Clonmel Track –
Sunday, 26th May
Frances O’Donnell who had posted doubles at each of the last two meetings enjoyed another great evening with a splendid hat-trick of successes in the major events that gives her a tally of seven wins at the Suirside venue over the past eight days. She took both semi-finals of the featured Kilsheelan Gallop & Track Supporters A3 Stake with Mahogany Boy and The Other Niamh before sending out Skip Soda to take the concluding Red Mills Getting Out A0/A1.
Mahogany Boy, with a 29.00 run, shared the honour of being fastest of the session with Toystory Aston, owned and trained locally by Rory O’Connor, which had set the same figure when breaking his maiden in the opening A5.
Race 1 (A5) - Toystory Aston, without a win from his eleven starts, put his past behind him in no uncertain manner with a most impressive trap to line success that stopped the clock in a smashing 29.00 a time that was equalled but not beaten in the remainder of the session. The son of Shelbourne Aston and Toystory Lady was pursued on the back straight by Dream Come True and Sparta Lexi but was always in control and cruised to victory by six and a half lengths from the favourite Sparta Lexi with Kilkenny Caviar a length away in third place. The very impressive winner is owned and trained locally by Rory O’Connor.
Race 2 (S1/S2) – Minella Scamp was a hotpot at 4/7 but never showed after a slow start as Shaneboy Winnie and Spartan Jack dominated the contest. After the former had shown marginally in front the latter gained control and surged clear to account for his rival by two and a half lengths with third place filled a length back by Dan The Man.
Race 3 (A3) – The very experienced North Bay Girl set out to make all the running but Cnoc Lauryn a 2/1 chance in the red jacket took over at the penultimate turn and kept on well to gain her first career win for trainer Michael O’Meara and Hospital owner Nicholas Cooke. North Bay Girl finished two and a half lengths back in second and Energy Tip was a further three and a half lengths behind in third.
Race 4 (A4) – Plain Toffee in common with the winner of the opener has waited a while to open his account but finally it all came right for the son of Westmead Hawk and Move Over Jeanie which ran on well to gain a hard earned half length success over the favourite Leeview Rose in an exciting finish. Circus Tiger finished a length back in third spot. Plain Toffee went into the event as a maiden after ten runs and he got off the mark after six placed efforts. Owned and trained in Thurles by R.A. Woodcock he stopped the clock in 29.44.
Race 5 – The Sporting Press A2.
It was proving a good evening for the layers and they had another result here when Granada Sid flew the finish to get up on the line and pip Chamberlain Aine by a short head. Only fourth off the final bend the winner came with a wet sail to take the spoils for Kilfeacle owner/trainer Patricia Tobin.
Race 6 (A4) – Graham Holland enjoyed a beano at Shelbourne on Saturday and his Romanesco was an even money chance to get the trainer back among the winners at
his local track where he has had little luck at recent meetings. However his charge was badly baulked at the early bends and finished at the rear of the field as reserve Killee Town finished with a flourish to account for Sunoak Rache by a neck in yet another close finish. Circus Whip which had led from traps but had failed to clear the opening bend ran on well to take third place.
Races 7 & 8 – The Kilsheelan Gallop & T.S.C. A3 Stake Semi-Finals.
Impressive first round winner More in Tune was an absentee for the opening leg and the Frances O’Donnell trained Mahogany Boy went off the 4/5 market leader to become a first winning favourite. The son of Run on Boy and Molly Bloom owned by the Carrowbaun based Rowan Tree Syndicate duly obliged by surging clear off the opening turns and romping home to a six length win over Express Lodge and Investigation in 29.00. The winner was gaining a tenth career victory and he looks the one they all have to beat in next week’s final.
Frances O’Donnell was bidding for a quick double with The Other Niamh in the second semi and her charge was a 7/4 joint favourite with Monabrogue Rock. The latter was baulked at the first bend and River Gem, Lyreen Legend and The Other Niamh were the principals down the back straight. The Other Niamh challenged River Gem between the final bends and in a good battle to the line completed the O’Donnell double by a neck from that rival with Lyreen Legend a length and a half away in the other qualifying place. The winner a daughter of Skywalker Ace and Skywalker Queen owned by Matt O’Donnell was breaking her maiden at the fifth attempt and her winning time was 29.35.
Race 9 – The Red Mills Getting Out A0/A1 525.
Skip Soda making a return from injury was supported to 4/5 to complete a great O’Donnell treble and the son of Hondo Black and Paradise Alanna owned by Tom Smyth and Maurice Jackson did just that in another exciting finish that climaxed a fine evening’s racing. Skip Soda went for home off the second bend and was challenged strongly by a fast finishing Glenanore Shaw on the run to the line. He held on well, however, to gain the verdict by half a length with the slow starting Lough Maller three and a half lengths adrift in third place.
