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    Buckley Team's Hopes High as Defence Starts Strong
Buckley Team's Hopes High as Defence Starts Strong
Greyhounds. Source: Midjourney

Buckley Team's Hopes High as Defence Starts Strong

Hopes Hurricane is poised to retain the trophy for Irish trainer Pat Buckley after an impressive performance in Saturday’s heats of the Arena Racing Company Kent Silver Salver over 277m at Central Park.

Last year, Buckley’s Flashing Willow won the £12,500 Category One competition, marking the first Irish-trained victory in the event. Now, his young hopeful, Hopes Hurricane, is a strong contender to secure consecutive wins for the Co. Tipperary-based team.

During the heats, Hopes Hurricane was initially led by the fast-starting Fastlane Bex. The speedy young son of Droopys Sydney challenged for the lead around the bends. While Dan Brabon’s Killuran Bella had the advantage off the last bend, Hopes Hurricane, running wide, surged ahead to win by three-quarters of a length in 16.58 seconds.

Adam Sear’s My Lennie clocked the fastest time of the six heats with an impressive break, pulling away from his rivals. The June 22 son of Newinn Taylor won by a length-and-a-half over Perry Barr’s Magical Bluebear (William Russell) in the fastest time of the night, 16.29 seconds.

Last year’s finalist, Ballyard Shawny, took advantage of Broadway Murty’s withdrawal in heat two. Jason Bloomfield’s runner led for a two-length victory over odds-on favorite Romeo Crusade, finishing in 16.38 seconds.

Emers Sammy continued his remarkable record at Central Park with another smooth victory in heat five. Nearly unbeatable on home soil, he led on the approach to the first bend, securing a length-and-three-quarters win over Guzzler (Belinda Green) in 16.48 seconds.

Other heats were also won by locally-trained runners. Dan Brabon’s Merrymeeting Lil (16.37 seconds) triumphed in the opening heat with a trap-to-line victory, while Mick Mavrias’s Broadway World (16.62 seconds) surprised with a 33-1 win in heat three, which saw National Sprint winner Bombout Bullet eliminated after first-bend crowding.

Trap Draw for Saturday’s Semi-Finals:

First Semi-Final:

  1. Romeo Crusade
  2. Salthill Sniper
  3. Ballyard Shawny
  4. Emers Sammy
  5. Merrymeeting Lil (m)
  6. Guzzler (w)

Second Semi-Final:

  1. Broadway World
  2. Two Slip Jigs
  3. Droopys Standard
  4. Droopys Rarity
  5. My Lennie (w)
  6. Time To Talk (w)

Third Semi-Final:

  1. Romeo Cypher
  2. Killuran Bella
  3. Cappaneale Rocky
  4. Magical Bluebear (m)
  5. Without Justice (m)
  6. Hopes Hurricane (w)

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