Festival Open quarter finals should provide great action Sunday night

Greyhound Racing

Greyhound Racing

Clonmel Track - Sunday, January 8

The complete second round of the Festival Open Unraced Stake attracted a good attendance on a spring like evening and patrons were treated to topclass sport.

Ballagh owner/trainer Declan Moloney who had taken the opening round by storm in producing three leading contenders from the same litter, again took the honours by getting all three through to the last twenty-four although his Pagani which had been the trend setter when clocking 28.71 in the first round could only finish third after a very slow start. However Delonte which clocked 28.85 and Nastasi (29.12) had earlier notched a smashing double for the Brett Lee - Saritamer litter brothers.

Delonte shared top billing on the night with all the way winner Foxy Red which also clocked 28.85 in the final heat. Other heat winners were Neil Sinnott’s Blackstone Buzz in 28.93, the Owen McKenna trained Confident Rankin which stopped the clock in 28.96 and Graham Holland’s Jacobs Courage which scored in 29.02.

The quarter-finals on Sunday evening next should be worth travelling a long way to see and these four races will be supported by the four opening heats of the Broadway Pet Foods A0/A1 Bitch Stake.

Race 1 (A2) - Open class sprinter Movealong Karen was an easy to back 2/1 favourite and the daughter of Mustang Yank and Movealong Sutty made all the running in the blue jacket to account for Slippery Anna and Priceless Rocket in 29.23.

Race 2 (Novice 790) - The locally trained Philipstown Vin was a warm order at 4/7 and after early trouble he got into the action on the back straight as Gerpats Lar which had led from trap rise still held command. Millbank Paddy led from Gerpats Lar and the favourite off the penultimate bend and as they turned for home Millbank Paddy looked sure to score as the favourite was finding the going tough. However the 6/1 outsider Cinderella Lucy loomed up on the outside and finished with a flourish to take the spoils by a short head from Millbrook Paddy with Philipstown Vin three lengths back in third. The winner a daughter of Droopys Vieri and Corrig Rebel owned and trained by John Tynan in Tipperary town clocked 45.36.

Race 3 (Mini Open/A1) - This proved a cracking contest as Black Beauty set out to make all but checked and lost all chance approaching the opening turn. This left the 5/4 favourite Honchos Key in front of Monroe Legend and Honchos seemed to have a hat trick of successes in the bag until Monroe Legend threw down a serious challkenge in the home straight which got the verdict by the narrowest of margins.

Races 4 to 9 - Heats 1 to 6 of the Second Round of the Festival Unraced Stake Sponsored by the Track Supporters Club.

Race 4 - Heat 1 - The Owen McKenna trained Camas was supported to 5/4 market leader with Delonte surprisingly easy to back at 3/1. The favourite was first to show and led from Express Mission and Delonte as they turned down the back straight. Delonte (Brett Lee-Saritamer) challenged the leader at the third bend and was in front at the last and was followed through by Express Mission. At the line the winner had two lengths in hand of Express Mission with Camas a length and a half back in third spot. The fourth qualifier Shaneboy Nelson finished four lengths in arrears of Camas.

Race 5 - Heat 2 - Delonte’s litter brother Nastase was hot at 4/6 and obliged if only by the narrowest of margins. Killinan Cool broke fast from the traps and led from the wide running Vinepta and the favourite on the back straight. The leader was still in command as they turned for home but the late challenge of the favourite prevailed by a short head with Vindepa a length and a half back in third ahead of Skywalker Puma.

Race 6 - Heat 3 - Confident Rankin despite a tardy start from trap one turned this into a procession by virtue of a great run on the rails round the opening bend which left him clear on the back straight. Owen McKenna’s charge, a warm 4/6 favourite, came home five and a half lengths clear of Musical Gaga with Local Harbour and Harveys Silver taking the minor placings.

Race 7 - Heat 4 - Pagani was a 4/6 chance to bring off the treble for Declan Moloney but was very slowly away as Blackstone Buzz a 4/1 chance attempted to make all. Rockchase Jack, Blue Ranger and the favourite chased the leader on the back straight but although Blue Ranger made good progress to take second place the remainder were well beaten off as Blackstone Buzz showed no sign of stopping. At the line this son of Droopys Maldini and Blackstone Joy had two and a half lengths in hand of Blue Ranger which in turn was six and a half lengths clear of Pagani with Mooncoin Dasher taking the other qualifying place.

