Clonmel Track – Sunday, 24th March
Another great night’s racing Suirside produced plenty of talking points. Sarahs Turbo ended the meeting on a high note when taking the concluding Red Mills A0/A1event in 28.99 the fastest run of the session. Graham Holland was again among the winners with a fine double and the featured Glenanore Kennels A3 525 Semi-Finals saw the big fancies bite the dust. The first semi was expected to be dominated by Boherna Rock and Castle Cougar but the 5/1 chance Bacon Hand spoiled the party with a gutsy win over the big two in a career best 29.05. Drive on Charm was a 5/4 chance to retain her unbeaten record in the event in the second leg but her colours were lowered by the event’s sponsor Tom O’Neill whose Sunvalley John proved a length too good in 29.36.
All the top fancies, however, are still standing for what promises to be a superb 2,000 euro to the winner final on next Sunday, an occasion not to be missed.
Race 1 (A3) – Graham Holland posted the first leg of a tidy double with the even money chance Ballyhill Jaguar which took control from early leader Archaton Martin at the penultimate turn and surged clear to defeat Brickfield Rio by five lengths in a smart 29.13. Archaton Martin kept on for third place four lengths in arrears of the runner-up. The winner which is a son of Westmead Hawk and Baby Haze owned in Surrey by Ian McGinnis and Daren Johnson was breaking his maiden in fine style at the third attempt.
Race 2 (S3/S4) – Shunters Koala running in the red jacket led on the run to the opening bend and looked the likely winner but the veteran Enchantress powered home on the rails to get up near the line and score by a half a length. Blu Monty ran on for third a length and a half back. Easy to back at 3/1, the winner a daughter of Ace Hi Rumble and Contact Flash, has been a great servant to her Doon owner/trainer Joe Shanahan and her winning clock in notching a twelfth career success was 16.70.
Race 3 (A3/A4 550) – Azalea was first to show in the striped jacket but the 5/2 chance Springmount Enda soon took over and stayed on dourly to account for the staying Archaton Brat and the early leader Azalea by a length and a half and the same in 30.61. Trained by Jim Scully for Mooncoin owners Eddie Quilty and Tom Quinn, Springmount Enda (Hondo Black-Kippers Doll) was posting his fourth career success.
Race 4 (A2) – Only two counted in the ring, Cabra Ebony which went off at evens favourite to complete a Graham Holland double and Lachteens Shaw which was well supported at 6/4 to score for Tom O’Neill. The punters got it exactly right as Cabra Ebony broke well from trap four to make all the running. The daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Cabra Dancer was chased down the back straight by Moreton Marauder and Farranrory Zak but Lachteens Shaw made up considerable ground to take second place off the final bend without troubling the leader which had two and a half lengths in hand at the line. Farranrory Zak filled third place three and a half lengths further back. The winner clocked 29.13 in scoring for Thurles owner Master Paddy Scally and completing the Holland double.
Race 5 – The New Stadium A2 575.
Kielduff Oz has tested the patience of trainer Tom Delahunty and the Rosegreen man was finally rewarded when the son of College Causeway and Sandals Oz gained a well overdue winning bracket after fifteen unsuccessful efforts. Ilford Boy set out to try and make all the running for the Tom O’Neill kennel and with Kielduff Oz taking over second spot on the back straight the issue rested between the pair who had drawn clear of their rivals. In a protracted battle the cross-channel owned Kielduff Oz (T3 -5/2) took it up at the entrance to the straight but was all out on the run to the line to hold his rivals renewed effort by a neck and gain a popular victory. Moreton Finale took third place three lengths away. The winner clocked 31.74.
Race 6 – The Sporting Press A1.
The layers got a result here in another gripping finish. Urard Gem was a warm order at 4/5 and broke in front but Black Buda took over off the opening bends and looked the likely winner at the final turn. However, the 4/1 chance Strides Ontime which had been noted making good ground in behind came with a wet sail on the rail and got up late to deny the leader by half a length with You Little Tale the same distance back in third place. Owned and trained by Sharon Hunt in Cashel, Strides Ontime, a daughter of Westmead Hawk and Stride on Babe stopped the clock in 29.30 to gain her fourth winning bracket.
Races 7 & 8 – The Glenanore Kennels A3 525 Stake Semi-Finals.
In the opening semi the two talking dogs Castle Cougar and Boherna Rock dominated the betting with the latter heading the market at evens and his rival going off a 6/4 chance. Things looked good for the red sheeted Castle Cougar as he broke in front and with Boherna Rock meeting trouble at the bend it was the 5/1 chance Bacon Hand, a noted strong finisher, which tracked the leader on the back straight with a gap back to Eyeoweuone and Boherna Rock. Bacon Hand threw down a big challenge between the final bends and in a great battle to the line this son of Droopys Kewell and Pass Her Over just got the measure of Castle Cougar in the final strides to score by a neck. Boherna Rock took the third qualifying place four lengths back. Bacon Hand is owned and trained in Kilmallock by Breda Barrett and his winning time was a career best 29.05.
Drive on Charm was the 5/4 jolly in the second leg with sponsor Tom O’Neill’s Sunvalley John well supported at 2/1. Sunvalley John had finished third in the big sprint final at Curraheen Park on the previous night and has been kept very busy in recent weeks. The son of Crash and Mikado Miss has also been very consistent and he led from Drive on Charm on the run to the bend. However it was the latter which hit the front from Parkgate Jet and Sunvalley John as they turned down the back. Sunvalley John moved into second between the final bends and got the better of his rival in the closing stages to score by a length. Granada Sid flew the finish to grab third place from Parkgate Jet. The winner clocked 29.36 to give Tom O’Neill a welcome winner following two seconds earlier in the evening. With all the big guns still standing the final of this smashing 2,000 euro to the winner Stake is sure to prove a major attraction on Easter Sunday.
