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Seaside Sophie Photo 6a

Sporting Press – Article 22

Seaside Sophie’s offspring could make waves for Anthony – By Frank Kieran

YOUGHAL, where the River Blackwater meets the sea, is home for Anthony Hussey and the popular Cork man, who works for the local County Council, has been kept busy outside the day job with the seven pups that his leading lady, Seaside Sophie (Adios Alonso-Way Back When), whelped in early January. Those newest additions (pictured), three dogs and four bitches, by Watchman, are the second litter for the blue-brindle, who qualified for the 2017 Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake with victory in Mitchelstown’s Oisin Cup and silver medals in the all-aged bitch stakes at Cappoquin and Clonakilty, as well as in the Callanan Cup at Bandon & Careys Cross.
“Seaside Sophie was a super bitch for us and to qualify for the Champion Bitch Stake was something else. Unfortunately, she got injured in the first round and was unable to do herself justice, but it was still special to be involved.
“This is her second litter and I’ll keep a dog and a bitch. There are already two dogs sold to a couple of great coursing people and I wish them all the best with their purchases.
“She came in season before coursing began back last November, and with that delay to the season and so much uncertainty with regards whether there would be any coursing at all, I was in two minds whether to breed her or not.
“But I decided that if Watchman was introduced at stud then I would take a chance and as it happened, he was.
“Watchman was an incredibly fast hound and I just thought the cross might work, his pace combined with Seaside Sophie’s keenness and early pace, for she was lightning away from slips. Look, we live in hope.”
Anthony previously kept a few trackers but in recent years his interest has lay exclusively with the winter code.
“Greyhounds are a hobby for me, but I’m so passionate about them as I breed, rear and train myself. I’d have always kept coursers and trackers, but I just don’t get the same kick from the track as I do from coursing, so for that reason I have concentrated solely on the coursing game for the last few years. I just love it.”
And that love affair looks set to continue, as Anthony has high hopes for the forthcoming season with a dog and bitch for trial-stakes from Seaside Sophie’s maiden litter.
“I’ve a nice dog and bitch for this season from Sophie’s first litter by Newinn Wonder, and they are shaping nicely. A few of those who bought the remaining pups from that litter have been back in touch with positive reports, so fingers crossed.
“Seaside Sophie had tons of early, is bred in the purple and if she could throw a few as good as herself I’d be over the moon.” concluded Anthony.

Bereavement Notice

We were very sad to hear of the death of Maurice McAnulty, Bessbrook, Co Armagh. Maurice coursed his greyhounds under the Lils prefix but he was also a member and great supporter of the Co Cavan club and a longtime sponsor at their annual meeting.

Pre-deceased by his sons Barry and Brendan. Our sincere sympathy to his beloved wife Lilian and children Lorraine, Maurice, Ronan and Gavin, also his 13 grand-children, brother, sisters and extended family.

Requiem Mass on Sunday May 31st in the Church of St Peter & Paul, Bessbrook at 11.30am followed by burial in St Malachys Cemetery, Carrickcruppen.

May he Rest In Peace.

 

Liam Peacock 3

Sporting Press – Article 21

Liam’s Bogger dogs enjoying the best of freedom in lockdown – By Anne Marie O’Brien

“I have a few,” was Liam Peacock’s laid-back reply when the Sporting Press asked how many dogs he has. Then came the real answer: “50 including pups.”
So greyhounds, many with the ‘Bogger’ prefix, are a seriously full-time job for the Littleton, Co. Tipperary owner-trainer, with this bumper crop keeping him hard at it seven days a week, 15 or 16 hours a day – but he loves it, and has been at the game all his life.
“I was working with Mickey O’Sullivan for 15 years and with Derek Kehoe for two before I started on my own, and I hope to take out a public trainer’s licence in the future after racing starts up again,” he said.
“It’s not about money. We like rearing dogs and getting them to race. It’s not about being good – whether they are A10 or open class, they all get treated the same.”
The lockdown has been difficult for everyone but Liam is better positioned than many handlers, because, as his prefix suggests, there’s a 500-acre bog at the back of his kennels so his pups and runners get the best of exercise. “You can’t beat freedom and good food,” he added.
“I’m tipping away since the lockdown started, galloping every day, and getting help from the family too,” he said.
There are currently 16 race dogs in the kennels, including a good few promising youngsters, and up to March, Liam’s frequent runners in Kilkenny had him at the top of the owners’ table there with 14 winners so far in 2020 and more than €5,000 in prize money.
He’s looking forward to getting back to the track again and says that racing behind closed doors will be fine, as there aren’t too many in attendance at the morning SIS meetings anyway, apart from the owners and trainers.
Meanwhile, the pups are fast getting to the qualifying stage. By the time racing resumes, Liam says he’ll have about 15 of them to qualify. “I’d be hoping to sell them when they get to a certain stage – I keep two from each litter and sell the rest.”
Let’s hope that when racing gets going again, Liam will resume his successful ways at Kilkenny.

