It doesn’t seem that long since Rural Hawaii began his career in an unraced stake at Clonmel. He was always a lovely dog at home and a lunatic at the track, and in his first race he tried to charge the front of traps, got his muzzle stuck, went up in the air and nearly fell over.
He was eliminated and I took him to Tralee for a trial where he flew first time around in 28.54. On top of that they made the going .10 slow. I was livid because it was an open class time.
It was way quicker than I was expecting and I realised we had no chance of getting him into an easy puppy race. So I laid into the racing manager about the going allowance ‘how am I every going to win a race with this pup?’
With few choices open to us, we entered him in the Con Kirby at Limerick. I was amazed when he went unbeaten all the way to the final where he was picked up by Cable Bay. The Tralee racing manager still takes great delight in reminding me ‘how am I ever going to win a race with this pup. . .”
On Sunday, we had the heats of the Rural Hawaii At Stud Unraced at Clonmel. We had three pups in it, all from his dam’s next litter by Kinloch Brae, and I was delighted that two of them won. Rural Brae clocked the fastest time of the night 28.82 (-10). Sister Rural Aloha, who is less experienced than the dogs, ran a great race to clock 29.14 (-10). Althlough he was beaten, their brother Tiger ran really well to finish third.
We reared the two dog pups I have already been asked whether Brae compares to his half brother Hawaii. He doesn’t really. While Tiger is bit headstrong like Hawaii, Brae is altogether a calmer dog and a tight railer. But he does have great early pace and fantastic potential. He could prove to be a very good greyhound.
As for the winning time, with all the salt down, I thought it was even better than the going suggests. There were some 29.00 dogs doing 29.50 on the night. Put it this way, I think Brae would be a 28.50 Shelbourne dog even now.
On the subject of Rural Hawaii, we put his first pups up the gallop this week. They are a couple of stunning young dogs and weight 76lbs and 82lbs. It was their first time on a lead and if they had messed around, I wouldn’t have bothered. But they were well behaved and when we let them loose, they absolutely flew.
I expected nothing less to be honest. I bet we don’t get one non-chaser in every hundred pups we rear. They aren’t all fast of course, they will they nearly always chase a lure.
The Gold Cup at Shelbourne has come a bit early for the kennel. We had a couple in it, with one winner, though the other runner has since gone down with sickness.
We had some trials before racing last Saturday and because Fantasy Joey was in the last race, I had a meal in the restaurant. I have never been a punter, but had a few silly tenners, and picked five winners. I never back my own dogs so left Joey alone but nobody believed I hadn’t cleaned up on a 7-1 winner.
Most of the kennel stars have been on the gallops in preparation for the Easter Cup. The list includes Sonic, Drive On Tipp, Droopys Cabaye and Clonbrien Hero. I plan to put a few of them in sprint trials at Shelbourne on Saturday.
We have a nice group of young dogs going down to Tralee for the unraced stake. Look out for Slippy Ciaran, Ballygowen Jake, Farrenheit Daz, Well Boots and Nice Charmer. If I had to pick one out, I would probably go for Newinn Blake (Laughil Blake-Coolavanny Pearl, Aug 16) who has tremendous pace and will be using the competition for experience with the Con Kirby the real objective.
We are still galloping Clares Rocket and he is absolutely flying up the gallop. And I mean flying! He has been up three times this week and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
The only reason he hasn’t been on a track yet is because I am frightened that the bubble might burst. But I will give him a handslip next week, with fingers crossed. . .