The seven race all National Hunt card at Clonmel last Thursday attracted large fields and punters had to wait until the final event to find a winning favourite. Tipperary trainers Bill Harney and Andrew Slattery each saddled a winner while the County Waterford trainer Henry de Bromhead produced the major shock of the afternoon when his 40/1 outsider Casa Jove (almost 119/1 on the tote) took the Cashel Maiden Hurdle.
The action began on a course which was officially described as soft with the Cahir Mares Maiden Hurdle for which Charlie Swan had charge of the 5/2 favourite Taraval.
This first jolly of the day found one too good for her, however, in the shape of A Little Swifter which benefited from the fall of Meitheamh at the penultimate hurdle and was left clear to go on and defeat Taraval by two and a half lengths. The winner which was returned at 7/1 and had won a point-to-point should prove a great chasing mare according to her trainer Michael Winters who is based in Kanturk. The winning rider was Declan Bates.
The success of Casa Jove proved a big hit with the bookmakers and Andrew Lynch’s mount made all the running before staying on well to hold the challenge of the 6/4 joint favourite Mississippi River by a neck. The other joint favourite Mickelson trained by Noel Meade proved most disappointing and finished in midfield.
Norahs Fancy which had won her maiden by twenty-two lengths at Galway on the previous Sunday turned out again in the Powerstown Demesne Handicap Hurdle and she coasted home by eleven lengths from Monahullan Prince with the 3/1 favourite Black Mac back in third place. Trainer Jimmy Mangan from Conna, Co. Cork reported that the winner’s future would be as a chaser. Noras Fancy which was a 100/30 chance in the ring paid just a fraction over evens on the tote. The trainer’s son Patrick Mangan was the winning rider.
The fourth running of the Graham Norris Memorial Maiden Hurdle was won by Blackwell Synergy which had finished runner-up at Listowel on his previous run. This 9/2 chance gave Youghal jockey Davy Russell his 49th winner of the season. Blackwell Synergy had just half a length in hand of runner-up Datokepe at the line but this was not a true reflection of the winner’s superiority on the day. John Supple from Abbeyfeale in County Kerry was the winning trainer.
Templemore’s Bill Harney was the first Tipperary based trainer to visit the winner’s enclosure and he did it with the well supported 3/1 chance Kakagh which stayed on well under a top ride from Barry Geraghty to defeat the 16/1 outsider Prince of Fire by three quarters of a length in the Wilderness Chase. The favourite On The Way Out faded in the closing stages to finish in third place. Trainer Harney also won this event a year ago with Leanne.
Andrew Slattery who trains outside Thurles took the Munster Beginners Chase with the 11/1 chance Prince of Milan which paid odds of over 16/1 on the tote. A point-to-point winner and a winner of a schooling bumper in Tipperary, Prince of Milan is highly regarded and he gave an impressive display under rider Mick Darcy to come home four and a half lengths clear of Twelfth of Never with Portrait King three quarters of a length back in third place. Ruby Walsh’s mount Souvenir Royal went off the 2/1 market leader but was a first fence faller.
Without a winner all afternoon, the punters plunged on the Willie Mullins trained Local Celebrity in the concluding Clonmel Oil Day 10th November Irish National Hunt Flat Race in an attempt to recover some of their losses. Supported from 7/4 to 11/8 favourite Local Celebrity set out to make all the running and he had his rivals in trouble
in the straight before romping to a three and a half length win over Jack The Pirate with Sparville three and a half lengths behind the runner-up in third place. Given a fine ride by the trainer’s son Patrick Mullins the Bach gelding looks well capable of following up on this success.
There were two winners of the Jackpot pool of j5,000 with each receiving j1,875. The Placepot pool amounted to j18,862.64 and 290 winning units each received j43.60. The tote aggregate bet for the meeting was j54,258.35 compared with the j81,777 wagered at the corresponding meeting a year ago.
Clonmel’s biggest meeting of the year, Clonmel Oil Day is fixed for Thursday next and is an afternoon not to be missed by any NH Racing fan.