Liam Peacock dogs - Copy.indd

Floating Cove Photo 2b

Sporting Press – Article 20

Mairead’s unlocked a treasure trove in Floating Cove – By Frank Kieran

FOR many it’s been business as usual during the Covid-19 lockdown and that has been the case for Mairead Wallace, who works in the office of the family business of Horan Pig Enterprises Ltd, which forms part of the Truly Irish group, which is owned by the pig farmers that supply it.
“Lockdown has been grand for us and of course the children are enjoying all the time off. I work in the office of the farm at home and that never slowed down, so I can’t complain.
“However, with the construction industry one of those that was shut down, that wasn’t the case for my husband, Colin, who owns and runs Wallace Paving, which carries out commercial and residential paving projects.
“Though the plus side to that was that before Colin returned to work, we managed to get a few jobs done around the kennels and made some improvements.”
As well as the improvements to the facilities at their Glin base, they have also welcomed a few new additions to the kennels, with their 2015 Grace Bruton Champion Bitch Stake runner-up, Floating Cove (Wallace Green-Floating Spirit), whelping a litter of five dogs and three bitches to Newinn Wonder on March 24. A repeat mating of Floating Cove’s second litter which the featured the smart pair of Floating Ronaldo (Clonakilty Derby TS runner-up) and the leading Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks fancy from last season, Floating Skye.
“This is Floating Cove’s fourth litter and we’re very excited about them given the cross worked so well for her second litter. Floating Skye won the Oaks trial-stake for us at Glin last December and we thought a lot of her, but unfortunately, we lost her in early April. She died suddenly and we were heartbroken to lose her. Hopefully we will get another as good as her.
“We have her brother, Floating Ronaldo, for all-age next season. He was haunted by an injury last season and we’re hoping the time off will see him right for this year.
“Back to the pups and I’ll keep a dog and a bitch. The rest we will sell and there are already three sold which is a great start.”
As well as Ronaldo for Cups next season, Mairead has four saplings for trial-stake action. That quartet are from Floating Cove’s third litter, which are by the 2018 BoyleSports Derby winner, Silent Wonder.
“We’re really looking forward to them, they have a lovely temperament, are good lookers and have plenty of fire. Having lost Floating Skye, who would have been next up for breeding, we kept a dog and three bitches, which is more than we would normally keep but we want to build on this line and having potential broods will allow us do that.” concluded Mairead.
Floating Cove Photo 1b