Race 9 – The Red Mills Getting Out A0/A1 525.
The brilliant Sarahs Turbo, bitch of the year in Clonmel in 2012, is in no mood to give up her crown as she showed when completing a great night’s sport in splendid fashion with a pillar to post win that gave her a three and a half length winning margin over Hellroad Hawkeye in a fastest of the session 28.99. The daughter of Droopys Scolari and Ciaras Turbo was gaining her fourth win of the year and is in superb form. She continues to reflect great credit on her proud owner and breeder Kathryn Ryan.
Clonmel Track – Thursday, 21st March
Racing took place in near arctic conditions and the completion of the eight race card in the prevailing circumstances reflected great credit on all involved.
Six of the eight winners ran from trap four and the best performance of the night was posted by Dalcash Skyfly which created a big impression when romping to an eleven length win in The Sporting Press novice event. The daughter of Skywalker Ace and Dalcash Dvinsky clocked an estimated 29.20 on a track rated .30 slow.
The featured races were the semi-finals of the Ballycannon A4 Stake Semi-Finals which were won by Hot Exile and Jamila in 29.37 and 29.63 respectively.
Race 1 (A9) – A 6/4 joint favourite, Fahrenheit Jerry got off the mark at the third attempt when making all the running to come home two and a half lengths clear of Molly Giggers. The third place was filled two lengths back by the other joint market leader Point Control. On a track rated .30 slow for the standard trip, the winner’s estimated time was 30.01. He is owned and trained in Cahir by Lorraine O’Sullivan and is a son of Blackstone Gene and Wellytherain.
Race 2 (S5 or Lower) - Shaneboy Penny went off the even money favourite but again disappointed her supporters. She seems to have lost her trapping boots at present and never showed with a chance as Spot the Rocket took over from fast starter Bellagors Slippy on the run to the opening bend and stayed on well to account for that rival by a length and a half. The pair finished some five lengths clear of the third home Kilkenny Dandy.
Race 3 (A7/A8) – Bay City Ted (Bay City Jack-Racecourse Mini) was a warm order at 4/6 to score for Larry Harding but had plenty to do after a slow start. Knocknaboha Rock led from trap rise and was followed by Wagon Flare on the back straight where the jolly was noted making his move before taking second spot at the penultimate turn.
He continued his good run to head the leader off the last and win going away by two and a half lengths from that rival. Wagon Flare stayed on for third four lengths in arrears of the runner-up.
Race 4 (N2/N3) – The entire field was involved in a first bend melee and Golden Jay Jay, which was knocked over, was the most serious sufferer. Vain Bullet was quickest to recover and led from Boystown Rog on the back straight. However, the latter cruised to the front at the third bend and raced away to defeat Spare the Water by four and a half lengths with Vain Bullet a half length back in third. Boystown Rog is a son of Ace Hi Rumble and Precious Dancer owned and trained in Lattin by Brian McGuire and his winning time was 30.07 (est.).
Race 5 – The Sporting Press N1/N2.
The 5/4 favourite Dalcash Skyfly posted the top performance of the session and completed a five in a row run of successes for the occupants of trap four. Owned and trained by Jack Meade this daughter of Skywalker Ace and Dalcash Dvinsky broke fast and proceeded to make every yard of the running. By the back straight she had put a wide margin between herself and her struggling rivals and at the line the official distance was a whopping eleven lengths. The minor places were filled by Amazing Avril and Torpeys Hi who were separated by the narrowest of margins and the winner clocked a smashing 29.20 (est.).
Race 6 – The Red Mills A6.
Toystory King easy to back at 5/2 made all the running in the striped jacket to end the sequence of trap four successes. This son of Shelbourne Aston and Toystory Lady which was always in command was pursued down the back straight by Schweinsteiger and Quack Quack and stayed on well to win unchallenged by three and a half lengths from the strong finishing Golden Attitude and the odds-on Sharp Hill. Owned and trained in Cashel by Joseph Ryan Toystory King was breaking his maiden at the eighth attempt and his estimated clock was a very useful career best 29.26.
Races 7 & 8 – The Ballycannon A4 Stake Semi-Finals.
The stake produced two exciting and well contested races. We had three co-favourites at 2/1 in the first but the spoils went to the 5/2 chance Hot Exile which became the sixth trap four winner of the session.. One of the market leaders Sleek Ace was first to show but the 3/1 shot Hannibal Lecter led on the outside off the opening bends. Hot Exile improved to challenge Hannibal Lecter and Sleek Ace between the final turns and in the dash to the line Hot Exile got the verdict by a head from Sleek Ace with Hannibal Lecter a length and a half back in third place. Movealong Turbo was a big fancy in the second semi and went off the even money favourite. However, first bend trouble ruined his chances and he failed to qualify. The inside pair Bellagors Bosco and local hope Jamila were in the van from trap rise with Jamila just getting the better of her rival to score by a length. A flying Pigeon Catcher finished just half a length back in the third qualifying spot. The winner a daughter of Ace Hi Rumble and Rural Mentor is trained by Maurice Organ for Tom Joyce and her winning clock was 29.63 (est.).