Owen McKenna looking good with a ‘handful’ in Produce semi-finals

Clonmel Track – Sunday, 28th April

Clonmel Track – Sunday, 28th April

The third round of the Connollys Red Mills Produce Stakes and a top class supporting card brought a big buzz to the Suirside venue on another bitterly cold but thankfully dry evening. Once again patrons were treated to a thrilling evening’s entertainment punctuated by many smashing performances and not for the first time Owen McKenna topped the ratings by sending out three winners and getting five of his charges safely through to the semi-finals of the big event.

His unbeaten Farloe Calvin (28.73) and outsider South Armagh (28.62) were his winning stars in those Produce Stake heats whilst joining them in next Sunday’s semi-finals will be Christy’s Bolt, Farloe Buddy and Fear Big Star.

The other Produce Stakes heats went to country music star Jimmy Buckley with Jumeirah Veyron (28.82) and 
Graham Holland whose Holborn 
Junior retained his unbeaten record in the competition in clocking 28.79.

Owen McKenna’s first winner of the evening came in the Adios Alonso & Track Supporters Club A1/A2 550 Stake courtesy of Airforce Prince which posted a best of the round 29.99 in making all the running. A top class field went to traps for The Supporters Club Open headed by 6/4 favourite Camas Crash and the spoils were landed in tremendous style by the Frances O’Donnell trained Refuge of Sinner which made a huge impression when scoring in 28.62.

Races 1 & 2 – Heats 1 & 2 of The Adios Alonso & T.S.C. A1/A2 550 Stake Round 1.

Race 1 (Heat 1) – Springmount Enda was the 2/1 market leader in an open betting event and the son of Hondo Black and Kippers Doll got backers off to a fine start by making all the running in the white jacket. First bend trouble left just three runners in contention and the leader was followed by Droopys Kirani and Boher Crash Back as they turned into the back straight. Although his rivals ran on well Springmount Enda always had a little in hand and recorded a decent 30.35. The margins were a length and a half and half a length and the fourth home Bacon Hand finished fourteen lengths in arrears of the principals. Springmount Enda was posting a sixth career success for trainer Jim Scully and Mooncoin owners Eddie Quilty and Tom Quinn.

Race 2 (Heat 2) – Dundrum enthusiast Philip Heffernan sent out another 2/1 jolly in the shape of Up to It and this three time winner lived up to his name. After Foxwood Nanna was the first to show Up to It led from Farranrory Zak on the back straight and the pair had a great battle to the line with the former just shading the issue by half a length. Foxwood Nanna stayed on to be third three and a half lengths away. Up to It, a son of Head Bound and Eyesare Blue, stopped the clock in 30.37.

Race 3 – The Sporting Press SS0/S0 300.

Riverside Cashen was an odds-on chance to score for Graham Holland but he found one too good on the night in the shape of the 3/1 chance Frascati which made all the running in very impressive style to stop the clock in a smashing 16.17. The favourite finished with a flourish to fail by just half a length and Suzie Cutie was a length and a half back in third place. It proved a top performance from Frascati (Head Bound-Airport Boss) which was having his first race for quite some time and now sports the splendid strike rate of six wins from nine outings. He is trained by Tommy Bolton for Lucan owner Hugh Courtney.

Races 4 & 5 – Heats 3 & 4 of The Adios Alonso & T.S.C. A1/A2 550 Stake Round 1.

Race 4 (Heat 3) – Airforce Prince got the Owen McKenna kennel off the mark here in what was to prove a great session for the local maestro. This 7/4 favourite gave his supporters no worries with a fluent trap to line win in a smashing best of the round 29.99. He came home three lengths clear of market rival Callums Flash with Hellroad Hawkeye running on to take third spot four lengths back. The impressive son of Swords Prince and Lukies Blue is jointly owned by Keith Doherty and Peter O’Toole and is the one they all have to beat in this classy stake.

Race 5 (Heat 4) – Out for Gold, a son of Crash and Adored owned and trained in Moate by Adrian Kelly, took this in good style running on well to account for early leader Highview Echo and the strong finishing Ders Always One by two lengths and three lengths. Lightly raced, having gained his only previous in Limerick last October, the winner clocked 30.54 and looks to have plenty of scope for improvement.

Race 6 – The Supporters Club Open 525.

This was a real classy event with a number of big names in the line-up not least the 6/4 favourite Camas Crash. However, the market leader was slowly away and never got into it as the 3/1 chance Refuge of Sinner, trained by Frances O’Donnell for Ray Patterson, ran a blinder and showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the major events to come. Dear Pa was fast away in the red jacket but Refuge of Sinner took control on the back straight and led from Dear Pa and Murrali Junior approaching the penultimate turn.