Mary Crotty 4

Sporting Press – Article 19

Mary looks forward to friendly competition again – By Anne Marie O’Brien

Mary Crotty’s ‘Inislosky’ dogs are always worth watching out for when they’re running at Limerick and Tralee – and she’s hoping that when racing resumes, they’ll continue in the winning vein they were in when the tracks shut down.
She has a number of promising young dogs, all out of her good brood bitch Inislosky Swift, who at the age of ten is enjoying her retirement but gets the credit for Mary’s regular successes.
Inislosky Jethro, from the Jan. ’18 litter to Romeo Recruit, is the star of the litter, with six wins from 16 starts and a best clock of 28.91. His sister Inislosky Urchin won four from 19, including three in a row at the start of this year, with 28.94 on her card; and brother Inislosky Bosco has won three.
Based in O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare, Mary is only 15 miles from Limerick Track and about 60 from Tralee but doesn’t mind the longer drive down to the Kingdom Stadium as the welcome there is just as friendly as at her home track.
“People in dog racing are very friendly,” she told the Sporting Press. “I do miss meeting my friends at the tracks, and the dogs miss it as well. They’re anxious to go when they hear the van starting up, and start whinging.
“Hopefully it’ll start again at the end of June, but at the moment, the shutdown is saving lives, so we can wait another five weeks.”
Mary has eight race dogs in the kennels, most in her own name and some owned by her son and daughter, and also has 11-month-old saplings on the way up.
The family came back from England in the 1980s and at that stage owned no greyhounds, though they had two pet dogs. “A woman asked me to rear pups one for one and that was how I got started out,” said Mary. “Greyhounds are really lovely dogs – placid, easy-going, wagging their tails when they see you coming.”
They’ve been mostly exercising themselves in a couple of big runs that Mary has at the kennels during the shutdown, as the travel restrictions have prevented her driving to any gallops.
Luckily though, she’s had no shortage of company at home, with her husband and son helping out, and her daughter lives nearby.
And of course there are the dogs. Mary said: “I am happy once my dogs get a race – if they win in their own time, I’m happy enough. I always believe they get their own race eventually. Dogs are dogs and things happen in races, and young dogs have to learn and get to know the track.
“They’re a great interest and keep people going, and get them out. You meet a few people and have a chat and a bit of craic, especially with the people in the same race as you. You know everyone, so we’ll all be looking forward to getting back to the track. Racing behind closed doors was working out fine before the shutdown so if we have to put up with that, we will.”
We’ll all be looking forward to racing again – and don’t forget to look out for that promising Jethro!

Mary Crotty

Blades Of Hope-Do It Chubbys 1

Sporting Press – Article 18

Ray’s hopeful that Chubbys offspring can Do It for him – By Frank Kieran

LIKE all professional trainers, Ray White is looking forward to a return to racing next month or hopefully sooner! The Lifford handler has in the region of 50 inmates at any one time, which include a mixture of track and coursing pups, saplings, broods and those in training..
“You want the dogs running. If you get a decent one you can get them away and that all helps with the running expenses. I’d have eight to ten racers constantly and before the lockdown we were having a good old run and getting plenty of winners at various tracks. When they are running and winning, they are paying their way which is a great help.
“In saying that we haven’t fared too badly as we’ve sold a few pups to keep the wolf from the door, but still the sooner we get back racing the better.” stated Ray.
One of the stars of the kennel is from the winter code, Ray’s retired brood, Do It Chubbys (by Adios Alonso), who ran-up to Dicks Bimbo in the 2018 Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake, having bagged gold, silver and gold, respectively, in the ladies features at Loughrea, Dungannon and East Donegal to secure her National Meeting berth. Her dam, Kincora Chubbys (by Bexhill Eoin), is a full sister from a repeat mating of the 2010 Oaks heroine, Lisloose Accord and the 2013 Champion Stakes winner, Hopes And Dreams, and a daughter of Chubbys Accord (Hilltown-Ardnalee Laura), who divided the 2007 Oaks with her litter sister, Qualityandgold.
“Do It Chubbys was a superb bitch for us and she clocked faster than Dicks Bimbo when winning her semi-final, but unfortunately carried a little injury into the final, so who knows what might have been. We’re just hoping she might just throw one as good as herself.
“She had three dogs and five bitches to Blades Of Hope on February 12 (main photo), fine looking pups and I’ll keep two dogs and a bitch. My son, Andy, has his name on a bitch as well and the remaining four we’ll advertise later. Though there is one already provisionally booked by Robert Anderson in the UK for his Jiving Syndicate.
“Her first litter to Newinn Wonder (pictured below) are just gone 12 months. I kept a dog and three bitches myself and sold the rest, including three to the Derby winning father and son team of Cathal and Ciaran Magee.
“The reports are good and my own are shaping well so we’re looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully we won’t have a repeat of last year and that it’ll be all systems go from the for the opening weekend in late September/early October.
“Lads are still in a bit of a puzzle whether to breed or not, so it’d be great to know that the licence is secure not only for next season but for the next couple of years which would remove that air of uncertainty which currently hangs over breeders and buyers alike.” concluded Ray.
Newinn Wonder-Do It Chubbys

