Mixed luck for jockey Fran Berry at Clonmel as he follows winner with bad fall



Perfect weather conditions, a mixed seven race card, large fields, a good attendance and a double for trainer Arthur Moore were the highlights of a Clonmel meeting run on yielding conditions over the flat course and on good conditions on the National Hunt course last Thursday.

The evening, however, had its downside as leading jockey Fran Berry suffered serious injuries that will keep him out of action for at least two months following a fall in the Mullinahone Maiden, the second event on the card. Having won the opener on the 8/1 chance Bobskier, Berry partnered Caliente in that second race and the filly appeared to break down as the field began the run for home. The rider attempted to pull Caliente up but fell to the ground and in the incident Ronan Whelan’s mount Nias Caul was brought down. Berry was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital before being transferred to the James Connolly Blanchardstown Hospital where he was reported to have fractured his right shoulder blade and suffered three fractured ribs as well as a fractured ankle. Happily Ronan Whelan escaped uninjured and was able to ride later but the unfortunate Berry missed a second winner when Positive Vibes took the following race the Tickincor Handicap under stand in pilot Pat Smullen.

That Mullinahone Maiden resulted in a rare win at Clonmel for Aidan O’Brien whose 11/4 chance Hail which got a great run home on the rails under Joseph O’Brien and quickened clear in the final furlong to defeat the well supported David Wachman runner Precious Stone and the 7/4 favourite Three Kingdoms by three and three quarter lengths and three quarters of a length. The winner is a Galileo colt owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

Earlier Fran Berry had taken the opening Tipperary Claiming Race on Bobskier trained in Kildare by Gerard O’Leary for Lance Blookstock Limited. This winner was returned at 8/1 but paid double those odds on the tote. Invincible Soul went off the 4/1 market leader but weakened in the closing stages to finish a disappointing fifth. The winner was always handy and led a furlong and a half from home before keeping on strongly to account for If Per Chance by half a length with Sophies Echo a neck back in third place.

Positive Vibes which took the Tickincor Handicap in impressive style initiated the Arthur Moore double in a race which trainer David Wachman again had to settle for runner-up spot. Positive Times easy to back at 11/2 came home four and a half lengths clear of November Power which held the strong finish of Arabela by a head for the second placing. Arabela had been taken to the start very early and was loaded in stalls some ten minutes before her rivals. The 2/1 favourite Roja Dove finished nearest at the finish in fourth place.

David Wachman and rider Wayne Lordan were supported to 3/1 favouritism to improve on their two second placings with their charge Circumstances in the Sunday 30th September Family Day at Clonmel Handicap. However Circumstances weakened at the finish to take sixth place behind the impressive 9/2 winner Missunited which shouldered top weight of ten stone and scored with something in hand. Under a positive ride from Seamus Heffernan the winner which is trained by Michael Winters in Kanturk had two lengths and half a length in hand of Tiffilia and Our Breff at the line. The trainer reported that Missunited may make a quick return to action at Galway this week.

Favourite backers were still without a winner following four races and they suffered a further reverse with the defeat of the 7/2 market leader Dowd’s Angle in the Munster Opportunity Maiden Hurdle. Although the jolly ran on in fine style Playtime Ben, well supported to 4/1, got first run under Robert Jones and held on well to score by a length and a half from Dowd’s Angle with Killdunne just a nose away in third. The winner is trained in Askeaton by Davy Fitzgerald.

The final two events at last brought relief to the suffering punters as the success of two well backed favourites took them out of trouble. The first market leader to oblige was the 11/10 chance Drumlister which completed the Arthur Moore double in the Giantsgrave Handicap Hurdle. The winner survived a bad mistake at the second last to account for Definite Knockoff by three quarters of a length with seven pound claimer Gareth Malone in the saddle.

Trainer David Harry Kelly who is based in Rathvin, Fethard has been having a very successful run in recent times and he was again in the winners’ enclosure with the 7/4 favourite Landenstown Lady which had been a most unlucky loser in Down Royal on her last outing. She gave a most impressive performance on this occasion and stayed on well to score comfortably by three lengths and two lengths from Decade Player and Holy Smokes. The winner which looks one for the notebook ran in the colours of the Landenstown Estate Syndicate and the winning rider was Sean Flanagan.

The meeting’s aggregate totalisator bet amounted to 72,320.35 euro which compared most favourably with the figure of 53,128.27 euro returned at the corresponding fixture a year ago. The Jackpot Pool amounted to 3,000 euro and eight winners each received 281.20 euro. There were no less than 549.65 winning units in the Placepot Pool of 20,104.31 euro and each unit received 27.40 euro.

The next meeting at Clonmel is a major Sunday afternoon Family day on September 30 which is not to be missed.