Ardnasool Jet, whose 2018 exploits won him the Sprinter of the Year award, has won 15 of his 21 races and has been out of the first three on only one occasion.
There’s a clash to savour at Shelbourne Park on Friday night. Ardnasool Jet and Blame The Game, two outstanding trackers well known to Dundalk racegoers, meet in the final of the €2,000 Islandbridge Sprint, and what a contest it promises to be. It’s to be shown live on screen at Dundalk Stadium.
Both are well clear of the others on the clock. Ardnasool Jet broke the long-standing 350 record in the opening round, while in making it to the decider unbeaten – like his chief rival – Blame The Game has improved with each run.
Ardnasool, trained in Lifford, Co. Donegal, by Cathal McGhee for his brother, Adrian, has another distinction – his recent Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup win at Dowdallshill was his second in succession, something that hadn’t previously been achieved.
Blame The Game was impressive in the preliminaries of the most recent Sprint Cup, and looked good for a place in the final.
Martin Lanney’s Meath-based runner met with trouble, however, and was eliminated. He then took his place in the consolation final, and here displayed his outstanding pace to win comfortably.
A lot of questions will be answered on Friday night. The draw for places is not at hand, but being the only wide seed in the line-up, Blame The Game is guaranteed his favourite six box. Ardnasool Jet loves the inside – a draw away from there will add to the task confronting this outstanding greyhound.
Ardnasool Jet, whose 2018 exploits won him the Sprinter of the Year award, has won 15 of his 21 races and has been out of the first three on only one occasion. Blame The Game’s record reads; ran 23, won 13, second 6, and third 1.
Fahy Paddy was a worthy winner of the first of the two 400 finals run at Dundalk last Friday night. Running from six in the April Novice Consolation, worth €1,000 to the winner, the Newry runner made a quick start from the outside, and after being challenged for the lead between the two bends by his chief rival, Cricket Ball, ran a strong home straight to win by just under two lengths in 21.39.
That was a faster time than the one recorded by Break Ball in the main event, the April Novice Open final, with its €1,100 purse. But in causing a mild surprise, the winner maintained his unbeaten run through the competition and, also, continued to show an improvement on the clock.
Trained by former Armagh footballer, Seán Devlin, took over from the fast-starting You Say Potato at the bend and holding an inside position stayed on well on the run to the line to win by just over a length from outsider, Nanny Kaye.
A 21.89 first round winner, Break Ball then came in with 21.73 and 21.65 winning runs, and on Friday night was down to 21.50. He is now four from four, and it will be interesting to see how he fares if moved up in distance.
No joy for the local runner, Groveshill Echo, in the decider. Arthur Boyle and Seamus Casey’s dog was nicely placed to launch an attack at the bend, but, like the favourite, Droopys Milo, got crowded out.