SPORTS ROUND-UP: Davy was the main mann at Cheltenham

Winning owner David Mann

Flamboyant county Limerick nightclub owner Davy Mann received little shut-eye over the New Year’s bank holiday weekend as he made his way to Cheltenham for the big holiday race meeting.

His efforts were more than worth the trip as his runner, The Real Whacker, came home a handsome 10/1 winner of the Dipper Novices Chase.

The winner was trained by Ballysteen native Paddy Neville, and the ride was by Sam Twiston-Davies.

Neville has only had his licence in the UK for the past few months.

“It’s a dream to come here. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in the same room as Paul Nicholls and Sir Alex Ferguson, let alone beaten them. We’ll be back in March (Cheltenham Festival) and can’t wait,” Mann told the Racing Post.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Said Neville: “I’ve minded him (The Real Whacker) as I know he’s a good one. If he was in a bigger yard, he would have got lost. He has a big frame and he’s still babyish but he’s improving all the time and on the up. We will come back for the festival and enter him in a couple of races.”


It is with heart-warming fondness that one remembers the place that shaped childhood and set their course for life. 

Munster’s Roman Salanoa has revealed similar sentiments for his homeland of Laie – a small town of around 900 households, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. 

“A lot of it being over here is having the opportunity to lighten the load back home, help the food bill,” he said in a pre-Christmas Irish Independent interview. 

“Growing up, we never thought we were poor or middle-class because we were all in the same boat. You don’t notice who is poor or wealthy. It was a happy place to be.

“But it’s nice to be able to help my family fend for themselves a bit better. It’s an expensive place to live, the cost of living bears no relation to salaries.”

Salanoa’s introduction to Ireland was prompted by an email from Limerick man Wes Liddy, a producer in RTÉ and sometimes rugby talent spotter, back in 2016.  He had just spurned the NFL and was working in maintenance. 

The ongoing rugby journey of Roman Salanoa is enthralling! 


Limerick continue their McGrath Cup Munster Senior Football campaign with a tricky outing against Tipperary at Templetuohy on Sunday next (January 14, throw-in 2pm).

On the local front, Daniel Daly managed Fr Casey’s (Abbeyfeale) toppled deadly rivals Newcastle West 0-8 to 0-5 in the Premier Under-21 Football Final at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale. 

Chief scorers were free-taker Dylan Quirke (3), Eliah Riordan (2), and Adam Fitzgerald (2). 

Elsewhere, Alan McGrath confidently captained Ballysteen – for whom David O’Shaughnessy scored an excellent 1-5 – to overcame Ballylanders (1-11 to 0-6) in the ‘A’ Final at Adare. 

Zach McCarthy kicked four brilliant points for Galtee Gaels in their narrow defeat of Knockaderry in the ‘B’ Final (0-5 to 0-3) at Kilmallock.


The connections of any runner that wins both the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial (Limerick) and the National Puppy Stake (Shelbourne Park) in 2023 will receive a €20,000 bonus, Greyhound Racing Ireland has announced. 

This year will be the tenth running of the Kirby, which itself boasts a prize fund of over €150,000. 

For the Sprint Triple Crown, which includes the Treaty Cup at Limerick, there is a bonus of €15,000 if a greyhound wins all three, or €5,000 if placed in all finals. 

Any monies will be split: 40 per cent to the owner, 40 per cent to the trainer, and 20 per cent to the breeder.