The hotpot Ardfert Thunder duly did the business in the final of the Catunda At Stud Munster Puppy Cup which was the feature event on a topclass card in Clonmel that produced high quality racing despite prolonged spells of torrential rain.
The 4/7 favourite got a dream run on the rails in the early stages and raced through to track the leader Fahy Legend off the opening bends before leading off the final turn and storming clear for a two length win over a gallant rival which made a bold bid to take the prestigious event for sponsor Larry O’Rourke. Ardfert Thunder (Droopys Vieri-Soviet Cheyenne) created a huge impression in running unbeaten through the stake and although his final clock of 28.71 was below his best the weather was certainly a mitigating factor. Owned in Ardfert by Noel and Adrian Clifford and trained by Frances O’Donnell he remains an outstanding prospect and looks sure to shine at the highest level.
Race 1 (A4) - Sargent Major, a 2/1 joint favourite, broke his maiden in tremendous style with a cracking trap to line success in a career best 28.90. Having unsuccessfully contested six races it was a case of seven-up for the son of Droopys Robinho and Paulees Flight which won unchallenged by seven lengths from Strides On Time with Bobs Kate four and a half lengths back in third place.
Race 2 (S1/S2) – Punters suffered a major reverse as the even money favourite Fast Fit Dan missed the break and finished at the rear of the field behind the 6/1 outsider of the party Humble Charlie which ran the race of his life by breaking fast and zooming clear of Ardera Fonze at the first bend to come home four and a half lengths clear of his rivals. Annacurra Wood ran on well to deprive Ardera Fonze of the second place. Humble Charlie a son of Crash and Leahs Baby, owned jointly in Cashel by Sandy Colville and Pat Butler, posted a sizzling 16.12 in gaining his ninth winning bracket.
Race 3 (A2) – This was dominated by 2/1 favourite Fivestar Gooch and Slaneyside Moon who had a great battle at the head of the field right from trap rise. The market leader always held a narrow advantage and finished the stronger to record a two length win over his gallant rival with Kilara Gold finishing the same distance back in third place.
Race 4 – The Supporters Club No Backgraders A3 Stake Final.
This was a qualifier for next week’s big Waterford stake and patrons enjoyed a fine contest between market leaders Melodys Ace (evens) and Valais First (5/4) with the spoils going to the former by half a length. Plain Toffee finished well to take third place two lengths adrift of the principals. Melodys Ace clocked 29.31 and this son of Ace Hi Rumble and Pretty Nicola trained by Timothy O’Donovan for Ballylongford owner Patrick Collins should prove a worthy Clonmel representative at Kilcohan Park.
Race 5 (A1-550) – The layers went 3/1 bar Pull The Plug which was a warm 4/6 chance. Minorcas Beauty was first to show and she led from Springmount Enda and Freedom Serrano as they turned down the back straight. Freedom Serrano challenged on the rails at the third corner where Pull The Plug was badly hampered and the new leader surged clear to account for Springmount Enda and Killinan Joy by two and a half lengths and four lengths.
She is owned in Drombane by Cuatro P. Syndicate.
Race 6 – The Sporting Press A1 525.
Glenanore was the 6/4 favourite to complete a double for Tom O’Neill but never really got into it after first bend trouble as The Other Year bounced out of trap four and made every yard of the running to come home five and a half lengths clear of an unlucky in running Moreton Marauder with the veteran Guitar Moment back in third spot. Matt O’Donnell owns and trains the daughter of Skywalker Magic and The Other Bella which posted a very useful 28.93 to gain the seventh win of her career.
Race 8 – The Punters Rest Open 525.
After disappointment with Glenanore a little earlier Tom O’Neill completed his double with the 7/4 favourite Prop Joe which made all the running from trap five and although running wide had enough in the tank to hold the strong finisher Golden Spirit by a length with third place going to Glengall Girl.
Race 9 - The Red Mills Getting Out Open 575.
The bookies enjoyed a great result here as the 5/1 outsider of the field Headway Mossie took the spoils very impressively in a cracking 31.36. The son of Head Bound and In Between which had clocked 31.58 in winning over the distance in Enniscorthy on his last outing made all the running to account for Glenanore Shaw and Skywalker Legend by two and a half lengths and the same to gain a sixth career success for his owner/trainer Maurice Brennan of Killinick.