Belfast Telegraph

Top trainer Ronnie first out of trap again with double success

By Robert Fenton

Ronnie McKeown celebrated Saturday night at Drumbo with a presentation for being top trainer in 2016 with 50 wins under his belt and showed there's no sign of him giving up that title easily with two top victories.

Most notable was the sprint performance from Yellowstone, a new recruit who made it three wins on the bounce and clocked an impressive 17.92 in his first Drumbo race since coming north.

Owned by Lisburn's Martin Manning, the black and white pup is very much one for the future.

Cons Double, no slouch himself, broke first but once Yellowstone found his stride, he was in command entering the turn with a 6.53 sectional time and stayed on strongly with a three and a half lengths winning margin.

Ronnie followed that with a second success courtesy of Slip The Cash, owned by Helen's Bay's John McLaughlin. The dog powered home over 525 (A3).

The white and fawn dog steered a wide course rounding the first bend, missing any potential trouble. He was happy to give Meenagh Angel the lead down the far side but Cash is known for his stamina and once passing Angel to lead at the third, there was only one winner and Slip had two and a half lengths to spare at the line in his best time of 28.91 secs.

Other presentations went to Dundonald's John Shaw, the leading 2016 owner with 40 victories while the greyhound with most wins, was shared by Fane Zeema and Burrendale Tony, each first nine times.

"I was down on last year's total," said John but it was still a good year especially with Common Man back in action and hopefully there'll be an open class four-bender for him in the next week or so."

Common is a class act and after a period off with a niggling injury, he returned in a sprint before Christmas and getting to within two and a half lengths of the track record.

Zeema is jointly-owned by Belfast's David McErlean and Dundalk's Martin Sharkey while sprinter Burrendale Tony is handled by Downpatrick's Damian Maginn for the Burrendale Syndicate.

"Zeema is a very decent sort and I'll leave him off now for a while and bring him back in the search for a decent prize," said David.

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