Murralli Junior got up to take second from Dear Pa by a neck but Refuge of Sinner had flown and had two and a half lengths in hand at the line. The son of Oran Classic and Shelbourne Kay was gaining an eighth career win and his smashing 28.62 clock set the standard for the Produce Stakes quarter-finals.

Races 7 to 10 – The Connollys Red Mills Produce Stakes Round 3 Heats 1 to 4.

Race 7 (Heat 1) – Owen McKenna had a big hand with Christys Bolt (5/2) and South Armagh (5/1) but it was Matthew Noonan’s Conna Kingsmill which headed the market at 7/4 with Melodys Gamble popular at 5/2. Although the favourite came away well, South Armagh took a flyer from trap six and he led Conna Kingsmill and Satin Jessie off the opening turns. Christys Bolt improved to challenge on the outside off the third bend as Conna Kingsmill faded out of contention but South Armagh was making the best of his way home pursued by Satin Jessie. Christys Bolt stormed into second place off the final turn and although eating up the ground he could not quite get to the leader which held on by a length. Melodys Gamble was another to fly the finish and just got up on the rails to take the third place by a neck from Satin Jessie. It proved a great one/two for Owen McKenna and a big result for the bookmakers. The margins were a length and two and a half lengths and South Armagh (Brett Lee-Claddagh Pearl) clocked a career best 28.62 to gain his fourth win for owner Larry Fogarty.

Race 8 (Heat 2) – Farloe Calvin and Glenanore Dancer were joint favourites at 6/4 and they finished first and last. Farloe Calvin again hit the lid and set out to retain his unbeaten record. Ardrahan Zebo was his nearest rival off the opening turns with Glenanore Dancer and Fear Big Star also prominent. Fear Big Star soon moved into third spot as Glenanore Dancer lost a place and looked in trouble. Ardrahan Zebo threw down a huge challenge on the run to the line but Farloe Calvin answered in style and held on by half a length to record his seventh success from as many races. Fear Big Star took the third qualifying place two lengths back just half a length ahead of Ballymac Jordan. Owned by Paul Ellis in Derry, Farloe Calvin (Hondo Black-Me Margaret) clocked 28.73.

Race 9 (Heat 3) – Farloe Buddy went off the even money favourite to give Owen McKenna his third heat winner and a fourth success of the evening but it was Jimmy Buckley who was singing as his 7/2 chance Jumeirah Veyron led from traps followed by the Farloe Buddy, Odyssey and Ballyhill Jaguar. The order was maintained to the third bend where Ballyhill Jaguar moved into third and challenged on the rails. He was forced to check and lost valuable ground as Jumeirah Veyron still held the call over Farloe Buddy. Farloe Buddy gave it everything on the run to the line but Jumeirah Veyron was not to be denied and held on by a head for a famous success. Ballyhill Jaguar finished a length back in third ahead of Signal Tower. Owned and trained by country music star Jimmy Buckley in Athenry, Jumeirah Veyron (Tullymurry Act-Droopys Snowdrop) stopped the clock in 28.82 to gain a first success in the stake following narrow defeats in the earlier rounds.

Race 10 (Heat 4) – The Graham Holland trained Holborn Junior was a warm order at 4/6 to retain his unbeaten record in the event and bring his strike rate to seven wins from nine runs. The feat was duly accomplished but only just, as a first bend melee hampered the majority of the runners and ended the prospects of the fancied Gene Tashdalek which was knocked over and Owen McKenna’s Ronaldo Supreme. The favourite was not too well away but got to the front following the first bend bumping and led from Celebration Day on the back straight. Pat Dalton’s charge threw down a big challenge on the run-in but the favourite held on by half a length with Universal Dream taking third place for Pat Buckley two and a half lengths back. Holborn Junior (Kinloch Brae-Holborn Dolly is owned by Laurence O’Rourke and his winning time was 28.79.

Clonmel Track – Thursday, 25th April

The session featured the second round of the Droopys Stud and Track Supporters Club N1/N2 Unraced Stake but somewhat surprisingly these heats were earlier over shadowed

by a pair of outstanding performances in A6 and S4 graded events. Torpeys Hi (Ace Hi Rumble-Precious Dancer) the 4/6 market leader lit up the track when streaking to a fourteen length win for Gerry Maguire in the A6 event in a brilliant 28.75 and in the next event, the second sprint of the evening, William Barry’s Movealong Andy (Head Bound-Movealong Sutty) made all the running to post a smashing open class 16.25 in an S4 race.

