Midtown Raffa saved his best start and best performance for the night that mattered as he raced to Irish Independent Laurels success at a packed Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium in Cork on Saturday night.
The hugely talented son of Kinloch Brae and Rafa Baby was sent to traps the 2-1 favourite, despite plenty willing to take him on, but he chose the right night to get his trapping in order.
It was immediately evident that the Kerry based trainer Mossie O’Connor star was going to take the world of beating as he matched the noted fast starter Knocktoo Garry at traps before making his superior early dash count. Quickening into a clear lead on the corner, the race was over as a contest as early as the second turn.
Burgess Rumble slipped around second, while Mimis Ace came next, but they were only battling it out for minor honours. Owned by the Skevena Syndicate, the July ’12 whelp displayed few signs of fatigue as he crossed the line five and a half lengths clear of Burgess Rumble in a very quick 28.31. Mimis Ace was just a short head away third.
The syndicate that owns Raffa are made up of Tralee based Dave Prendiville, John Sullivan, Sean Cody plus brothers Tony and Billy Colbert, both based in New York. Tony runs New York City’s Tir na Nog bar near Madison Square Garden and he was certain that he made the right decision to hop on a plane, “I was insistently told I just had to come ‘home’ for this; what an experience and reception.” The winners cheque of €30,000 certainly made that decision even better!
Mossie O’Connor confirmed after the final that they would now be looking towards the Irish Greyhound Derby and a chance to win the €250,000 bonus that John Boyle of Boylesports.com has put in place.
One would also suspect they may be tempted by the BoyleSports race of Champions at Tralee next month, but for the moment they can concentrate on celebrations