Race 8 - Heat 5 - Confident Robert although a 6/1 chance made a bold bid to make it a McKenna double here but having led on the wide outside and kept that berth throughout he went under by three lengths to the Graham Holland trained hotpot the 2/5 chance Jacobs Courage. The other qualifiers here were Sion Black which flew the finish and Bright Louise.

Race 9 - Heat 6 - Skip Soda and Annacurra Lucky were joint favourites at 6/4 but were overthrown by an impressive trap to line display by the 9/2 chance Foxy Red which revelled in his trap six berth.

Race 10 - (A0/A1 550) - The 4/1 outsider Milos Impact defeated the odds-on Ballybawn Boro by a length and a half to gain a second career win for Waterford owners Myles and Ann Lavery.

Clonmel Track - Thursday, January 5

The first Thursday meeting of the new year saw a welcome return to a ten race programme that was highlighted by an openclass performance from Farranrory Zak which broke his maiden at the seventh attempt when clocking 16.34 in registering a very impressive five length success in an S2/S3 sprint. Doubles were recorded by local trainer Owen McKenna and the Kavanagh family who are stalwarts of the very successful Track Supporters Club.

Race 1 (A7/A9) - Eternal Valley (2/1 T.5) a daughter of Ballymac Ruso and Minella Girl owned by Track Supporters Club Chairman Freddie Kavanagh made all the running to defeat the 6/4 favourite Kilkenny Nico by three lengths in 29.78.

Race 2 (S4/S5) - Only four went to traps and popular Rosegreen handler Tom Delahunty gained a second success with his sprinter Holding which made all the running to defeat Triptree Ollie by three lengths in a career best 16.59.

Race 3 (A7/A8) - Elios Shiva topped the market at 6/4 but never figured after a slow start and trouble at the early bends. The 7/4 chance Ceileidhs Dream a daughter of Hondo Black and Bansha Gill trained by Edward McCole for Aherlow owner Josephine Hennessy was first to show but gave way to Inferno Blue off the opening turn.

Ceileidhs Dream renewed her challenge at the third bend and kept on in good style to hold the strong finishing Foulkscourt Echo by half a length with Condor Boris a length and a half back in third.

Race 4 (N2) - Exciting Poppet trained by Owen McKenna for his wife Sian was an odds on favourite and never gave her supporters any cause for alarm by making all the running to come home nine lengths clear of Lumos Lady and Toystory Master in a smart 29.16.

Race 5 (S2/S3) - Adams Venture the 6/4 market leader never got into the action and Murphys Savings was first to show. However, the 3/1 chance Farranrory Zak (Kinloch Brae-Farranrory Dream) shot clear of the field at the opening bend to come home five lengths clear of Express Buzz in a very fast 16.34. The winner is owned and trained in Kilsheelan by Keith W. Freer.

Race 6 - (N1/N2) - Confident Renata owned in Castleisland by Jeremiah Kearns was odds on to complete a quick Owen McKenna double and this daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Hondo Lass duly obliged but had to do it the hard way as Tickle Thee led off the second bend and held a healthy lead at the penultimate turn. The favourite finished strongly, however, to lead in the closing stages and take the spoils by a length from Tickle Thee with Mr. Ruso some six lengths back in third place. The winner clocked 29.63.

Race 7 (A6) - The Kavanagh family double was completed by Moonshine Valley the 6/4 favourite owned by Leslie Robert Kavanagh. This litter sister of the opening winner was always prominent as Weeping Eyes set the pace and she finished with a flourish to get the verdict over the longtime leader by a head with Millys Ace coming home with a wet sail to take third spot. Moonshine Valley clocked 29.61.

Race 8 (A5) - Timbolina was another 6/4 jolly to oblige. This daughter of Head Bound and Lemon Sophie chalked up her fourth career success when leading off the third bend and staying on stoutly to account for Hellroad Beauty and Dusky Cloud by two lengths and half a length.

Race 9 (A4) - Longtime track supporter Billy Moloney enjoyed an overdue success with his 3/1 chance Kilcoran Timmy which gained his second winning bracket on his 26th outing. The son of Honcho Classic and Glenoak Nikita led at the third bend and raced away to defeat Mertesacker and Avalon Dragon by four lengths and a head in 29.52.

Race 10 (A3) - Kims Lucy a daughter of Westmead Joe and Michaelas Wish gained a second successive win and her fifth in all when making all the running. The 3/1 chance owned and trained in Thurles by Kim Walker stayed on well to account for Shaneboy Wanda and Avalon Chief by a length and the same in 29.43.