagh; trainer, Seán Devlin, Armagh
- 331 You Say Potato: Owner/trainer: Ignatius Hampsey, Dungannon
- 113 Droopys Milo: Owner/trainer, Aiden Cullen, Dungannon
- 332 Nanny Kaye: Owner/trainer , Courtney Cioipe, Newcastle, Co Down
- 122 Drumcrow Charles: Owner/trainer, Roy Ruddy, Dungannon
The April Consolation final is for greyhounds unplaced in the opening round of the main competition, but, interestingly, the six to contest the final have shown the greater improvement.
Second semi-final winner, Cricket Ball, for instance, came in with a 21.33, winning by five lengths, while Fahy Paddy, running for Newry trainer, Gerard Martin, recorded 21.44.
Fahy Paddy is ideally drawn in six, and he’s taken to credit connections with the first prize of €1,000.
Co. Tyrone is well represented in this decider as well, litter-comrades Cricket Bat and Cricket Ball running for Coalisland’s Donard O’Neill. They’re drawn alongside each other in a line-up which reads:
- 22 Fox Brae: Owner/trainer, Brendan Magee, Belfast
- 23 Rocket Man Da: Owner/trainer, Jonathon Fegan, Newry
- 11 Cricket Ball: Owner/ trainer , Donald O’Neill, Coalisland
- 43 Cricket Bat: Owner/trainer, Donald O’Neill, Coalisland
- 42 Catunda Rant: Owner/trainer, Michael Byrne, Dublin
- 11 Fahy Paddy: Owner, Brian O’Hanlon, Newry; trainer, Gerard Martin, Newry