A blockbuster feast of coursing took place at the famous running grounds in Ballyglasheen last weekend, as Clonmel & Kilsheelan coursing club hosted near neighbours Cashel & District for a joint meeting, the first three day meeting in the club’s history. After two fabulous days coursing, Sunday saw nine stakes up for decision, and the crowds flocked to the historic venue in the shadow of Sliabh na mBan in anticipation of a great day’s sport.
In the feature Tipperary Cup for all-age dogs, Cuine Boy (5/2 before coursing) became the latest name added to a roll of honour that stretches all the way back to 1916. This being his second cup win of the season, having already tasted success in Mallow, Cuine Boy looks likely to have secured a place in the Champion Stakes in Powerstown.
In the Seán Drohan memorial Stake for all-age bitches, we saw another likely Powerstown contender. Bombshelriapants (6/4 before coursing) may not be a name that trips easily off the tongue, but the manner in which she won each of her courses will see it a name that those in attendance won’t forget in a hurry. Her display was all the more remarkable given that she won the Gold Cup in East Donegal only two weeks previously.
As a joint meeting, there were four trial stakes up for decision, with the winner of each assured of their place in Powerstown in February. In the Kilsheelan Derby Trial Stake, eventual winner Wilton Magic obviously impressed the bookies and their “clockmen” as he was shortened from 5/1 to 6/4 after the first round. Locally owned Old Friend Joe gave him a battle in the semi-final, and looks to be one to watch out for before the season is out.
In the Kilsheelan Oaks Trial Stake, the Guilfoyle family sent out Magical Ellie to continue what has been a very successful few weeks for the kennel. 4/1 before coursing, this Lady had a real battle on her hands in the final, as Byerley Babe put it up to her all the way to the all-important turn.
There was a very popular winner in the Cashel Derby Trial Stake as Cracking Jet took the spoils for owner John Kennedy. The Cashel Oaks Trial Stake saw another very impressive winner in the shape of Call Posie, who did not have to run a final due to the withdrawal of Tranquility Rose.
In the Rock Stakes the Christy Brown trained Mission Hills won for owner Nigel Quinn, while in the Michael Ryan Memorial Stake and Sheehy Cup for Cashel working members, Day Train secured the local bragging rights for Kevin Barry and Shane Hogan.
The Frank Byrne Memorial Stake and Brackford Cup for Kilsheelan working members saw Dysert Bailey bring the silverware back across the bridge to Windgap, Co. Waterford for Maria Byrne and her sister Noeleen Doherty, daughters of the late Frank Byrne, in whose honour the stake is named.
The meeting concluded just as the weather began to deteriorate, and the timely fashion in which such a large card was run off was entirely due to the fantastic hare stock, and the tireless work of our committed hare husbandry team. All present were in agreement that the meeting had been a great success, setting the bar for the remainder of the season, and that the joint venture was a credit to both clubs.