LOCAL bitch Raha Mofo, trained by Kilkenny’s Murt Leahy) gave a swashbuckling display to deny Tipperary-trained Scooby Duchess in a fascinating contest.
For winning owner Marissa Molloy the Shelbourne Park thriller was an incredible night, packed with emotions as she remembered her late father, Stephen and also celebrating her superstar’s cracking victory.
Favourite Scooby Duchess flashed from the inside box to dictate the pace into the turn but her supporters would have known the race was far from over when Raha Mofo also broke fast to be a close second with Droopys Nextone on her heels in third.
Scooby ran a magnificent bend to enter the back straight with just over three lengths in hand on Raha Mofo
Passing halfway, Scooby maintained her advantage, but Raha Mofo was still in daylight and running hard. Droopys Nextone was also showing exceptional pace as she attempted to join Raha Mofo.
As hard as Droopys Nextone tried, she was never going to catch those in front and she lost her chance when forced to check slightly on the third turn.
It was now a two-dog affair between Scooby and Raha Mofo.
A WONDERFUL FINAL BEND
In normal circumstances, one would have expected Scooby Duchess to go on to score as she continued to hold a near three-length lead into the home straight. Staying tight to the fence, she also saved vital ground.
But so too did Raha Mofo. Running a wonderful final bend, she had the bit between her teeth.
Showing super power and pace, Raha Mofo closed with each giant stride on the run in. Scooby Duchess drove toward the line but it just wouldn’t come in time.
In contrast, for the many supporters of Raha Mofo, it was clear she was on her way into the history books.
The bitch was bought by the late Stephen Molloy from Stevie Dunne and sent to Kilkenny under the care of Murt Leahy.
The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen was remarkable in her consistency over the past month.
After winning her semi-final in a rapid 28.15, she went just one spot faster to record the seventh victory of her relatively short career.
An A5 winner the week ahead of the Oaks, she is now a classic champion.
Scooby Duchess deserves credit for making this a very memorable Oaks final, while Droopys Nextone also ran a massive race in third, a length and a half behind the runner-up.
For Murt Leahy and his Village Kennel operation, it was another incredible night. The Kilkenny man is now firmly established as one of the go-to men in Irish greyhound racing.
Great credit must go to Murt, his wife Deirdre and the whole team. There is nothing lucky about success in greyhound racing, it comes down to hard work and everything the family is achieving right now is fully deserved.
And, of course, to owner Marissa Molloy, the sincerest congratulations. Her love for Raha Mofo and the attachment she feels for the young bitch are obvious. As one of the last two pups purchased by her late father, Raha Mofo will forever hold a special place in her heart