Kirby Memorial Set To Kick Into Gear With Semi-Final Action In Limerick

Kirby Memorial Set To Kick Into Gear With Semi-Final Action In Limerick
By Ian Fortune Updated
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The inaugural Con & Annie Kirby Memorial was run at Limerick in 2013. The first winner of the stake was a very talented young greyhound named Roxholme Bully. It was a great start but few could have expected the impact the competition would have on Irish greyhound racing in the subsequent ten years.

Of course, the fact that the winner receives €80,000 grabs many of the headlines but this stake is about more than just a big cheque. The best and brightest young greyhounds in training target the event, those that are buying a greyhound often ask themselves if the dog in question qualifies for the Kirby and breeders are now looking to deliver pups early in the year rather than late in the year as was the norm for many years.

And year on year, the quality of the competition has improved. A glance through the nine previous renewals will highlight the fact that a number of future classic winners have emerged from the stake and that number has grown steadily.

This year’s crop is also of the highest quality with a number of potential superstars remaining, while many more have already made their exit. The semi-finals dominate the action at Limerick on Saturday night and both heats promise so much.

The opening semi is particularly strong. Pat Buckley, who has captured the Kirby Memorial three times, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, is responsible for three of the remaining twelve runners, including Bens Teddy and Terezas Mendoza in the first heat.

Both are exceptionally talented and seem destined for greatness, although they have slightly different styles of racing. Terezas Mendoza has more early speed then her kennel mate but is very strong. Bens Teddy is not the fastest to the bend but few can match him for pure pace and strength.


This is far from a two-dog affair, however. In fact, Ryhope Beach, who is favourite for outright success, is drawn in the stripes of six. Whether he can justify his position in the market has yet to be seen. The Michael O’Donovan trained star is not short of pace or power but is lightly raced and needs to show more urgency into the turn. If failing to do so, he could find himself in quite the battle to even qualify with Scaglietti the potential thorn in his side.


The latter would prefer a rails pitch and is housed in five but, he too, has huge pace and would be a tough nut to crack if turning in front of Ryhope Beach.

Slight preference in this contest is or Bens Teddy from an ideal draw on the fence but both Terezas Mendoza and Scaglietti are respected, while it would be a little brash to ignore the claim of Ryhope Beach.

The second heat is no less intriguing. So much will depend on whether Clonbrien Treaty starts on terms from the inside draw. the Graham Holland trained youngster seems certain to move wide from his draw into the turn and he could cause some congestion.


In that scenario, it would perhaps be best to focus your attentions on the outside of the track with Bogger Lucky the best drawn runner in the line-up in the stripes of six. Liam Peacock’s charge has tremendous early dash and looks a potential pace-setter.

It would then be a case of which greyhounds turn closest. Any traffic on the inside of the track would certainly favour Bogger Lucky and he is nominated as the one to beat. The aforementioned Clonbrien Treaty is going the right way and is respected, as is his kennel companion Hovex Tommy, but Ballymac Seanie can come through for second at a bigger price.

The final of the Con & Annie Kirby memorial is scheduled for Friday, April 21st and it will be televised live on RPGTV. No mater the results on Saturday night, the final looks set to be one of the races of the year.


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