Clonmel Track – Sunday, 21st April
All the major contenders are still standing following the completion of a high class second round of the Connolly Red Mills Produce Stakes at a well attended Davis Road complex on a cold but thankfully dry April evening.
The fireworks began early with a superb performance from the Graham Holland trained even money favourite Holborn Junior in the opening heat. The son of Kinloch Brae and Holborn Dolly posted a brilliant trap to line best of the session 28.42. The big Owen McKenna hope Farloe Calvin retained his unbeaten record when taking heat five in 29.52, a time that was also recorded by one of the surprise packets of the evening Matthew Noonan’s flying Conna Kingsmill.
Other highlights included a 28.53 run from the big Tom O’Neill contender Glenanore Dancer, a great double for Pat Dalton with siblings Graduation Day and Signal Tower, a career best 28.58 for Frances O’Donnell’s Skywalker Apollo and an upset in the final heat which saw Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Jordan break his maiden at the eighth attempt.
The quarter-finals are scheduled for next Sunday evening and another big attendance is expected by the banks of the Suir to see the cream of the country’s young puppies in action. It certainly look an occasion not to be missed.
Race 1 (A4) – The joint favourites Deercrest Lady and Stanleys Dream had it between them and after the latter had led Priceless Irene from traps Deercrest Lady made good ground to go second on the back straight. This daughter of Cashen Legend and Parkside Gem, which had broken her maiden in Curraheen Park the evening before, challenged Stanleys Dream turning for home and just got the better of a fine tussle to lead on the line. She is trained by Tom O’Neill for Garryvoe owner Charles J. McCarthy and her winning clock was a very smart 29.06.
Races 2 to 5 – Heats 1 to 4 of The Connollys Red Mills Produce Stakes Round 2.
Race 2 (Heat 1) The round got off to a cracking start with a superb display from a brilliant Holborn Junior which showed huge back straight pace. Graham Holland’s charge was led briefly from traps by Bookie Buster but made the first bend in front. Uncle Lez and Fear Big Star were his nearest pursuers off the early bends but the field was soon well strung out as the leader surged to a five and a half length win over Fear Big Star with Sunoak Joseph running on to take third place behind the highly impressive winner which is owned by Laurence O’Rourke. The winning time, a sparkling 28.42 was to prove the fastest time of the competition to date. Holborn Junior a son of Kinloch Brae and Holborn Dolly now sports the excellent strike rate of six wins from eight runs.
Race 3 (Heat 2) - Opinion in the ring was that this heat was at the mercy of the McKenna kennel with Eoin’s two runners Farloe Buddy and Ronaldo Supreme topping the market at evens and 6/4 respectively. However, the layers got a result as Farloe Buddy was badly left when the traps rose and the Frances O’Donnell trained 3/1chance Skywalker Apollo took every advantage by making all the running in the striped jacket. The son of Royal Impact and Remind Me Monday owned by Ray Patterson was always clear of his rivals and clocked a career best 28.58 to gain his fourth win by a four and a half length margin. Farloe Buddy, still last of the party as they approached the penultimate bend, flew the finish in tremendous style to take second place a length and a half in front of kennel mate Ronaldo Supreme.
Race 4 (Heat 3) - This leg produced a thrilling finish with the 5/2 chance Graduation Day getting up on the line to short head the 6/4 favourite Jumeirah Veyron. Leathems Scolari was first to show but Jumeirah Veyron soon took control on the rails. Graduation Day improved into third place off the third bend and gained the spoils after a good battle with a gallant Jumeirah Veyron with a slow starting Ballyhill Jaguar just a length backing third. The winner a son of Kiowa Sweet Trey and Spending Spree clocked a career best 28.75 and was completing the first leg of a smashing Pat Dalton double.
