Dog of the Year 2

Great night at ICC Awards

A huge thank you to everyone who supported our Coursing Awards & Dinner Dance at the Charleville Park Hotel on Saturday 1st April. Sincere thanks to our Award Sponsors: Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale; Flaherty Markets Galway; Event Power Ltd Thurles; National Meeting Bookmakers; Brian & Noelle Divilly; Michael Horgan Mitchelstown; Bridget Byrne Surrey.

Of course it is the attendees who also make this night so special and we were thrilled to have over 300 once again for what was the 15th Annual Awards Night. Westmeath, Kilkenny, Cork and Limerick were very well represented this year as were the Abbeydorney coursing club who held their field development draw during the evening. The biggest cheer (and standing ovation) was reserved for Hall of Fame recipient Jimmy Darcy and his wife Anna. However for us Tipperary people the most memorable moment was the emotional rendition of Slievenamon from two other Kilkenny men Brian Doyle & Tommy Norton on Sunday morning.

We would also like to pay tribute to our superb band who suffered a very close family bereavement just a few days earlier but honoured the booking despite how difficult it must have been for them all. Thank You.

Our photo shows owners Dr Paddy & Mary O’Kelly, trainer Gerry Holian and breeder Denis Guiney receiving their trophies from Kathleen & Liam Murphy of Greyhound and Pet World after Reikers Island was announced the ICC Greyhound of the Year.

More photos on this week’s Sporting Press (April 13th).

Bitch of the Year 2

Westmeath flavour to Awards night

What a coursing season it was for the Carr family from Killucan, Co Westmeath and indeed for everyone at Westmeath Utd coursing club. They had a path worn from Tables 7 and 8 to the stage at the ICC Awards & Dinner Dance last Saturday night in the Charleville Park Hotel. Sporting Press Progress Charts for Killucan Rose & Howdododo, the Charity Fantasy Coursing cheque for David & Declan Carr, the Patsy Byrne Junior Nominator Award for Caoimhe Ivory and Michael Horgan’s ‘Road to Glory’ Award for Westmeath Utd coursing club.
However the highlight of the night for them all was the Coursing Bitch of the Year Award presentation for Killucan Rose, very kindly sponsored by Flaherty Market’s, Galway.

Our photo shows Kevin Carr accepting the 2017 ICC Bitch of the Year Award from Martin Flaherty (presenting on behalf of his dad Jimmy) with members of the Carr family, Lucy Flaherty, ICC President Brian Divilly and ICC CEO DJ Histon.

Jimmy Darcy hall of fame big group

Jimmy enters Hall Of Fame

“If you could come up with a definition of what a coursing man should be, look no further than Jimmy Darcy. He is a breeder, owner, trainer of distinction, club working member and of course has great respect for the Irish hare. He is a man we all aspire to be like and he is an inspiration to us all”.
Those were the words of DJ Histon, CEO Irish Coursing Club as he welcomed Jimmy Darcy into the ICC Hall of Fame at the Coursing Awards & Dinner Dance last weekend. As Jimmy and his wife Anna came to the stage to accept his Award from sponsors Brian and Noelle Divilly he received his second standing ovation of the evening. The first had come a short time earlier when the guests had watched a moving tribute to Jimmy which had been filmed at the Johnstown & Urlingford coursing field in Woodsgift and at his home.

Our photo shows Jimmy accepting his Award from sponsor and ICC President Brian Divilly whilst Anna accepts a bouquet from Noelle Divilly. Also in photo are Jimmy’s children Jimmy jnr and Marie, two of his grandsons James and Conor and his many friends from Johnstown and neighbouring coursing clubs.

