Ian Fortune

When naming a greyhound Hes The Greatest you better be sure he has plenty of talent.

Brendan Matthews was clearly in no doubt as the aforementioned dog made a stunning debut at Kilkenny on Friday night to set the standard in the opening round of the Champion Open Unraced 525. 

On a night when so many young, well-bred greyhounds caught the eye, Hes The Greatest was the standout performer as he posted a rapid 28.94.

A member of the talented Ballymac Bolger/ Dolce Vita litter, the August ’20 whelp quickly set about justifying odds-on favouritism in Heat 6. Breaking fast, he quickened to the front in the opening yards and was never under any pressure before coming home five and a half length clear of Shady Bueno. Urban View was third.


Not far behind him on the clock was Denis Lennon’s Luminous Trigger.

Infact, the son of Good News and Luminous Fancy was only a length slower as he too dominated to record a fast 29.01 in the penultimate heat.

After a pretty level start, Luminous Trigger asserted into the turn, showing a fine early speed to get around in front of Jameson Act. The latter was crowded out at the third turn, leaving Deadly Crusader to come home in second. Luminous Trigger was in a league of his own, however, and he stayed on to secure a five and a half length victory. Lackenhill was another two lengths away in third.


The final heat of the round saw Michael Hogan’s Grangeview Port assert from the start.

The son of Grangeview Ten and Blastoff Khalesi broke smartly and was soon clear. Legolas had a far from clear passage in behind but displayed plenty of pace to come through for second, some three and a half lengths behind Grangeview Port, who stopped the clock in 29.09. Blackstone Gorgy also displayed pace in third.


Lemon Jock was too strong for his rivals in the opening heat. Tom Lennon’s charge was second into the back straight behind Yankee Doodle but made his move around the final bends.

Striking the front before the final turn, the son of Droopys Sydney and Lemon Ariana saw off the fast finishing Urban Captain and Yankee Doodle by three parts of a length and a length in 29.26.


Karol Ramsbottom sent out Cheque For Sir (Droopys Sydney/ Yahoo Ava) to win the second heat.

The October ’20 whelp held a narrow lead into the turn and down the back straight but he was joined and briefly headed by Droopys Gravy between the last two bends.

Cheque For Sir wasn’t going to be denied, however, and he rallied on the run in to beat his rival; by a length in 29.18. Lough Mistoki also displayed pace in defeat, eventually finishing two and a half lengths further back in third.   


Another Holiday provided Jack Roche and Michael O’Donovan with a winner in Heat 3.

Despite mistiming the start, the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Vigorous Lindsey quickened into the turn to dispute the lead. He was challenged by Minglers Nitro and Kilbreedy Sydney but forced his way to the front.

Once going to the front, the October ’20 whelp eased on to eventually cross the line two and a half lengths and two and a half lengths clear of Kilbreedy Sydney and Minglers Nitro in 29.37. 


Liam Peacock has a nice prospect in the form of Bogger Bible (Skywalker Farloe/ Bottle Of Banter). Despite cutting inwards, finding early traffic, from a wide draw, he managed to slip around second to Dashgrove Bolger. This allowed him to use his superior strength from halfway.

Closing all the way, Bogger Bible got up in the final strides to record a neck verdict over the long-time pace-setter in 29.32. Pablo Escobark was a big eye-catcher in third, finishing at speed after bad early traffic to finish just a half lengths further adrift.


There was a dead-heat in Heat 5 with Karen Geoghegan’s Kilcolgan Zeus (Pat C Sabbath/ Razldazl Valerie) and Padraig Tobin’s Makkari Confident Rankin/ Foxy Diva) crossing the line locked in battle. Lemon Gavin slipped around in front but Makkari was always in his slipstream and he joined the leader on the third turn before going to the front.

Kilcolgan Zeus was last early but moved third by the third turn. Staying on strongly, the Neilus O’Connell trained Kilcolgan Zeus joined the Karol Ramsbottom trained Makkari on the line with both dogs stopping the clock in 29.38.