Race 5 (Heat 4) – Conna Kingsmill owned and trained in Conna, Cork by Matthew Noonan and with two Tralee successes to his credit from five races, took a major rise in the ratings with a superb trap to line display which stopped the clock in a tremendous 28.52. The son of Premier Fantasy and Kingsmill Abu was pursued by Odyssey for much of the trip but it was the favourite Melodys Gamble which threw down the final challenge to the longtime leader. This one finished with a flourish but the leader had a length and a half in hand where it mattered. Odyssey finished three and a half lengths back in third.
Race 6 (A3) – Shaneboy Diego was the market leader at evens but never got into contention as the 4/1 chance Chaotic Duke gave a sparkling performance to put his rivals to the sword. Peter Hattemore’s charge bounced clear off the opening bend and romped to a five and a half length win in a superb 28.76.
A member of a Southlodge Turk-Chaotic Day Jun ’10 litter which together with a repeat April ‘11 mating has been churning out the winners for Peter and Desna in recent months, Chaotic Duke stopped the clock in a brilliant 28.76 to gain his fifth career win. The minor placings were filled by Monroe Rock and Circus Tiger.
Races 7 to 10 – Heats 5 to 8 of The Connolly’s Red Mills Produce Stakes Round 2.
Race 7 (Heat 5) – Farloe Calvin was bidding to extend his unbeaten record to six wins and the son of Hondo Black and Me Margaret did the business in highly impressive fashion with a career best trap to line 28.52. The winner had two and a half lengths in hand at the line with Universal Dream running on late to grab the other qualifying spot from the well backed 7/4 chance Skywalker Jet. Trained by Owen McKenna for Derry enthusiast Paul Ellis, Farloe Calvin which recorded a 16.07 split is without doubt a serious contender for outright honours.
Race 8 (Heat 6) – Christys Bolt was odds-on to complete a quick McKenna double but could only manage a staying third place after a tardy start. The 4/1 chance Satin Jessie flew from trap three and had her rivals in trouble from the word go. However Pat Dalton’s Signal Tower a comrade of his earlier winner Graduation Day got into early contention after a fine run round the opening bend and gradually wore down the gallant leader to get up late and win going away by a length and a half with Christys Bolt two lengths away and nearest at the finish. The winner returned at 9/4 clocked a career best 28.78 to complete a terrific Pat Dalton double.
Race 9 (Heat 7) – Glenanore Dancer stood out here and Tom O’Neill’s charge was a warm order at 4/7 to follow up on his great first round run. The issue was never in doubt as the splendid son of Kinloch Brae and Marbeck Star made all the running in the blue jacket to bring his strike rate to five wins from eight runs in clocking a very fine 28.53. An eye catcher here was the 8/1 outsider Moreton Finale which ran the race of his life for John Spracklen when coming home in terrific style to get within a length and a half of the winner. Third place went to Ardrahan Zebo . Owned by the We Gotta Dog Syndicate, Glenanore Dancer remains very much on the short list for final glory in this intriguing competition.
Race 10 (Heat 8) - Ballymacelligott owner/trainer Liam Dowling caused an upset here with his 4/1 chance Ballymac Jordan which had half a length in hand of Owen McKenna’s 6/4 shot South Armagh with the even money favourite Gene Tashadelek two lengths back in third. South Armagh had set out to make all but the winner recovered from trouble at the last bend to gain the verdict in the final strides. The son of Royal Impact and Galtee Ellie was breaking his maiden at the eighth attempt and he recorded a career best 28.83.
Clonmel Track – Thursday, 18th April
The programme featured the first round of the j1,500 to the winner Droopys Stud & Track Supporters Club N1/N2 Stake and the currently red hot Golden trainer Graham Holland should have a big role to play in the final stages of this prestigious event having sent out two comrades to top the order of merit. Sidarian Blue (Ace Hi Rumble-Yahoo Stacey) created a major impression when taking heat four by nine and a half lengths in a eye catching 28.83 whilst a little later his litter sister Yahoo Lisa took up the running at the penultimate bend and raced away to score by four and a half lengths in a smashing 28.87. Earlier Michael Dalton had staked his claim with Express Master (Kiowa Sweet Trey-Express Mist) which stormed clear to take heat two by five and a half lengths in a very smart 28.99.
