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  • Other Sports

TRAPRISE - Perfect Ten secures Irish Sprint Cup title

Thursday, 20th August, 2020 11:57am
TRAPRISE - Perfect Ten secures Irish Sprint Cup title

Sponsors Barney & Tracey O’Hare, from Bar One Racing, pictured with Grangeview Ten andd trainer Patrick Guilfoyle following victory in the 2020 Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk Stadium

TRAPRISE - Perfect Ten secures Irish Sprint Cup title

Sponsors Barney & Tracey O’Hare, from Bar One Racing, pictured with Grangeview Ten andd trainer Patrick Guilfoyle following victory in the 2020 Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk Stadium

 

Ahead of the 2020 Bar One Irish Sprint Cup, it was easy to exude extreme confidence in this column over the outright chances of Michael Hogan’s Grangeview Ten as the 400-yard sprint classic at Dundalk was always going to suit his blistering early paced racing style and he duly justified that support when scorching to final victory on Saturday.

Including a prep race over the trip, the Pat Guilfoyle trained superstar rattled off a six-timer against the fastest greyhounds in Ireland but despite going under the track record with 20.75 at semi-final stage, he still had a big task to complete the stake unbeaten, given that Brodys Magic had lowered the record to 20.73 in the opposing semi.

Drawn alongside that rival in the final however, Grangeview Ten (Zero Ten/Portumna West) is arguably happiest in the white jacket of Trap 3 and once finding an adept break for a narrow lead at trap rise, confidence would grow with each step as he forged an early one-length lead once in full stride. Defending that advantage to the opening turn, the 81 lb powerhouse retains a remarkable ability to gallop bends at pace and it was on the arc to the home-straight where he again settled the race as a contest. Bounding clear, the champion elect stretched to a comfortable three and a quarter length verdict at the line while posting a slick 20.88 in defeat of Ballymac Micko.

Adding to his Produce Stakes victory of last season, the win cements Grangeview Ten’s place amongst the most talented greyhounds of modern times but while we now expect to see Pat Guilfoyled trained runners at the business end of major events, training performances like this latest display of genius must never be taken for granted.

Inspection of this Sprint Cup campaign will reveal Grangeview Ten improving in each outing at Dundalk and his slower final time than his record semi run can likely be put down to weekend rain. That level of precision training is a much sought-after attribute throughout the sporting world but possessed in abundance by the entire Guilfoyle greyhound family, the kennels remain one of the most proficient amongst the very elite of racing.

Grangeview Ten would likely have taken another shot at the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby in 2020 but given the condensed season following lockdown, the sport’s premier event got underway last weekend and the Michael Hogan owned star will now be targeted at the Irish Laurels in Cork.

Trainer Pat has advised that his Derby challenge this season will be more low-key than in recent years but a trio of challengers from the kennels safely negotiated the opening round at Shelbourne Park over the weekend.

Tipperary Cup finalist Laughil Josh was grateful for a fourth qualifying place behind Owen McKenna’s sizzling Pestana on Friday. That 29.21 heat was the fastest of the round however and Laughil Josh’s calculated 29.52 was in fact faster than many heat winners.

The concluding heat on Friday saw the wonderful Skywalker Logan make his return to the capital and his was a pleasing third when staying strongly behind Deadly Missile in 29.60.

Approaching his fourth birthday in October, the racing superstar can be expected to progress for the outing. The concluding heat of the round on Saturday then saw Magical Jasper open his campaign when again displaying his strong staying abilities, making up many lengths beyond halfway when chasing home the Da Bold Eagle in 29.82.

This week’s second round of the Derby is again split between Friday and Saturday.

Closer to home, Limerick again provided local winners last weekend with Catriona Duggan’s Hulla Steel (Romeo Recruit/Derryadd Diva) leading the way when claiming the concluding A3 525-yard event on the Thursday programme.

A second outing since returning from lockdown was delayed with the passing of owner Catriona’s father-in-law Charley McLoughney but requalifying ahead of Thursday’s return, handler Cathal McLoughney scored a first and somewhat poignant winner since the passing of his dad at a venue where Charley was held in such high esteem.

A former A2 winner, Hulla Steel was graded at a plausible level and presenting in sharp form, he found his best break from Trap 2 when immediately taking control of the race at trap rise. A length to the good at the turn, the McLoughney charge skipped readily clear to the back-straight and was never seriously threatened thereafter when a five-length winner in dominant fashion. Posting 28.98 (+20), the opportunity to race in the same grade next time will offer clear claims for a repeat.

On to Saturday at the Dock Road venue and another local favourite making a welcome return to winning ways was the Mary Ellens Gang Syndicate’s Caulry River (Farloe Tango/Horseleap Nicola) when also taking advantage of a suitable ease in grade to score over 525 yards.

A model of consistency approaching veteran status in October, the Pat Steed charge had eased to A4 grade despite some game placed performances of late and he duly took advantage when virtually leading throughout. Just behind the pace from Trap 6 upon breaking, Caulry River paced up well on the outside of the field for a narrow advantage at the turn.

Stretching to a four-length halfway lead, the Ballinaclough stalwart completed with the minimum of fuss thereafter, despite having his lead reduced by a strong staying rival. A one and a half length verdict in 29.04 will bring a return A2 next time but that shouldn’t rule out a repeat if securing clear passage once again.

Returning to the Guilfoyle kennels and the Sean Conneely Plant Hire A3 525 Yard Stake at Galway saw the emergence of yet another young starlet for trainer Pat as Amazing Alice completed a stunning unbeaten run through the event with sizzling performances over past weeks.

Owned by high profile Australian owner Peter Sutcliffe, the September 2018 pup returned a sublime 28.43 at semi-final stage but with her toughest assignment coming in Saturday’s final showdown, her biggest threat came from a familiar source!

Housed in Trap 2, Amazing Alice would track the early pace when disputing second position to the back-straight. Two lengths adrift of the leader, she was tracked at close quarters by Grangeview Nifty (Skywalker Puma/Grangeview Vicie) for the Lorrha kennels of Jamie & Michael Hogan.

The local duo drew ever closer to the pacesetter on the run to the closing bends and as Amazing Alice (Aero Majestic/Droopys Coast) bravely struck the front on the inside before the home-straight, she was followed through by Grangeview Nifty who raced on her tail. On a hugely successful weekend for all connections who combined to claim the Irish Sprint Cup, the Galway bragging rights would however go to Moneygall as Amazing Alice repelled the persistent threat of the Hogan October pup by just a length, in 28.73 (-20). Both were having just their fifth career starts here and look sure fill many paragraphs on this page with exciting careers ahead

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