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TRAPRISE - Legend Logan leads way in Cambridgeshire semis

Thursday, 10th September, 2020 10:57am
TRAPRISE - Legend Logan leads way in Cambridgeshire semis


Having tired into third place in the opening round of the 2020 Emerald Isle Casino Irish Cambridgeshire 750 at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, we could have been forgiven for harbouring concerns that Skywalker Logan could face a stiff task in the event but bouncing back in the manner of the superstar that he has become, the redoubtable racer returned the fastest semi-final victory on Saturday, in dominant fashion.
The 2019 Corn Cuchulainn champion over the same distance, trainer Pat Guilfoyle has planned a light 2020 campaign with Skywalker Logan but victory in this week’s final would ideally set up a defence of his Cesarewitch title at Mullingar and having always appreciated the galloping nature of Limerick, he will prove difficult to contain if breaking as well as he did on Saturday.
From Trap 2, Logan defended the inside rail against Ballymac Juliet and stretched to a comfortable lead on the first circuit. With full sight of the hare, the Ray Patterson owned powerhouse continued to dominate when stretching his lead beyond the halfway point and staying more strongly than he had a week earlier, held that same rival at bay when seven lengths to the good at the line in 42.00.
2020 Corn Cuchulainn champion Ballymac Kingdom claimed the opposing semi in 41.13, so clearly the final can be a tight affair with strongest finisher Sporting Pat and Stayer of The Year Redzer Ardfert also advancing. However, capable of leading once again, Skywalker Logan can hold strong claims to add yet further to a wonderful haul of accolades ahead of his fourth birthday next month.

Pestana remains unbeaten in Wild Derby challenge
A remarkable 2020 Boylesports Irish Derby has reached semi-final stage and in a year of repeated astounding times over 550-yards, the first greyhound to ever go under 29 seconds for the Derby distance remains unbeaten as the Owen McKenna trained Pestana once again sparkled in quarter-final victory at Shelbourne Park on Saturday.
In a face-off against fellow fancy Ballymac Cooper, the latter ultimately proved no match for Pestana who again produced a flying start on his way to posting 29.07 in a fourth straight Derby heat win.
Matching that effort however, Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Wild is also unbeaten in the Derby and finding a career best when registering an identical 29.07 in defeat of Meenagh Miracle, he sets up one of the most anticipated clashes of the modern era when drawn in the same semi-final as Pestana this week.
Drawn in Trap 3, and breaking as well as he is, 7/4 outright favourite Pestana must remain the selection, being on the inside of Ballymac Wild but there is much more to consider than just the leading duo on the clock. Glengar Bale lost his unbeaten tag to Kilara Icon when slow to stride last time but with 29.15 to his name, can be a big factor as the sole seeded runner in Trap 6. Strong finisher Kilara Icon will again pick up the pieces late on should the big fancies slip up and the reliable fast breaking of Boylesports Xtra adds further complication to a red hot second semi.
There will be no hiding places in the opener either as Ballymac Cooper was only two lengths behind Pestana last time and his calculated 29.21 was only just outside the winning time of 5/2 second favourite Newinn Taylor. The latter has been brilliant in his last two rounds and posted 29.19 in defeat of Boylesports Xtra. An ideal Trap 6 berth makes Newinn Taylor the obvious selection but in a heat, which also houses Toolmaker Sydney with his immense back-straight pace, there is no final place assured for any of the remaining elite cast.

Meduza heads Thurles trio
Closer to home, Thurles was the greatest source of local success with a trio of winners to cheer which were headed by a very taking performance from John Meelam & Sean Ryan’s Meduza (Good News-Jaytee Osprey) who shed her maiden tag at the second time of asking, scoring A3 victory over 525 yards.
Choicely bred, the John Byrne trained pup was much stronger than the bare form of her fourth placing in a warm Limerick novice contest last month and much swifter to stride from a repeat draw in Trap 5 this time, contested the lead in the early exchanges following a very level start.
Bravely striking the front amidst a tightly packed field when tackling the opening bend, the February 2019 pup forged a two-length lead to the top of the back-straight and extended to her four-length winning margin when reaching the halfway point.
Maintaining a strong gallop throughout, Meduza scored her first career win in strong running fashion, posting a very smart 29.21 (-30). Clearly open to significant further progression, a rise to A2 grade next time should not overly concern the bright young prospect.
Always meriting respect in novice events, the Toomevara kennels of Liam McGrath unveiled another smart prospect on the local racing scene when Rackethall Mac (Ballymac Best/Riverside Jade) claimed the opening ON2 525-yard contest at Thurles, leaving a very pleasing impression on debut.
Breaking on level terms from Trap 2, sharp early pace saw the McGrath pup quickly establishing a lead on the run to the bend and sweeping the turn at pace, Rackethall Mac could be called the winner at the top of the back-straight when six lengths to the good. 
Extending further clear to the closing bends he would have his lead reduced by a strong staying rival to just one and a half lengths at the line but in a winning time of 29.36 (-30), confirms the big promise displayed in the early part of the race. Certain to progress and strengthen over the 525-yard trip, the raw speed displayed by Rackethall Mac marks the January 2019 whelp as a pup with a very bright future.
The trio of local winners on the night was completed when Tom White’s Lisatunny Raven (Tyrur Sugar Ray/Tyrur Sadie) stepped up for her latest return from a layoff to score a fourth career win in the A5 525-yard event.
Just denied in A4 last time, Saturday’s contest represented an ease in grade and duly taking advantage of her opportunity, a level break from Trap 4 was enough to see her contest the lead on the approach to the opening bend. Amidst a tightly packed field, a brave sweep into the corner effectively settled the race as the White charge forged a decisive lead on the run to the backstraight. Always in command thereafter, Lisatunny Raven completed victory with the minimum of fuss while five and a half lengths to the good in 29.75 (-30) and will return to A4 grade next time.

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