Race 1 (A7/A9) – In an open betting race the 3/1 chance Energy Tip soon led in the black jacket and stormed clear of her rivals to record a whopping thirteen length win over Gortkelly Scoty and Amazing Avril in a useful 29.44. The daughter of Broadacres Turbo and Circus Star, owned and trained locally by Gavin Fitzgerald was breaking her maiden at the fifth time of asking.
Race 2 (S2/S3) – Movealong Turbo was well supported to 6/4 favourite and this son of Head Bound and Movealong Sutty recorded a second success by challenging the leader Spot the Rocket on the rails between bends and leading on the turn for home to account for that rival and River Gem by half a length and the same in a very decent 16.38. The winner is owned and trained in Kilmallock by Willie Barry.
Race 3 (A5) – One of three co-favourites Blackstone Java led from a bunched field off the first bend and looked the likely winner but Myles is Back, last early, made great strides on the back straight before challenging off the final bend and getting up to defeat Blackstone Java by a length with Point Cailin two lengths back in third place. The near four-year-old son of Billy Playback and Do Not Pass, with ten previous wins under his belt, showed that he is still has plenty to offer when stopping the clock in 29.37. He is owned and trained in Waterford by Myles J. and Ann Lavery.
Races 4 to 8 – Heats 1 to 5 of The Droopys Stud & Track Supporters Club Unraced Stake. (First three in each heat and three fastest fourth places qualify for second round).
Heat 1 – The Graham Holland trained Hearts on Fire was sent off the 7/4 favourite but got no run and lost all chance at the opening turn. Wont Concede, a son of Crash and Micks Angel, owned in Callan by Elizabeth Noonan and Eamonn Murphy set out to make all the running and succeeded in doing so. Minor Budget and Suir Duke were the nearest pursuers on the back straight and the former took second spot ahead of the strong finishing Slipaway Dee. Wont Concede clocked 29.56.
Heat 2 – Michael Dalton took this leg in fine style with the 7/4 favourite Express Master.
Mustang Messi was first to show but the slow starting favourite had moved into second place on the back straight before challenging the leader at the penultimate turn. He soon got the better of his rival and surged clear to score by five and a half lengths over Dandy Diamond which finished well to grab second spot from Mustang Messi.
Express Master, a son of Kiowa Sweet Trey and Express Mist clocked a smashing 28.99.
Heat 3 – Miss Saffron went off very fast in the red jacket but looked a spent force when baulked at the final bend. The 6/4 joint market leader Mallogs Ace took up the running before the turn for home and stayed on well to defeat the other joint favourite Pretty Honey by two lengths with Cruzin Ben a four lengths away in third spot. The winner is a son of Ace Hi Rumble and Mallogs Penny owned and trained in Carrick-on-Suir by Sean Drohan and his time was 29.55.
Heat 4 – Graham Holland and the cross-channel based Sidarian Syndicate landed a splendid double in the final heats. Sidarian Blue was an even money chance to take the first leg and this son of Ace Hi Rumble and Yahoo Stacey flew from trap four and put his rivals to the sword with a brilliant nine and a half length win in a fastest of the round 28.83. Get a Kennel took second place for trainer Lotte Orum and the third spot was filled by Jive Jenny for local enthusiast Darren Smith.
Heat 5 – Yahoo Lisa a comrade of the previous winner and running for the same connections shared favouritism with the Dolores Ruth trained Razldazl Bow Wow but whilst the latter never showed and failed to qualify Yahoo Lisa took up the running from early leader Express Lodge at the third bend and raced away to defeat that rival by four and a half lengths in a smashing 28.87. Mallogs Rumble was noted running on very strongly for third just a short head in arrears of Express Lodge.