Greyhounds

Northern owners dominate at Dundalk Stadium as number of local kennels declines

Greyhounds

Joe Carroll, at Dundalk Stadium

Reporter:

Joe Carroll, at Dundalk Stadium

Email:

joebellurgan2014@yahoo.ie

Northern owners dominate at Dundalk Stadium as number of local kennels declines

With the number of local kennels at its lowest since the new track at Dowdallshill opened 16 years ago, northern owners and trainers are taking a very strong hold on proceedings.

With the number of local kennels at its lowest since the new track at Dowdallshill opened 16 years ago, northern owners and trainers are taking a very strong hold on proceedings.

They send out the majority of winners each weekend, which is to be expected since they have the majority of runners. Without them, it would be difficult to frame cards.

There were 21 races down for decision over last weekend’s two programmes, and all but four first prizes crossed the border. County Tyrone owners - no longer having the option of running their charges at Lifford, which closed down a few weeks back - are having a good time of it, while, as has been the case for a number of seasons now, Co. Donegal kennels have a very good strike rate. Downpatrick’s Damien Maginn tops the trainer table.

Laurence Jones and Catherine Kerr continue to fly the flag for County Monaghan, the former continuing to make light the misfortune of having had to withdraw his kennel star, Our Surprise, from the final of the Irish Derby.

The only County Louth winner of the weekend was supplied by Kenneth Finnegan. The Lordship owner gave a first run to his recent purchase, Gerards Dream, and the former Cork runner ran a fine race to win over the 400.

Drawn in five, Gerards Dream gave Santro Mini a start, but showed lots of pace to take charge turning into the home straight. He ran on well from there to win by just over a length from Santro in a useful time of 21.56.

Leading Donegal handler, Paul Whyte, could have a decent one in Fridays Big Yin. The 83-pounder ran in the final of one of those novice competitions which have been appearing on cards throughout the country in recent months, and going off an odds-on shot on the strength of an emphatic semi-final win, thundered home to win by six-and-a-half lengths, covering the 400 in 21.36.

Though never really showing with a chance of upsetting the odds after making a swift break, Le Bugue, running for the mid-Louth father and son combination of Owen and Eugene Duffy, turned in a smart performance and shouldn’t have long to wait before opening his account.

The Jones kennel added to its season’s tally with Kokoda registering a smooth 525 win. A runner twice over two nights the previous weekend, the two-year-old took advantage of an inside draw to score by five-and-a-half lengths in 28.93, his best for the distance.

Castleblayney-based trainer, Catherine Kerr, collected on Friday night with the very consistent Foxdale Blue, whose one-length win in a 525 was her eighth from 23 outings.