AFTER two days of heavy winds and rain in the area the weather just abated two hours before the first race on this the 2012 Cox Cup final night at Newbridge Greyhound Stadium. The feature race of the year the Cox Cup went to Quail Hollow owned by Kieran Lonergan and trained by Francis Murray.
On the lifting of the lids it was Glenowen and the favourite Quail Hollow that were first into their stride. This pair showed the other contenders a clean pair of heals into the opening corner.
Rounding the opener Quail Hollow had forged into the lead and coming off the second corner he made it into the back straight at the head of affairs. Following in his slipstream at this stage it was Ballybough Hawke, all the way down the far side and into the third corner it was the Hawke that was closing the gap on the leader.
From here we were treated to a great duel all the way home by this pair and it appeared as if the Hawke was going to get by Quail Hollow approaching the winning line but to his eternal credit it was Quail Hollow that stuck to his guns to cross the winning line a neck to the good over Ballybough in a fantastic 29.82 winning clock. Stay Thirsty who missed the kick from traps was in last position for most of this contest came through late to take the third place prize money.
On the winning podium the winning connections were given a rousing reception by the large attendance that had witnessed this fantastic final with the result deservingly going to the best greyhound in the competition.
Martin Leahy the trainer of the runner up had opened the evening’s proceedings when he sent out the William O Keeffe owned Lemon Gael to score in the opening contest. Led to the back straight by the fast starting Scarlet Danny it was Lemon Gael that went by along the far side to set him self up for a fine six length winning margin in a fantastic lifetime best clock of 28.75. Making this his third win from eleven contests Lemon Gael had being a bit unlucky on his previous race around this circuit.
In the final of the Track Supporters Club 525 it was the favourite Bauneys Pudding that had to endure a tough contest to the opening corner.
One Forastro made it to the front on the opening corner to lead the favourite into the back straight. The writing was on the wall for all to se at this stage as Bauneys Pudding had being noted as a stayer in the making on his previous contests around this circuit. Taking over the lead going down the back straight it was the Sean Murphy owned Bauneys Pudding that pulled away from the field to cross the winning line seven lengths to the good over the gallant One Forastro that stayed on well to hold off Mol Mar for second place.
The winning time here was a credible 29.10. This winner’s move up in distance will be watched closely in the coming months. The smile on the winners youthful owners face on the podium as he was being presented with his trophy by Con Cross was a joy to behold.
In the Kilkenny Block 575 Black Tail set the early fractions to hold the lead until approaching the third corner. In quite a close run contest the field bunched up at this stage and out of the pack it was Skyview Bound that took up the running.
Drawing away on the home straight it was the Eugene Dempsey owned Skyview Bound that crossed the winning line three lengths ahead of Aegean Myth in a clock of 32.54 to make it win number fourteen of her racing career.
William Astill who won the Cox Cup in 1962 with Slaney Look made the journey over from England and in doing so he sponsored two sweepstakes to mark his achievement of fifty years ago.
In the first of these finals we were treated to a great contest in which two short heads separated the first three over the line.
Graigues Riva tried to make every post a winning one over this trip but alas she had to give way in the final strides to the both Ardilaun Mike and Plutos Rena. Ardilaun Mike owned by John Dooley raced mid division through out this contest but along the home straight he produced what was a fine strong finish to just collar the early leader and Plutos Rena on the line in a good 30.46 clock for the 550 yards distance.
In the second of the Slaney Look 550 finals we were again treated to a close finish with only a short head dividing the first two home.
Tarbrook Tornado who had looked quite impressive in the semi final was first to show in front to lead around the opening two corners followed closely by Lewcas Thunder.
Powering down the back straight it was the Tornado that extended his lead into the third corner but by this stage it was Deenside Brae owned by Martin Boran that was noticed closing in on the leader.
Rounding the final corner Tornado moved a bit wide and staying close to the rails it was Deenside that was taking the shortest route home. Crossing the winning line together in was on the judges call that Deenside had prevailed by the minimum in a good 30.46 clock.
In this final it was Bulletproof Monk that set the early fractions to just lead Pennys Fluffy around the first bend. Entering the back straight it was the Eugene Price owned Pennys Fluffy that had made it to the front and down the back straight he opened up a three length gap over his rivals. By the time he made it to the third corner it was Forest Gent that had taken up the chase.
Along the home straight it was the Gent that was getting closer but in the end it was Pennys Fluffy that had too much in the tank as he crossed the winning line ¾ of a length ahead of the Gent in a very good 29.01 winning time. Now the holder of two winning returns from three starts this winner’s career will be watched by many as he is one of the youngest Top Honcho whelps racing at the moment.
What a contest we were treated to over the extended 845 yards distance. Here it was the Jim Power owned Oldroad Bluebell that was first to show from traps to lead this experienced field to the third corner.
The great old war horse Slaneyside Havoc took up the running at this stage and every one present thought that was that and he would go on to win handsomely. Well Jim’s lady taught differently as making a renewed effort on the home straight she came back at the Havoc and chinned him on the line to win by a short head in 48.00 with Scarlet Rebel just a head away in third place. To put this win into perspective this young lady Oldroad Bluebell was only attempting this distance for the first time and to come back and catch one of the best stayer’s in the country at the moment takes some doing. I for one will be watching her career over the extended distances.
In race nine it was the inside three that got away from some crowding on the opening corner to have the race between themselves. Swift Marathon who had led from traps was followed by Glenske Bond down the far side.
Making every post a winning one in this contest it was the Neil Farrar owned Swift Marathon that crossed the winning line three lengths to the good over Glenske in a fantastic 28.66 winning time to bring his career winning tally to eight. The winner her is trained by Seamus Graham who had no luck in the Cox Cup final as his Eabhas Fantasy was impeded on the opening corner.
Racing closed with the Track Supporters Club sponsoring the Open 575. Roll Over Rover on her first visit to the circuit led the field into the back straight followed by Abbeyville Tipp. By the time the third corner was reached it was the Tipp that had made in to the front with Paulines Pride also having her first contest around the circuit in close proximity.
Up the home straight it was Abbeyville Tipp that appeared as if he was going to add to his impressive strike rate but to Paulines Pride credit she was not throwing in the towel just yet. In a great drive over the winning line it was the Pauline Dunne owned Paulines Pride that just got by Abbeyville to win by a neck in a good 32.26 clock for this tough distance. Now the winner of eleven contests Paulines supporters were in fine fettle afterwards as they had taken some of the layers money at odds of 4/1.