Trainers and greyhounds linked with Dundalk Stadium figure prominently in the recently-published stats for the 2019 season.
Trainers and greyhounds linked with Dundalk Stadium figure prominently in the recently-published stats for the 2019 season. Chief among them is the wonderfully consistent Blame The Game, trained near Navan by Martin Lanney.
A dog that went through his career having recorded 17 wins would be regarded as having more than paid his way, regardless of how many outings he had. His owner would have derived no shortage of sport, and if inclined to have a bet, it would be odds-on him showing a profit.
But what if those 17 wins came in a single season, from as little as 26 runs?
That was Blame The Game’s record for last season, the majority of his successes coming at Dowdallshill. One of them was in the Bar One Irish Sprint Cup consolation final, after he’d been unlucky not to make the final proper. He headed the table for most wins, three ahead of third-place Kilmacdonagh, who was also seen out at Dundalk.
The Cork-based bitch was more than just ‘seen out’. She was brilliant, in fact, one of the most emphatic winners ever of the International, and the €20,000 prize picked up that night – along with the Sporting Press Irish Oaks purse – helped her into third place in the prizemoney list. Also in the top 20 is Ardnasool Jet, whose win in the Bar One Sprint was his second in succession.
The public trainers list has Dundalk regulars, Damien Maginn, Willie Mullan and Martin Lanney included, with 80 of ninth-placed Maginn’s 92 winners coming here. And it was at the same venue where the Lifford-based Paul Whyte, 10th in the private trainers table, got the vast majority of his 44 wins.
Racing at the local venue over the weekend was restricted to just one meeting. The frost set in early on Saturday, which prevented that night’s meeting from going ahead.
Friday night’s gathering, coming after six clear favourites and one ‘joint’ scored at the eight-race horse meeting, had two local winners, both for kennels which were prominent last season. Speed Winner took the opener for Laurence Jones, the Vans Escalade dog avoiding the worst of a first bend scrimmage to win by a length.
Then in the only 360 on the card, Colm Farrelly’s home-bred, Painted Paws, was best in an all-local finish, finishing ahead of Michael Doyle’s Bay Bridge, with Gerards Dream, running for Kenneth Finnegan, back in third.