The Unraced Stake yielded another fine display from Sidarian Blue which clocked 28.85 in completing yet another double for top handler Graham Holland.

Race 1 (A8/A9) – This yielded an impressive trap to line win for the 6/4 chance Spare the Water which got off the mark at the second time of asking. Owned jointly in Cashel by Joe Golden and Patrick Pomphrett the daughter of Broadacres Turbo and Tom Cailin was very fast away in the white jacket and led her rivals a merry dance. The even money favourite Movealong Pride took second spot from Monas Bound off the third turn but could make no impression on the leader which scored by five and a half lengths in 29.62. Some Entertainer ran on to take the third place four lengths in arrears of the market leader.

Race 2 (S5 or Lower) – Knocknaboha Danny topped the market at evens but lost her chance with a slow start and the 2/1 shot Kilkenny Danny proved another winner for the white sheet by making all the running to come home two lengths clear of Slaneyside Magee with the market leader running on to fill the third place a length back. The winner a son of Ja Mann and Tyrur Danielle owned and trained in Windgap by Brian Hickey clocked 16.58 in breaking his maiden at the fourth attempt.

Race 3 (N2/N3) – Only two counted in the ring, Skip Maestro at evens and Every Kingdom at 5/4 and they filled the first two places. Highview Light was first to show but Every Kingdom showed fine back straight pace to lead at the third bend from where Skip Maestro made significant improvement. With the leader running wide Skip Maestro closed with every stride and Every Kingdom was all out to hold the challenge by half a length with Skipping Rose running on to take third four and a half lengths back. The winner a daughter of Tyrur Lee and Tyrur Alyssa trained by Graham Holland for David Usher clocked 29.46.

Race 4 (A6) – The Magure family from Lattin/Cullen have given a lifetime of outstanding service to Gaelic games and are not novices where greyhounds are concerned and Gerry and his father Mick had an evening to remember when their odds-on Torpeys Hi gave a superb fastest of the night display in streaking to a fourteen length win in a brilliant 28.75. Having shown promise on his debut a month ago the son of Ace Hi Rumble and Precious Dancer led on the rails at the first bend from Schweinsteiger and Hypnotic Rhyme before powering away to put his rivals to the sword and come home alone. Hypnotic Rhyme and Josie Josy filled the placings and the margins were fourteen lengths and five lengths.

Race 5 (S4) – This second sprint of the session produced a great performance from the 5/4 favourite Movealong Andy which made all the running from trap five to break his maiden in a flying open class 16.25. Owned by William Barry from Kilmallock the son of Head Bound and Movealong Sutty created a big impression in surging to a four and a half length over Imperial Diego with Shunters Koala a length and a half back in third place.

Races 6 to 8 – Heats 1 to 3 of The Droopys Stud & Track Supporters Club Unraced Stake Round 2. (Four to Qualify for the Semi-Finals).

Race 6 (Heat 1)- Mallogs Rumble went off the 5/4 market leader in the absence of Express Master. However, it was the 2/1 chance Lemon Ranger which took the spoils.

This son of Crash and Lemon Rita took over from Slipaway Rita at the first bend before being pursued on the back straight by Pretty Honey and Mallogs Rumble. The latter ran on to take the runner-up spot from Pretty Honey but the leader was home and hosed. The distances were four and a half lengths and a length and the remaining qualifying place was claimed by the fancied Mustang Messi. Owned and trained by Denis Lennon in Sevenhouses, Lemon Ranger clocked 29.49 to break his maiden at the second time of asking.

Race 7 (Heat 2) – Express Lodge was a warm order at 2/5 but Darren Smyth’s local hope Jive Jenny put in a splendid run to account for the hotpot on merit. Jive Jenny made the early running but it looked all over when the favourite led on the rails at the third bend.

Jive Jenny came again, however, and showed great resolution to regain the initiative and score by a length with Minor Budget running on for third and Dandy Diamond back in fourth spot. The game winner a daughter of Farley Blitz and Mustang Mags stopped the clock in 29.40.

Race 8 (Heat 3) – The very impressive first round winner Sidarian Blue went off at 2/7 and now looks to have this nice stake at his mercy following a trap to line win in 28.85.

Completing yet another double on the night for Graham Holland the impressive son of Ace Hi Rumble and Yahoo Stacey owned by the Sidarian Syndicate surged to a six length win over Portsoy Legend in a four dog heat. Get A Kennel was nine and half lengths away in third whilst the badly baulked Wont Concefinished a further sixteen lengths back in what proved to be a procession.