Ballynennan Moon

Ballynennan Moon

Photo(s) Courtesy www.thedogs.co.uk

Whelped in 1939, Ballynennan Moon was a tall, finely built brindle dog. He was unlucky to race during the war years, when the Classic races were not being contested. Such were his speed and toughness that it is highly likely that he would have won at least one of greyhound racing’s great prizes. As it was, his record is outstanding, with 73 wins from 111 races in Great Britain and Ireland. Though Ballynennan Moon won races at distances up to 550 yards, he was essentially a sprinter, and considered by many to be among the best ever, owing to his brilliant trapping and acceleration to the first bend.

Ballynennan Moon was sired in Ireland by Mr Moon, a very fast son of Mutton Cutlet. After running a sub-30 second race at Shelbourne Park, Ballynennan Moon was sold by his owner, Billy Quinn, to Mrs J.J.Cearns, wife of Wimbledon Stadium’s managing director. She put the dog in training with Mick The Miller’s handler, Sidney Orton. In his first competition in England Ballynennan Moon won the final of the 1941 Summer Cup at Wembley in very quick time. Five more wins followed, but then he succumbed to sickness, and didn’t reappear until the spring of 1942, when he won the Walthamstow Stakes and the Wimbledon Spring Cup. He was virtually unbeatable for the rest of 1942 and most of 1943 at distances between 400 and 525 yards. In one spell of 48 races he won 40 times and finished second seven times. Among his successes were the Charlton Spring Cup, the Wembley Summer Cup for the second time, and Walthamstow’s Stewards’ Cup.

Ballynennan Moon was rested during the winter of 1943-4, but returned once more in superb form, winning ten races out of ten. Sadly, he pulled up lame in the Stewards’ Cup and his career was over. He commanded a sizeable fee at stud, but sired nothing remotely as good as himself.

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