Greyhounds: Regent Sky wins feature race at Brandywell

The Maisie Simpson 550 winner, Roanna Bonnie pictured with Eunan McBride (Committee) owner Charles Coyle, his sons Nathan and Shane Coyle, Ciaran Coyle and Maisie Simpson.The Maisie Simpson 550 winner, Roanna Bonnie pictured with Eunan McBride (Committee) owner Charles Coyle, his sons Nathan and Shane Coyle, Ciaran Coyle and Maisie Simpson.
The Maisie Simpson 550 winner, Roanna Bonnie pictured with Eunan McBride (Committee) owner Charles Coyle, his sons Nathan and Shane Coyle, Ciaran Coyle and Maisie Simpson.
​There was a large crowd in attendance at Brandywell on Monday night for an all-graded seven race card.

​The feature race on the card was the Runalong Ruby 7th birthday celebration 500 yards, kindly sponsored by Vincent McGuinness and Juliet Aldridge.

Inniskeen Mandy, a recent winner of Bill McKinney memorial Final at the recent Gala night, was the 2/1 favourite to win.

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At traprise Regent Sky from trap six flew from traps and the April 22 bitch went several lengths clear around the opening bends. She maintained the lead until the final bends but Inniskeen Mandy started to close. Into the home straight Regent Sky still had a length in hand and although Inniskeen Mandy kept closing, she held on to win by a head in a time of 27.98 at odds of 3/1 for the Strabane based Watch and Learn syndicate and trainer Dylan Porter.

In the first race on the card, a pup race, Titanic Bucks was well supported at evens to win and it looked good for his supporters when the black dog went a few lengths clear at traprise. Drumcrow Gal from trap one started to close and near the line the 5/2 shot gained the upper hand to win by a length in a good time of 16.76 for Tyrone based owner Roy Ruddy.

In the sixth race over 500 yards the punters got it spot on. Rough Ranger, a March ‘22 dog had no wins on his card after eight runs but the 2/1 soon disappeared on the bookmakers boards and evens was the best price available before the off. After traprise the punters didn’t have a moment’s worry. Rough Ranger went clear and ran out an easy winner by over three lengths in a time of 28.19 for Ballymena based owner John McQuillian.

There will be no racing next week at the track due to the Foyle Cup taking place. Racing resumes the following Monday night.

Maisie Simpson Gala Meeting at Lifford

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Last Sunday afternoon at Lifford Stadium there was a special gala race day in aid of Maisie Simpson, the brave and inspirational 14 year-old who has been fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The gala race day was to help raise funds for the Simpson family and Maisie to go towards medical costs and travelling expenses and it was fantastic to see the very large crowd in attendance on the day with many families there with their children on a lovely sunny day for the meeting.

The main race on the card was the Maisie Simpson 550 and it looked very open on form.

Quivers Nando, a competition winner earlier in the year at the track, was the 7/4 favourite to win and it looked good for the favourite when he took the lead along the back straight. However, approaching the final bends the field closed up and after interference the favourite dropped back to third. Roanna Bonnie from trap two took the lead and looked set for an easy victory at that point but That's are Doll from Trap four started to close in. But in a thrilling finish Roanna Bonnie held on to win by a head at odds of 5/2 for trainer Charles Coyle and after the race it was great to see Maisie and her family and friends presenting the trophy to the winning connections. Maisie received a fantastic reception from the people in the packed stands and I have to thank the committee that put in the hard work over the last few months, organising this special day for Maisie and her family.

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Thanks also to all the public who attended the meeting and bought tickets for the prize and to all the businesses and individual people who sponsored races and greyhounds. Also thanks to the staff at Lifford Greyhound Stadium.

Remember, race nights have changed to Saturday nights. First race at 7.45pm and racing on Sunday afternoon starts at 4pm.

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