Clonmel Track -
Sunday, 19th June
The 50th meeting of the year at the Suirside track yielded another topclass programme which featured the semi-finals of the Track Supporters Club Munster Derby and it was a shame that the attendance left a lot to be desired. Cooly Colebe which had rattled the track record in the previous round was the major attraction in the opening semi-final of the Derby and he went off a 5/4 favourite. However the 5/2 chance Rockview Sail made all the running to defeat the market leader by a length in 28.55 with Burgess Star taking the third qualifying place. The second semi-final saw the 3/1 chance Cooladerry Shaw give the best performance of her career when making all the running to defeat Witches Peter and joint favourite Dysert O’Shea in 28.80. The Track Supporters Club Munster Dash semi-finals were won by Vancouver Pedro (16.31)
and Kilmoney Paul (16.33) whilst the Red Mills All-Ireland Series A3 semi-finals went to Smiling True and The Other Defoe who posted career best runs of 29.21 and 29.13 respectively. The success of The Other Pedro was the first leg of a double for Matt O’Donnell who followed up with The Other Peach in the first heat of the ‘Adams’ Kennells A1/A2 Stake and not be outdone his ‘other half’ Frances sent out the favourite Hollys Wish to take the second semi-final. All finals will be run in what promises to be a terrific session on Sunday evening next.
Race 1 - The opening event was an A4 550 and it produced a fine run from the 4/6 market leader Kilkenny Victory. The Other Candy broke fast and led to the third bend where the favourite coasted to the front on the rails and ran on to defeat the early leader by four lengths with the third home Kims Lucy some nine and a half lengths adrift.
Dropped in class the winner is a son of Tyrur Ted and Betathan Pebbles owned in Kilkenny by the Kilford Hotel Syndicate and he stopped the clock in a very useful 30.03.
Races 2 & 3 - The Semi-Finals of the Red Mills All-Ireland Series A3 Stake.
Winkles Lady came in as a reserve in the first heat and led her rivals a merry dance until the penultimate bend where the 2/1 chance Smiling True (Hondo Black-Tyrur Maryann) gained control to draw clear and score by three and a half lengths from Winkles Lady with Killinan Fire running on to take third place a length and a half in arrears. Smiling True clocked a career best 29.21 for trainer Niall Dunne and Limerick owner Daniel P. Greene.
The Other Defoe was the 6/4 market leader to take the second semi-final for owner trainer Matt O’Donnell and the son of Skywalker Ace and Skywalker Dream finished with a flourish to defeat Crossfield Kurt and longtime leader Rival Star by a length and a half and half a length in 29.13.
Races 4 & 5 - The Track Supporters Club Munster Dash Semi-Finals.
Vancouver Pedro was the 2/1 favourite in the first semi and made practically all the running in the orange jacket to score for trainer Sally Williams and Barnsley based owner Gordon Barker. The son of Go Wild Teddy and Loughloher Tilly had a length in hand of Last Spice at the line with Piercetown Con half a length back in third place.
Vancouver Pedro was gaining his eighth career win in clocking 16.31.
Kilmoney Paul went off the even money favourite in the second heat and Jerry O’Sullivan’s great servant led from traps and held on well to overcome the strong challenges of Knockhouse Son and Adams Venture by half a length and the same in 16.33. The hugely consistent winner, a son of Droopys Corelli and Arderin Gift, was
posting a seventeenth career win.
Races 6 & 7 - The ‘Adams’ Kennels A1/A2 525 Stake Semi-Finals.
The Other Peach easy to back at 5/2 completed the Matt O’Donnell double by making all the running in the striped jacket. The daughter of Skywalker Magic and Thornley Mist led Archaton Ace and Jackos Catch from traps and that order was maintained all the way to the line. The distances were a length and a half and a head and the winner clocked 29.05 in bringing her tally of successes to seven.
In the second semi it was another case of seven up as Hollys Wish made it seven career wins also when going off the 9/4 jolly and running on in fine style to get up in the shadow of the post to defeat longtime leader Hop Out First by a neck in a career best 28.84. The third qualifying place was gained by Portsoy Laddie which finished two lengths in arrears of the runner-up. Jennifer O’Donnell owns the winner which is a litter sister of The Other Peach.
Races 8 & 9 - The Track Supporters Club Munster Derby Semi-Finals.
Cooly Colebe and Rockview Sail had a great battle in the first heat. Rockview Sail broke in front and the favourite was in his slipstream all the way round but hard though he tried he could not head the gallant leader which stayed on in great style to score by a length in a career best 28.55. Burgess Star ran on to take third place five lengths back. Trained by Peter Cronin for Thurles owner Jimmy Ferncombe Rockview Sail is a son of Hondo Black and Babyshan and was gaining a third career success.
Cooladerry Shaw flew from trap six in the second semi-final and was always clear of her rivals to come home two lengths ahead of Witches Peter with the 7/4 joint favourite four and a half lengths back in third ahead of his market rival Colorful Marco. The winner a daughter of Black Shaw and Madam Hero owned and trained in Cahir by Sean Meaney ran the race of her life in clocking a career best 28.80 and with her trap six draw a similar lightning break will make her very hard to beat in what promises to be a terrific finale to what has been a hugely successful event.