Clonmel Track – Thursday, 23rd May
Despite the major counter-attraction of evening racing at nearby Powerstown Park the meeting attracted a fine Thursday attendance for an above average card that featured the Final of the Fethard Playground Fund A4 550 Buster Stake and the semi-finals of The Track Supporters Club A5 Stake.
The major event which carried a winner’s prize of over a thousand euro went as expected to the hot 1/2 favourite Comeragh Coyote which retained his unbeaten record in the competition by leading off the third bend and drawing clear to score by three lengths.
The Track Supporters Stake semi-finals were both won by Kilmallock enthusiasts with Breda Barrett taking the first with the 6/4 favourite Fair Price and 5/2 chance Vale Vieri scoring for Margaret Noonan.
The going for the session was rated as .10 slow for the sprint and .30 slow for the remainder of the races.
Race 1 (A8/A9) – In form trainer Frances O’Donnell who went on to record a double got backers off to the ideal start when her 4/5 favourite Kenmare River proved three and a half lengths too good for market rival Hearts on Fire. The winner a son of Kinloch Brae and Kenmare Heather owned in Kenmare by Joan O’Leary made all the running in the white jacket and clocked an estimated 29.20. The third home Barra Flake finished some eight and a half lengths behind the principals in a well strung out field.
Race 2 (S5 or Lower) – Another odds-on chance Bumblebee Messi owned and trained in Cashel by Kay O’Sullivan broke in front in the red jacket and proceeded to make all the running. The son of Ace Hi Rumble and Caraghmore Flyer just got home by a neck, however, from Highview Light with Brighton Beach a length and a half back in third place. Bumblebee Messi clocked an estimated 16.75 in chalking up an eighth career victory.
Race 3 (N2/A7) – Hulla Spirit (Killahan Phanter-Castle Spirit) which was easy to back at 3/1 became the third successive trap to line winner of the evening. Mallogs Jake went off the even money market leader and moved into second places off the third bend.
He made little impression on Hulla Spirit, however, and was beaten by a three length margin. Ilewin Giraffe finished the same distance back in third place. Hulla Spirit is owned and trained in Mitchelstown by Declan O’Grady and his clock was an estimated 29.51.
Race 4 (N0/N1) – Classy Sun broke very fast and led from the even money favourite Jampot Jim and The Other Puma on the back straight. The Other Puma took up the running off the penultimate turn and ran on well to defeat the favourite by two lengths with Classy Sun four and a half lengths adrift in third. It proved a team success for the O’Donnells with the winner a son of Skywalker Ace and The Other Year trained by Frances for owner Matt. Frances was completing a fine double on the night and The Other Puma clocked 29.26 (est.).
Race 5 (A5) – Riverside Havana headed the market at 5/4 but with trainer Graham Holland suffering a losing spell at the venue this one found one too good in the shape of the 2/1 chance Sharp Hill which hit the lid and made every yard of the running to come home three and a half lengths clear of the jolly in 29.28 (est.). Third spot was filled a short head back by Astro Pearl. Sharp Hill which was breaking his maiden at the fourth attempt is a son of Westmead Scolari and Key Hill owned and trained in Cashel by Michael Ryan.
Race 6 – The Clonmel Track Supporters Club A5 Stake Semi-Final.
Favourite backers got back on track with the success of the 6/4 jolly Fair Price which broke his maiden at the fifth time of asking for Breda Barrett. The local fancy Quack Quack broke very fast and led from Saint Nicholas and Fair Price on the back straight.
Fair Price a son of Westmead Hawk and Move Over Dora took up the running at the penultimate bend and raced clear to account for Quack Quack and Saint Nicholas by two and a half lengths and the same in an estimated 29.21.
Race 7 – The Fethard Playground Fund A4 550 Buster Final.
Very impressive in an unbeaten run to the final the 1/2 favourite Comeragh Coyote took the nice prize with a minimum of fuss. Millridge Paddy the only other unbeaten runner in the decider began the event as a maiden and made a bold bid to make all. He was chased as they turned on to the back straight by Cherokee Hayley and the favourite but the latter was soon in the leader’s slipstream and led off the third turn to race clear and score by three lengths from a gallant runner-up with Bay City Ted running on to take third place a further three lengths back.
Declan Byrne trains Comeragh Coyote and the son of Black Shaw and Whiteys Millie now won five races for the members of The Premier and Deise Syndicate. His winning clock was an estimated 30.20.
Race 8 – The Clonmel Track Supporters Club A5 Stake Semi-Final.
Vale Vieri was easy to back at 5/2 with Rockaway Beach a warm odds-on chance and Izzy Pippin supported at 2/1. All three were fast into their stride but Vale Vieri led off the second turn and made the remainder of the running to come home three lengths clear of the favourite with Izzy Pippin a length and a half away in third place.
The winner a son of Droopys Vieri and Lough Carra owned by Margaret Noonan was completing a double for Kilmallock owners and his estimated time was a career best 29.41.