The opening round heats of the 2021 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial got underway at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Saturday night and all the action was streamed live for the first time on Talking Dogs TV.
With 13 heats down for decision on the night and a prize of €80,000 on offer to the eventual winner, there was little doubt who was the star of the show was as Explosive Boy produced a sensational performance in the opening heat of the night. Limerick GAA clubs were also part of the action as each club has been assigned a nominated greyhound, with the winning nominations progressing to the next round and getting closer to sharing in the nominator prize-fund of €20,000!
Explosive Boy set the standard for trainer Pat Guilfoyle. Running in what was very hot opening heat of the night, the aptly named Explosive Boy led from trap-to-line as he beat Clona Bolt in a time of 28.08, which was just shy of two lengths off the current Limerick track record held since February 2013.
Elsewhere in the heats, there was treble on the night for Graham Holland of Golden, Co.Tipperary as Romeo Magico won by six lengths in 28.40, Fabulous Azurra won by a length and a half in 28.50, and Jackslittlething ran out a comfortable eight length winner in 28.71.
In terms of local success, Cappagh White trainer Pat Buckley recorded a nice victory in heat four with Singalong Sally. A winner of the €11,000 Juvenile Classic in Tralee a fortnight prior, Gilbert Anderson’s greyhound beat Thosedaysaregone by a convincing seven lengths in a time of 28.32.
There was another local success in heat six as Vigorous Buck landed the spoils for trainer Ronny Wuyts. An ever-present at Limerick greyhound stadium, Vigorous Buck crossed the winning line seven lengths clear of Ballymac Ariel in 28.61.
In other heats, the Liam McGrath owned Rackethall Leo had three and a half lengths to spare over Waikiki Bomber in heat two to record a time of 28.45.
Deadly Destroyer made it back-to-back wins in heat three as the Karol Ramsbottom trained dog beat Ballymac Belvult by four and a half lengths in 28.36.
Velegro landed heat seven for owners Paula and Maurice Heffernan as he came home a length and a half ahead of One Time Only in 28.64.
Waterford trainer Peter Cronin landed heat nine with All About Ted who upset the odds to finish two lengths ahead of outright Kirby favourite, Ballymac Cashout. The time was 28.74.
There was Northern success in heat ten as Hello Mikey held on by a head at the expense of De Machine. Gary Silcock’s greyhound recording 28.77.
Mallogs Stormzy claimed heat eleven for owner Sean Drohan as he finished two lengths ahead of Adamant Best to record 28.70.
The penultimate heat of the night saw current Kirby winning trainer Robert Gleeson pickup a win. Droopys Fittest looking most impressive as he beat Vipers Buzz by three parts of a length in a time of 28.35.
The next heats take place on Saturday 3rd April