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Racing News

Mullan makes it 1001 winners as milestone is celebrated

Report by Chris Ashmore

Willie Mullan, one of the best known greyhound trainers in the north-west, recently celebrated his 1000th winner, and at Lifford Greyhound Stadium on Sunday a special presentation was made to him to mark the milestone.

The Derry based trainer has been coming to Lifford for years and has enjoyed considerable success at the track.

The seventh race on the eight race card on Sunday was appropriately named as the “Congratulations Willie Mullan A4 525”.

And it was almost won by a Mullan trained dog. In a pulsating conclusion to the race, Eager Colm (3/1) for Tyrone owner and trainer Damien McConville finished in 29.10, just a length ahead of the Mullan trained Dance Cooper who is owned by James Logue.

That second spot, coincidentally, marked the 1,000th runners-up position for Mullan, who has also had 894 third places in a career over several decades that has seen listed as the trainer for dogs in almost 4,000 races.

Mullan had actually celebrated his 1001st winner in one of the heats earlier in the North West Greyhound Supplies A2/A3 Tri Distance competition.

The vastly experienced Unreliable (5/2), owned and trained by Mullan, won by a short head in front of Charles Coyle’s Xhaka in 29.22. It was a 15th win in 62 races for Unreliable.

The other hear winners in the Tri-Distance heats (over 525 yards) were: Quivers Nando (6/4), 28.86; Pivotal Time (2/1), 28.78; and No Sock Gar (6/4), 28.74.

In the first two sprints of the evening, there were good wins for Cahil Mall (6/4), for Strabane’s Georgina Gibbons and trainer Declan Crossan, who won an S4 325 in 17.81 while in the Lyna’s S2 325, the evens-money Gortin Sid, for Darragh and Niall McGhee, clocked 17.54.

In the concluding race on an evening that saw seven of the eight favourites triumphing, Dromrich Shadow (2/1) returned to winning ways for trainer John Durrigan with a 17.61 win.

Friday’s action

The opening novice 325 on Friday was won by Whodoyoucallcolm (2/1) in a decent 17.91 in convincing fashion for Nigel McFarry and Cora McClelland with more than six lengths to spare over Urbanesque.

The second race, the Woodlawn Care Group S7 resulted in a good win for the most experienced dog in the field, Dees Lady (3/1), owned and trained by Strabane’s Shaun Eastwood.

Running out of trap five, she flew out of the boxes and surged into a big lead by the first bend only to fade somewhat late on and finished just three-quarters of a length in front of the fast closing Road to Galway trained by Lifford’s Cathal McGhee.

Gallony Star (3/1) did the business for another local man, Martin Porter, by winning the Old Daly’s A6 525 in 29.73.

St. Johnston native Dean Toland saw his Novak (evens) notching up a first career win in the Track Bookies S6 325, crossing the line in 17.81.

There was another Tyrone winner in the GMK A5 525 which saw Fleadh Saorla (6/4) obliging for owner/trainer James Kerr as she registered her maiden victory in what was her seventh race.

Starting well out of trap two, she led from the first bend and finished in 28.77.

Lifford based trainer Tony Maxwell had a winner with the Michael O’Kane owned Witch Fighter (2/1) who won the Lyna’s A5 325 in 17.78 as she found a gap to take up the lead on the first bend and never looked back.

Knockadoo Chris (2/1) won the Express Food Service A4 525 in 29.51 while Chlas Bandit (evens) took the honours in the Rosie’s Cafe S3 525, registering a decent 17.56.

The last of nine races, an A3 525, saw Breaghmore Paudy (5/4) winning for trainer Charles Coyle in 29.29, just pipping Osage by half a length.

The estimated going on both nights was .10 fast for sprints and .20 fast for the 525s.

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