Belfast Telegraph

Toots victory gives Smyth £750 Bitches Stakes prize

By Robert Fenton

Rafas Wee Toots put in a big finish for Portadown's Michael Smyth as she swooped right on the line to lift the £750 prize in the Oceanfeed Greyhound & DTSC Bitches Stakes on a very slow Drumbo surface on Saturday night.

Following Friday's night's abandonment after five races due to heavy rain and a saturated track, groundstaff did a marvellous job on Saturday to ensure the meeting took place.

There were some tremendous races with several tight encounters, not least in the bitch decider, which finished with just three lengths separating all six runners.

It needed the camera to confirm the winner and it showed Toots, a white and black daughter of Michael's great bitch Rafas Wee Pet, taking the decision by a short-head.

Last week's semi-final winner Mustang Tina who beat Rafas by half-a-length then, pinged the lids and led down the far side from Tinas Holly with Toots back in third. Mustang weakened at the third bend on the heavy surface leaving Holly to take it up with kennel mate Tinas Peppa also in with a chance. But it was Toots who came between the pair close to the line, putting her head in front where it counts in 29.89 secs (.80 slow).

"She's really a 750 bitch and stays well. The conditions would have suited her as she's not that fast away. Also, she came off lame last week and I wasn't sure she would be right. Thankfully Toots was, and everything fell into place," said Smyth.

Ardboe's Sean Muldoon had the consolation of having the second and third courtesy of Tinas Holly and Tinas Peppa, the latter only a length behind the front two.

Meanwhile, the top display of the night came from Over Par in his first race since last November. He came in with a very noteworthy trial earlier in the week, which spoke well for the Craigavon-based black dog, owned by Bobby Scullion. Running over 525, he did it the hard way coming from off the pace to snatch the spoils by a short-head from Beaming Rainbow.

Westway O Neill cut out the early pace from Rainbow with Par back in third. But it was far from over as Par found an extra gear going down to the third turn. Rainbow refused to give way and regained the lead. In the run to the line, they were separated by the width of the track but it was Over who stayed on that bit better for a brilliant 29.32 victory, minus 70 spots which equated to 28.62.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph