Clonmel Track –
Sunday, October 28
With AA Open performances recorded over the sprint, 525 and 575 yards distances, patrons were treated to a session to savour. The star of the show was Ardfert Thunder which took the opening semi-final of the Catunda Harry At Stud Munster Puppy Cup in a blistering 28.41. However, the display of Think It Over which retained his unbeaten record in the Mary O’Reilly/Track Supporters Club A4 Tri-Distance Stake with another brilliant trap to line success in the final was equally impressive. This 2/1 chance romped to a six and a half length win over the favourite Springmount Enda in a superb 31.32.
Earlier top sprinter Kilgraney Hondo had stopped the clock in a smashing 16.20 to gain his seventh career win from twelve runs whilst the standard was set in the opening A4 when Cheerful Lil flew from traps and stayed on in great style to clock a tremendous 28.75.
Race 1 (A4) – The famed Carrick Davins hurling club has seen dark days in recent weeks with the deaths of three of their great stalwarts but they had reason to celebrate here as the 5/2 chance Cheerful Lil trained by Maurice Organ for their former goalkeeper and longtime officer Billy Mackey got the session off to a an unbelievable start. The daughter of Droopys Maldini and Montos Tricks was always at the head of affairs and was highly impressive in accounting for Lyreen Quest and Hack Up Canasta by three and a half lengths and four and a half lengths in a cracking AO class 28.75. Manolita which went off the even money favourite never got into it after a slow start.
Race 2 (SS0/S1) – A 2/1 joint favourite Kilgraney Hondo improved his already outstanding strike rate with a brilliant seventh career success. Newbridge Lad was very fast away in the red jacket but Kilgraney Hondo ran the bends superbly to surge clear and gain a two length success over that rival with the unlucky in running Skywalker Kate three lengths back in third place.
Race 3 (A3) – That great servant North Bay Girl continues to pay her way and now in her fifth year she ran right up to her best form when coming from behind the leader Enchantress in the straight to win going away by a length and a half in 29.23. Owned and trained locally by Claire Moloney the easy to back 3/1 chance was gaining a sixth career success.
Race 4 (A2) – Liscahane Franky owned and trained in Ardfert by Declan Sillis, a great supporter of the track, became the first clear favourite to oblige when leading off the second turn and powering clear to account for Balintagart Star and Thommy Spots by three lengths and six lengths.
Race 5 – The Sporting Press A2 550.
The 7/4 market leader Lomus Divine never looked like obliging in a race dominated by two 4/1 outsiders. Racenight Jack (Crash-Gerpats Simara) broke very fast in the striped jacket and made all the running to score by two lengths from Freedom Serrano which was the winner’s closest rival for much of the trip. Express Hero stayed on to take third place. Racenight Jack which is owned by the Doon based Mad Hare Syndicate clocked 30.25 in breaking his maiden at the sixth attempt.
Race 6 – The Red Mills A1 550.
An open betting race was won in fine style by the 3/1 chance Fifis Whitesox which was following up on his success over the standard trip a week earlier. Witches Peter tried to make all but was headed at the penultimate turn by the winner which just had enough in the tank to hold the flying late finish of Oakfield Turbo by a neck with Witches Peter a length back in third.
Race 7 – The Mary O’Reilly & Track Supporters Club A4 Tri-Distance Stake Final.
This has proved an outstanding stake and it was won by a dog which has gone from strength to strength from day one. Though preferred in the market by Springmount Enda, Think It Over was hugely impressive in making all the running to come home six and a half lengths clear of the favourite with Myles Is Back finishing strongly to deprive Queen of Diamonds of third place. The winner ran his rivals into the ground in all three rounds over the different distances and his winning clock of 31.32 was a stunning run. Those who availed of the generous 2/1 on offer never had a moment’s worry as Think It Over coasted to his eleventh career win from twenty-five runs. His three outings in the competition yielded a total winning margin of eighteen and a half lengths reflecting his superiority over his rivals over all three distances. A son of Crash and Beechers Girl, Think It Over is owned in Mallow by Christopher Walmsley and Ian Lovelock.
Races 8 & 9 – The Catunda Harry At Stud Munster Puppy Cup Semi-Finals.
Fastest first round winner Ardfert Thunder kept himself firmly in line for outright honours in this very valuable and prestigious stake with a brilliant 28.41 run in the opening heat. Going off the 6/4 market leader the son of Droopys Vieri and Soviet Cheyenne, trained by Frances O’Donnell for Ardfert owners Noel and Adrian Clifford, was headed to the opening turns by Hipower Bucko and Pup Fiction but ran the bends superbly to lead early in the back straight before surging clear to defeat Hipower Bucko by five lengths with Laughil George finishing with some purpose to gain third place by a head from Pup Fiction. Ardfert Thunder looks sure to go to traps a warm favourite for next Sunday’s 7,200 euro to the winner decider which is generously sponsored by Larry O’Rourke.
Fahy Legend, owned by the sponsor, went off the even money favourite to take the second semi-final and this son of Archaton Pine and Ardera Diana trained by Tommy Bolton headed Lyreen Legend at the opening bend and kept on gamely to repel the strong late run of market rival Tierans Pride by half a length with the third qualifying spot going to Lyreen Legend which finished some two lengths in arrears of the runner-up.
Clonmel Track – Thursday, October 25
The semi-finals of the Supporters Club No Backgraders A3 Stake provided the highlights of the session with pride of place going to the Timothy O’Donovan trained Melodys Ace which spreadeagled the field when surging to a very impressive nine length success in the opening heat. The son of Ace Hi Rumble and Pretty Nicola stopped the clock in a career best 28.84. The second leg also yielded an above par performance as Valais First trained by Declan Byrne broke her maiden in trap to line fashion in a very useful 29.06. The final will be staged on Sunday week.
Race 1 (29.79) – Stouke Mini and Shaneboy Penny went off the joint favourites at 5/4 and they finished first and second in that order. Owned and trained by Michael Quinn in Cashel, Stouke Mini is a daughter of Ace Hi Rumble and Trey Belinda and she was breaking her maiden at the second attempt.
Race 2 (S5 or Lower) – Brindle Piper led from traps but ran wide on the run for home where the favourite Barmy Barney showed in front only to be immediately challenged by Maybe We Win which got up on the line to take the spoils by a short head with Brindle Piper only half a length adrift in third spot. Maybe We Win is owned jointly in Holycross by Fiona Pollard and Liam Hickey and this daughter of Kinloch Brae and Run On Scooby clocked 16.73 in gaining a second career win.
Race 3 (A6) – Aherlow Minister got to the rails and led from his trap four draw but ran wide off the opening turn which allowed Lady Midnight to take control and this daughter of Ace Hi Rumble and Turbo Flight made the remainder of the running to score by two lengths and half a length from Rocket Charley and Farrock Express in 29.94.
Race 4 (N1/N2) – Pelican Bay (Hondo Black-Ciaras Turbo) owned and trained in Cashel by Matthew Ryan and easy to back at 5/2 accounted for more fancied rivals when taking over from early leader Fairfields Champ and running on well to defeat Valentia Skyview and Express Coral by four and a half lengths and four lengths. The winning time was 29.49.
Race 5 (N0/N1) – Express Sailor a son of Droopys Scolari and Express Wish owned and trained by Michael Dalton was an odds-on chance and he had no difficulty in living up to his reputation with a clear cut four and a half length win over Jaguar Lexi. Poetic Lord took the third spot three lengths in arrears of the runner-up. The winner which led at the opening bend stopped the clock in 29.48.
Race 6 - The Red Mills A5.
Lady Libby was by far the most experienced runner in the field and she registered her second career success on her nineteenth appearance with a trap to line win. A daughter of Montos Carhumore and Only You owned and trained in Waterford by Myles J. Lavery
Lady Libby was pursued throughout by Woodesntown Diva but stayed on well to score by three and a half lengths from that rival with Charity Bobby the even money favourite nearest at the finish in third spot.
Races 7 & 8 – The Supporters Club No Backgraders A3 Stake Semi-Finals.
Dusky Ted was first to show in the opening semi but the odds-on Melodys Ace showed in front off the second bend and stretched clear impressively to leave his rivals for dead. The son of Ace Hi Rumble and Pretty Nicola coasted to a nine length win over General Blaze with Bay City Pixie finishing three lengths back in third place. Trained by Timothy O’Donovan for Ballylongford owner Patrick Collins Melodys Ace clocked a smashing open class 28.84 and will take all the beating in next Sunday’s final
In the second leg Glory Cat shaded Valais First for favouritism but the latter a daughter of Hondo Black and Valais Ruby headed the market leader from traps and was clear of that rival on the back straight where Plain Toffee was delivering a challenge. Valais First which is trained by Declan Byrne for Clonmel owner Laura Gubbins was not to be denied however and she stayed on well to defeat the strong finisher Plain Toffee by a length and a half with the fading Glory Cat five and a half lengths back in third place. The winner clocked a very smart 29.06 on only her second outing and looks sure to improve on this very promising performance.