Boylesports Hero was very much a hero for Newry trainer Brendan Matthews in taking the prestigious Con and Anne Kirby Memorial puppy event in Limerick on Saturday night.
The black and white son of Top Savings, owned by Dundalk's John Boyle, the chief of Boylesports bookmakers and a leading greyhound sponsor, landed the €80,000 winner's prize.
Going off the 6/4 market leader, he took a bump at the first bend from the fast starting Crokers Champ but brushed that aside and stormed clear down the far side. His pace left the others struggling in coming home three and a half lengths in front of Champ, clocking 29.31 secs – a length off the track record.
At Drumbo Park, there were two outstanding runs. One came from Paula Cullen's Dungannon black dog Kilree Rumble, who was back to his very best in winning by nine lengths in a fabulous 28.56 secs.
However, the most eye-catching run on the night, came from Barnish Panther. Owned by Antrim's Brian Macklin and running in only his second race, he's one for the future. Unluckily beaten the previous week when missing his break, the blue son of Milldean Panther again made a mess of the start and was last hitting the first bend where Dooey Maid led.
Bunching in behind the leader created a gap on the inside and Panther shot through. Between the second and third bends, he produced a devastating turn of foot to soar away for an effortless 11 lengths victory in 28.61.