Better Call Caul: Swords Rex too sharp in Kirby Memorial final

Better Call Caul - latest Irish and UK racing news with Barry Caul

Swords Rex ran out a stunning winner of the 2022 Con & Annie 525 at on Saturday night after yet another flawless display from the front.

The Graham Holland-trained youngster was fast away from the inside and just led up from Ballinabola Ed with Kildare going up strongly from box four between them.

Swords Rex ran a perfect first bend while Kildare moved off slightly and, in the process, did Ballinabola Ed no favors, carrying him slightly wide around the opening two turns.

As they entered the back straight Rex had built up a three-length lead over the improving pair of Droopys Edison and Magical Kuba who were making ground either side of Kildare while Ballinabola Ed and Scooby Prince looked to have an uphill task from the back of the field.

Swords Rex continued to pile on the pressure up front and if anything increased his lead to four lengths at the third bend.

Magical Kuba was the one to come out of the pack but there was no stopping the leader as he crossed the line some four-and-a-half lengths clear of Magical Kuba back in second, while Kildare took the bronze medal with an unlucky Ballinabola Ed back in fourth place.

It was the biggest win as an owner for the team of Barbra & Leonard Lowndes since Palm Springs won the at Shelbourne back in 1996. Since then, they have had plenty of ups and downs but remain big supporters of the game today.

Shingaun Stan was a wonder bitch for the couple when trained by Brian Madigan from 2007 to 2009. The trio also enjoyed much success with Swords Prince, who won the Shelbourne Tote Gold Cup in 2009 as well as many top races around the Dublin venue.

Swords is another top performer currently in the care of Holland for the pair and along with Swords Rex will form a strong duo for the couple for the major events on the horizon in 2022.

Once again, many congratulations to all involved and a massive thank you to the McManus family for their continued support of the event.

As you would expect, the supporting card at Limerick was top quality.

Leading Irish sprinter Flashing Willow put in a breathtaking display when taking the sprint. Slow away from box six, he powered to the turn to take up the running and hit the line strongly to win by an ever-increasing three lengths in a fine 18:49 for trainer Pat Buckley.

Buckley was at the double with his superstar bitch and Derby runner-up Singalong Sally. Sally was a finalist in the 2021 Kirby Memorial last year and she beat a good quality field including Park Blake when she made all in a smart time of 28:27.

Jacktavernbella completed a double on the night for Holland when she took the stayers event on the card. The well-backed youngster found herself in pockets of trouble on a couple of occasions but tracked well to win by two lengths at the line and now takes her impressive record to five wins from seven starts.

Snazzy spoils Wedding party at Shelbourne

Ballymac Snazzy just held off the late and persistent challenge of Maries Wedding to land the final of the Suncroft Festival Puppy Oaks at on Saturday night.

Fast away from box three, she made every inch of the running but was closely pursued by the gallant runner up Maries Wedding.

There was only a head in it as they crossed the line with five lengths back to Kildallon Tilly back in third place.

You would imagine most, if not all, the finalists will go for the upcoming Sporting Press Irish Oaks starting at Shelbourne Park early next month.

Ballymac Whispa outshines Susie Sapphire

As well as the Suncroft Festival Puppy Oaks at Shelbourne there were also a host of other top-class races.

was undoubtedly the star attraction on the night, but things didn’t go according to plan for the current Derby/Oaks champion in the 11th race on the card.

Moderately away from two, she showed all her early pace and determination on the run to the corner but could never quite shake off Kilgraney Sydney and Crokers Spirit to the corner.

Eventually she did get loose as they hit the back straight, but already the stronger stayers were hot on her heels and it was evident as they hit the third turn that she was in trouble.

Ballymac Whispa showed huge pace to power to the front at the third bend, leaving the others in a somewhat muddling race for second. Crokers Spirit ran on well to finish runner-up, some eight lengths behind the impressive winner.

Susie Sapphire trailed in at the back of the field. A brief chat with her trainer on Monday reveals all is well and she will improve for the run.

Clona Blu was the fastest winner on the night for trainer Kevin Losty and looks to be a dog with a bright future. He stopped the clock in 28:26 for the 480m trip.

Maiden Derby Final at Towcester

This Sunday will see the final of the Maiden Derby at , where the Brendan Matthews-trained Wide Open will be looking to win the competition unbeaten.

The brilliant young daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Dolce Vita has now won four of her five starts, her only defeat coming on her debut in the first round of the Kirby Memorial at Limerick won by Swords Rex.

Since that defeat, she has won around Shelbourne and is now three from three around Towcester. She runs from box one in this Sunday’s final and it is impossible to oppose her.

The ante-post favorite prior to last week’s semi final, Coolavanny Shado, was withdrawn with a hairline fracture and will be on the sideline for the foreseeable future.

Wide Open has been installed as the $1.66 favorite for Sunday’s showpiece, with Farneys Maestro in box two her nearest market rival at $3.50.

The final will be broadcast live on RPGTV and on Greyhound Watchalong on YouTube.

Judgement Night at Monmore

Saturday evening sees a good card at Monmore in the trainers’ championship.

The 21:18 (GMT) race looks to be the main attraction with the likes of Bockos Belly, who ran so well in the Derby last year, taking on a classy field including Signet Ace, Antigua Woofwoof and Ricky ’s ace hurdler Lenson Doolin, who is having his first race back on the flat since February.

Crossfield Dusty will be a warm favorite to take the sprint contest on the card from an ideal draw in one.

Later on the card, Coolavanny Bani should be hard to beat in the bitch’s event at 20:03, last seen when just caught late on in the Arena Racing Company Grand Prix final at . This trip may suit her better.

On that occasion she was denied victory by Coolavanny Aunty, who goes in the six-bend contest on the card at 20:43. She faces some classy opposition with Bombardier and looking to give her most to do.

It’s a terrific card and once again will be broadcast live on RPGTV from 18:17.

This weekend’s best bets

Saturday Monmore (21:18)


Bockos Belly

Bet Type



1 unit

*Odds correct at time of publication

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