George Roche 1A

Sporting Press – Article 17

Lots to look forward to in Enniscorthy – By Anne Marie O’Brien

George Roche may be hit by the Covid-19 crisis on two fronts, with his dogs unable to race and his business, George’s Hair Designs, closed – but the Barntown, Co. Wexford owner-trainer is full of optimism now that his local track has been given the green light to reopen when greyhound racing resumes.
73-year-old George has overcome worse things than this, surviving throat cancer six years ago, and, with 15 race dogs in his kennels and another 15 saplings coming up, is eagerly looking forward to trialling next month and racing soon after.
He races in both Waterford and Enniscorthy with a good deal of success, featuring in the top 10 owners nationally in many recent years, and fourth last year; and is delighted to see the Co. Wexford track getting another chance, as announced by the IGB last week.
He said: “It’s great, positive news that Enniscorthy is on the way back, and has been given a chance.” Pointing out that Co. Wexford is very strong on the greyhound breeding front, he said this hadn’t been reflected in the Indecon Report but that, in fact, Enniscorthy is very, very viable.
“On a charity night, we might get €2,500 or €3,000 from the organisers and also have extra people coming in the gate, but this wasn’t counted in the Indecon report.”
In contrast, there are so many dogs in the pool at Enniscorthy, between 400 and 500, that the track fully needs its two race nights, Monday and Thursday, to give them all races.
“We have a sub-committee doing great work behind the scenes for the future of the track and it will be looking top class when it reopens, because the kennels were refitted with new roofs and doors at the end of last year, and now have the capacity for 90 dogs.”
George was one of the founders of the Future Champion Stake at Enniscorthy and what a success that has turned out to be, producing many stars, so he’s looking forward to that later in the year.
Many excellent dogs have been bred, reared and trained in the Model County, including 1984 English Derby winner Whisper Wishes; 2016 English Derby winner Jaytee Jet was bought out of the Future Champion; and Irish Derby winners bred, reared and trained in the county include Tain Mor and Climate Control. Another Derby winner, The Other Toss, raced at Enniscorthy and won its Leger.
Other notables to come from the county were marathon champions Scurlogue Champ and Metric Tiger, and the Rockmount dogs of Paddy O’Connor, whose daughter Carol is having good success with the prefix these days. Eilish McCann, who bred Climate Control, is doing great work with the Wexford GOBA, keeping up a strong family tradition, just like George’s own nephew John Roche, whose late father Aidan won the Coursing Derby with Kingsmill Dynamo in 2009.
Racing behind closed doors will mean the crowds won’t be back to Enniscorthy straight away when it reopens, but George and the regulars will be very glad to see it back in action and looking forward to better times to come.
As he points out: “Six and a half years ago, in December 2013, I went to St James’ Hospital in Dublin with throat cancer, not expecting to come out; but I did and am still in the greyhound business after 50-odd years – I am an old stager at the game.”
George may be a self-declared veteran in dogs, but still has a few nice ones to watch out for when racing resumes. “I have Kingsmill Asia, who has won six races out of 13; a novice called Ballymac Captain who hasn’t run yet; and a very good one to look forward to, Newinn Busty, a bitch to look out for over longer trips.”

Dale Roisin 1A

Photo of the Week

Thanks to her mam Orlaith Farrelly for sending in this great photo of young Emer Hyland with the family’s 2012 Coursing Oaks heroine Dale Roisin.  It won’t be long now before Emer will be helping her grand-dad Brendan with getting all their new trial stake prospects ready for the 2020/21 season.

