Ian Fortune

The passing of Pat Curtin last year was a real shock to the entire Irish greyhound racing community.

A man who had a character and presence as big as his frame, the gentle giant was remembered at Mullingar in recent weeks with the Pat Curtin Memorial A4/A5 providing some outstanding racing at the midlands venue.

Fittingly, Saturday evening’s decider went to a young bitch with a bright future. John Young’s Clonfert Annie was one of the stars through the prelims, posting a brilliant fastest of the competition 29.15 in the second round.

She may have suffered defeat in the semis when finding traffic but the punters stayed faithful to her and she went to traps the 5/4 joint favourite alongside Dapper Ronnie. It was clear from early that Dapper Ronnie wasn’t going to play much of the part as he missed the start.

In contrast, Bective Ender flashed from trap three but was soon flanked by Brigadier Jaxx and Clonfert Annie. Brigadier Jaxx led briefly on the corner but Clonfert Annie shot the bend to take over. In a matter of strides, she put the race to bed.

Pulling right away, the promising daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Blundel Bridie would eventually come home seven lengths clear in 29.26. Brigadier Jaxx was second with Kelpie taking third, a further three and a half lengths adrift.

There is no doubt the winner has the ability to compete at a higher level and we look forward to seeing how her career develops. As for Pat Curtin, I’m sure he would have approved of the winner and the manner in which she saw of her rivals with such swagger.