Clonmel - Sunday, May 22
The featured Kilsheelan Gallop A3 525 Yards Stake Final produced an exciting contest and a surprise result as the 4/1 outsider Ballyfinn Og stayed on resolutely to defy more fancied rivals and take the tidy 1125 euro prize for trainer Denis Fitzgerald and cross-channel owner David Partington. Without a win in the stake the son of Clay County and Pantera tracked the fast starting Clay County before gaining the advantage early in the back straight and keeping on well to hold the the persistent challenge of that rival to score by a length with the 7/4 favourite Rising Lyric doing her best work at the finish to grab third spot a length and a half in arrears of the runner-up. The worthy winner clocked 29.21 and was gaining his third and most important winning bracket on his eighth start.
Race 1 - This opening contest was for A5 grade and it produced a career best performance from Ballybrazil Jag which took over from leader Study Judy approaching the third bend and drew clear for an impressive five and a half length win over Study Judy and Daithis Rocket in 29.29.
Race 2 - Dream On Billy (Razldazl Billy-Mellison Duchess) which came in as a reserve for Aherlow enthusiast Dominic Frewen returned to winning form and did it the hard way as Hold on Buddy led from traps before The Other Silver gained command only to be immediately challenged by Dream On Billy which was all out to hold the renewed challenge of The Other Silver by half a length in the closing stages.
Race 3 - Reenview Meboy which had defeated Classic Jenny by a head on their last run were again the top two in this A3 race and after Reenview Meboy had led from traps Classic Jenny was in front on the back straight only to lose the advantage to her rival at the third bend. However Classic Jenny came again and took the spoils by a length from her rival with The Other Yeats two lengths back in third place. The daughter of Yeah Man and Droopys Jazz clocked 29.54 in scoring for Portlaw owner Trevor Power and his agent Jimmy Power.
Race 4 - Archaton Pride maintained David Jordan’s fine record at the track by gaining a third winning bracket. The son of Killahan Phanter and Archaton Queen was headed from traps by Kilnamack Man but took over at the opening bend and held the renewed effort of his rival by a length and a half.
Race 5 - Disappointingly only four went to traps for the opening semi-final of the Shane O’Gorman A4 Novice 750 and Ranchers Star was the warm 4/6 favourite.
The daughter of Top Savings and Mollys Daughter was slow from traps and trailed her rivals until coming with a smooth run on the rails to take control at the penultimate bend before staying on well to defeat Noreview Silver by a length with Lady Andys five lengths back.
Race 6 - The second semi-final produced a huge upset as Rockfield Eliza the 2/5 favourite failed to qualify for next Sunday’s decider. Crossfield Nina set out to make all and was pursued by the favourite and the 6/1 outsider Chamberlain Bua to the fifth bend where the trio bunched and the latter shot clear to register a four length win over Crossfield Nina with Cruises Houdini getting up to take the third qualifying place. The winner a daughter of Droopys Kewell and Flower Valley was breaking her maiden at the eighth attempt for Cahir owner/trainer David O’Neill.
Race 7 - Bay City Legend the 2/1 favourite broke fast and proceeded to make all the running in this A2 550 by accounting for Blackstone Hero and Fortune Lee by two lengths and four lengths in a useful 30.22. The son of Crash and Bay City Ruby is owned and trained in Glengoole by Larry Harding and was gaining his second winning bracket.
Race 8 - Matt O’Donnell sent out the 3/1 chance The Other City (Skywalker Magic-The Other Bella) to make all the running in this Irish Examiner Open. Archaton Legend was the winner’s nearest pursuer for much of the trip but was caught late for runner-up spot by Jackos Catch.
Race 10 - Smooth Daddy went to traps with the great strike rate of five wins from seven outings and in spite of not having run since last October went off the even money favourite. The son of Tyrur Ted and Hooch Babe owned and trained by Helen cashin in Callan duly obliged in fine style coming home three lengths and a length clear of Ballyhoe Symbol and Rising Magic in a smashing 29.92.
Clonmel - Thursday, May 19
The eight race programme featured the semi-finals of the Rockwell Rovers N2/N3 Unraced Stake which produced clear cut wins for the market leaders Bonville Karter and Phoenix Giggs. Phoenix Giggs posted the fastest run of the session an impressive 28.83 that looks sure to see him head the market for next Thursday’s decider.
In other races Cunning Darkie caught the eye when taking the concluding Red Mills Slan Abhaile A3 525 in a very smart 28.9 whilst earlier Pine Beauty made all the running to land the spoils in an A4/A5 550 when holding the challenge of the favourite Charity Rebecca by half a length in a useful 30.38. Another to impress was Uptown Hawk which gained her first winning bracket when scoring by nine aand a half lengths in 28.95.
Race 1 - The 4/5 market leader Phanter’s Pearl obliged in good style after a tardy start. The daughter of Killahan Phanter and Wanda tracked Belgrave down the back straight before taking up the running off the final bend to score a two length win over her rival with Purple Sal running on to take third spot. Owned and trained in Cashel by Michael Ryan, the winner clocked 29.99.
Race 2 - This S2/S3 sprint produced a balnket finish with less than a length separating the first five. Bweeng Lady led from traprise but was caught in the final strides by Cloverhill Dave which got the verdict by a short head with Village Lass the same distance back in third. The winner Cloverhill Dave (Skywalker Magic-Hello Wizard) which was gaining an overdue success is owned and trained in Fethard by John Morrissey.
Race 3 - The even money market leader Uptown Hawk gave her supporters no worries by making all the running to come home nine and a half lengths clear of Kathryns Oakfern which got up to take second spot by half a length from Laska Teddy.
Race 4 - Charity Rebecca went off the 6/4 favourite in this A4/A5 550 but it was the 3/1 chance Pine Beauty (Premier Fantasy-Cuteen Brook) which hit the lid running and proceeded to make every post a winning one in a very useful 30.38. The favourite ran on gamely and closed the winner’s advantage to half a length at the line.
Race 5 - Archaton Phanter continued the great run of Wexford enthusiast David Jordan by scoring a facile six and a half length win over Adams Blaze and early leader Cheerful Maimie in a career best 29.20.
Races 6 & 7 - The Rockwell Rovers N2/N3 Unraced Stake Semi-Finals.
Bonville Karter a son of Droopys Scolari and Little Diva trained by Michael Delahunty for Steve Locke was the 6/4 favourite in the opening heat and after Glenbervie Marge had led from traps Bonville Karter took command and raced to a five length win over Glenbervie Marge with Tuberlane Jack three lengths back in third place.
Phoenix Giggs was odds-on at 4/6 in the second semi and this son of Droopys Kewell and Droopys Marcia made all the running in the striped jacket. There was carnage behind the leader at the opening turn as Lyreen Twister on the rails ran off the bend and caused a chain reaction which put paid to his chances and those of the remainder of the field leaving the leader to come home alone a distance in front of Madder gap and Smiling True which took the minor placings.
Race 8 - Cunning Darkie the 6/4 favourite on foot of a promising run in mid April made all the running to defeat Hand of Frog and Highview belle by three and a half lengths and a length and a half in an impressive 28.93. Owned and trained locally by Edward O’Dwyer the winner a son of Crash and Movealong Rose should prove well capable of following up on this very promising performance.