Una Silent Whisper

Sporting Press -Article 16

Nancy and Queen are keeping Úna Bus-y in lockdown – By Frank Kieran

LEADING supporters of both codes of our game as owners, breeders and sponsors, Úna O’Sullivan and her husband, John, had to take the tough decision to temporarily remove their fleet of Dublin Coach buses from the road due to the social distancing restrictions that have been imposed as a result of the current lockdown. However, they’ve had plenty to keep them busy in the meantime, with two litters of pups born within a fortnight of each other in January, as well as around a dozen saplings for next season.
“All of our coaches are currently off the road as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but hopefully we’ll be back on the road in the not too distant future.
“We’ve been kept busy though as we whelped two litters in January. Moat Nancy (by Newinn Wonder), a daughter of the great Moat Belle (Multibet-Moat Elsa), had three dogs and two bitches to Drive On Smokey on January 14. Quite remarkably all five are different colours. They are grand pups and we’ll likely keep the lot. This is Nancy’s second litter, there were three in the maiden litter to Adios Alonso. The pick of those is Global Warming (owned by Norman Prendiville), who won a Puppy Stake in Lixnaw and then clocked well in the Macroom Derby TS before he was withdrawn, so he could be a bit of a dark horse next season.”
Ballymore Queen (by Razor Ashmore), who won the 2017 Newbridge Open Cup and is a daughter of the 2009 Hotel Minella Oaks semi-finalist, Ballymore Trick (Janey Mac Aroo-Gooleen Jessie), had three dogs and six bitches to Silent Whisper on January 28.
“This is Ballymore Queen’s first litter and we might sell a couple of the bitches as it could prove difficult to get entries for them all when the time comes. She is the daughter of an Oaks semi-finalist and a half-sister of the fast Something Quick (by Bexhill Eoin), who won the 2012 Spirit Of Mischief Stakes for us and then qualified for the Champion Bitch Stake the following season after victories in the All-Age Bitch Stake at Rathdowney and the Seamus Hughes Memorial Cup at Sevenhouses.”
Those latest arrivals won’t see action until the 2021/22 season but Úna, John and the clan have plenty of stock to keep them on their toes next season, which include saplings and their Derby qualifier and East Donegal Gold Cup winner from last season, Bus Connects (Blades Of Hope-Gowayoudat).
“We’ve around a dozen for trial-stakes for the coming season, a mixture of Adios Alonso’s, Newinn Wonder’s and Silent Whisper’s, so they’ll keep us busy. And I’m really looking forward to running Bus Connects. He pulled a TFL muscle in Clonmel, but he is bouncing at the minute and I’m looking forward to him competing in Cups next season.” concluded Úna.

Main photo: Silent Whisper – Ballymore Queen pups enjoying great freedom.

Below:  Drive On Smokey – Moat Nancy pups.

Una Drive On Smokey

Dan Byrne

Sporting Press – Article 15

Best of care earns back-to-back titles for Dan – By Anne Marie O’Brien

THE meticulous care and feeding regime that has won the Dog of the Year title at Mullingar for Dan Byrne’s dogs for the past two years is being maintained during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Dan is pictured here with his grandsons Daniel and Shane, and three of his dogs, Oldinn Daddy, the white and black Panda Bawn, and the brindled Starcash Tiger.
Racing or not, Dan, who lives in Clongorey, near Newbridge, is out with his seven dogs at 7am each morning, walking up a laneway near his home. They get another walk in the evening, and a gallop every week, so will certainly be race-fit whenever it begins again.
Dan races at Mullingar nearly every weekend and is a very regular winner there, with Panda Bawn winning the Dog of the Year title in 2019 and the 2018 winner was Pride Of Luck, who has since retired with an injury and has been happily rehomed in Italy.
He says: “I’m a pensioner and a widower and it suits me to race on a Saturday and Sunday. My grandchildren come with me most of the time, and the dogs keep me occupied.
“I do my dogs well – I feed them cereal, yogurt and honey for breakfast every morning. If they’re winning, it’s what I’m putting into them. Starcash Tiger was bought in the sales but has won 18 races.”
Dan is ably assisted by his 11 and 12-year-old grandsons, Daniel and Shane Byrne, who are first cousins and live nearby, so are always on hand to go racing with their grandad.
Dan says: “All the dog men in Mullingar know them and say they’re the future of the sport.”
The two boys have a great knowledge of racing, able to recall every detail of the dogs they’ve had and seen; and hopefully it won’t be too long before they’re all on the road again to Mullingar and enjoying more Sunday successes.