Race 10 - The Red Mills Getting Out Open 550.
Forest Rebel a 5/2 chance took the final event for Grange Con owner/trainer Patrick Kehoe in a very fast 29.91. The son of Royal Impact and Forest Kim which scored by a length and the same from Ballyhoe Symbol and Paradise Siesta has now won four of his fifteen races.
Clonmel Track -
Thursday, 16th June
The semi-finals of the Tipperary G.O.B.A. A4 Stake produced two career best performances from Dysert Special and Escapetonewyork and the scene is now set for what should prove a great battle for the 1,550 euro first prize at the major Munster Derby Final meeting on Sunday next. Dysert Special went off the 6/4 favourite for the opening heat and a lightning break soon had her in command. Fast Fit Fairy and Charity Bondi were her main rivals down the back straight and Fast Fit Fairy put in a strong finish as they turned for home with Mad Moll Mc noted finishing best of all. Dysert Special (Droopys Vieri-Davdor Dashing) owned and trained by Maria Byrne in Carrick-on-Suir was all out to take the verdict by half a length from Fast Fit Fairy with Moll Mad Mc getting up to pip Charity Bondi for the third spot two and a half lengths in arrears of the runner-up. The winner was gaining her fifth career win and she stopped the clock in 29.08.
In the second semi-final Granada Sam was the even money market leader with good support also for Escapetonewyork. The two had it between them from traps with Escapetonewyork, who was always to the fore, staying on powerfully for an impressive four and a half length win over the favourite. Valais May ran on late to gain a place in the final after an unlucky run. She finished seven and a half lengths adrift of the runner-up. Escapetonewyork clocked a smashing career best 28.96 for trainer Henning Olesen and New York based owner Anthony Haugh. The daughter of Westmead Hawk and Dead Set has now won three of her six races and is improving with every run.
An interesting aspect of next Sunday’s final is that five of the six qualifiers are of the fair sex with Granada Sam the exception.
Apart from the G.O.B.A. semi-finals the undercard produced two eye-catching performances from novices Neerons Destiny and Lefanta Bound who recorded 28.93 and 29.07 respectively.
Race 1 - Valentia Lauren was the even money favourite for this novice event and was in contention in second spot when baulked at the penultimate bend. Hypnotic Beauty which had taken up the running at the opening turn repelled all challenges to go away for a six and a half length win over Ballinaglera Ace with Heathview Queen twelve and a half lengths behind in third place. The winner a daughter of Honcho Classic and Ard Flash is owned and trained in Fethard by Mollie Standbridge and her winning time was 29.58.
Race 2 - The even money joint favourite Europa Hold On was an impressive trap to line winner of this sprint in a very useful 16.39 whilst the other joint market leader Kilkenny Vision was slowly away and finished at the rear of the field. Carriglan Ceaser and Southlodge Kelly filled the minor placings four and a half and two lengths in arrears of the winner a daughter of Droopys Scolari and Hold On Angel who was breaking her maiden at the eleventh start. She is owned and trained in Waterford by Alan Jaggard.
Race 3 - Barbies Jess set out to make all the running pursued by Lyreen Whirl and Tipperary Rose. The latter came from a good way back to challenge the leader between the final bends before gaining control off the last bend to win going away by a six length margin in 29.49 from Barbies Jess with Lyreen Whirl four and a half lengths back in third place. The disappointing 6/4 favourite was Powerstown Road which was baulked at the opening bend after being slowly away. The winner is a daughter of Premier Fantasy and Nasty Woman owned and trained in Bansha by William Esmonde.
Race 4 - Lefanta Bound (Head Bound-Marbeck Star) the even money favourite turned this event into a procession by malking all the running to defeat Ceileidhs Dream and Kilbunny Yeats by nine lengths and thirteen lengths in a sparkling 29.07. Lefanta Bound is trained by Tom O’Neill for Cappoquin enthusiast John Geoghegan.
Race 5 - Lefanto Jo a comrade of the previous winner and in the same ownership was the 5/4 jolly to bring off the double but he found one too good in the 2/1 chance Neerons Destiny (Westmead Hawk-Clemmas Destiny) which made every yard of the running and was always holding the favourite which was three and a half lengths in arrears at the line. Walkadoll finished nine and a half lengths back in third place and the winner which is owned and trained by Chris Havens in Dungarval was ost impressive in clocking 28.93 which was the best time of the evening.
Race 6 - Boherduff Rose which came in as a reserve in the red jacket for local owners Salvador and Sheila Drohan made good use of her inside draw to take up the running on the rails off the second bend and storm clear to defeat Roisins Betty and and Barbies Benny by five and a half lengths and three lengths in a career best 29.27.
The daughter of Droopys Vieri and Boherduff Katie has now won five races for her connections.
Races 7 & 8 - The Tipperary G.O.B.A. A4 Stake Semi-Finals. See lead story.