Brood Bitch of the Year 2

Blades progeny on fire

Unlucky Champion Bitch Stakes runner-up Blades of Glory has produced some exceptionally fast greyhounds since being retired to the breeding paddocks.
However as owner Denis Guiney said at the ICC Awards on Saturday night last he thought a Classic win was going to elude her. That all changed of course on January 30th of this year when two of her sons Reikers Island and the Guiney family owned Blades Of Fire divided the 2017 BoyleSports Derby.
Their sister Our Miztique also reached the quarter-final of the Oaks so it was no surprise that Blades Of Glory was voted ICC Brood Bitch of the Year for the second time in three years.

Our photo shows Mike O’Connell (representing sponsor Richard Maher of Event Power Ltd, Thurles) presenting the trophy to Denis’s mam Mary and members of the Guiney family together with trainer Gerry Holian and Jacqueline Farrell.

Stud dog Adios Alonso

Awards mount up for Adios Alonso

In the 15 year history of the ICC Stud Dog of the Year Award only five different dogs have won the Award including Adios Alonso who took his third title this year.
The other winners are Hilltown (5), Bexhill Eoin (4) and Ashmore View, Kingsmill Dynamo and Razor Ashmore with one Award each.

Adios Alonso had previously won the Award which is kindly sponsored by the National Meeting Bookmakers in 2013 and 2015 so he appears to be making a habit of winning every second year. This might be of some comfort to other Stud Dog owners as we head towards the 2017/18 season !!!.
However there was no doubting his supremacy during the season just gone, siring the Oaks winner Knockout Glory and the two Derby dividers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire as well as a host of other big stake winners and National Meeting qualifiers.

Our photo shows Michael Sheil representing the National Meeting Bookmakers presenting the trophy at the ICC Awards last weekend to Gerry Holian who trained Adios Alonso to win the 2010 Derby. To the right of Michael is John O’Sullivan who co-owns the dog with Richard Maher and Basil Holian.

Reikers 2

ICC Award Winners 2017

Many congratulations to our ICC Award Winners for 2017.
A big thank you also to our Award Sponsors and to all of you who voted.
Our photo shows 2017 Greyhound of the Year, Reikers Island, with Dr Paddy & Mary O’Kelly.

Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale Coursing Dog of the Year


Flaherty Markets Galway Coursing Bitch of the Year


National Meeting Bookmakers Coursing Stud Dog of the Year


Event Power Ltd Thurles Coursing Brood Bitch of the Year


Hall of Fame Award (Kindly sponsored by Brian Divilly)
JIMMY DARCY, Urlingford, Co Kilkenny  


Please be advised that following the prohibited substance testing procedures carried out at the recent Irish Cup Meeting, all samples have been certified as Negative.
The Irish Coursing Club would like to thank owners, trainers and staff for co-operating fully with the process to ensure the integrity of our sport is maintained.
Full details on this week’s Sporting Press.

SKellig SHane p1

Day 3 at Irish Cup

Skellig Shane has added the blue riband of All Age coursing, The Irish Cup, to the Jim Howard Cup (Rathcormac) and Kingdom Cup (Co Kerry) won earlier in the season. It was a great day for owners Tim & Rose O’Driscoll, Glanmire, Cork and trainer Denis O’Driscoll, Skibbereen. Like last year’s winning owners of Foot Solution they now have an Irish Cup to display beside their Coursing Oaks trophy won in 2011. Rose & Tim also bred Skellig Shane who is a son of Mafi Magic and Skellig Beag.

The final of the Irish Cup was almost an exact replica of 12 months ago with Drive On Smokey taking a flier from slips like he did on that occasion. However it was to be heartbreak once again for his connections as Skellig Shane loomed upsides him as they approached halfway. Full credit to Smokey who didn’t let the winner go past him easily but had to give in at the end to the superior stamina of a worthy victor who was third favourite at 9/1 before the event got underway on Friday morning.

When the draw was made for the Patsy Byrne All Age Bitch Stake all the talk was about the top class All Age Bitches entered for this year’s renewal. However in the end they had to give way to two super pups which had caught the eye in Clonmel a few weeks ago. On that occasion Finn Dancer had recorded the fastest clock in RD1 of the Oaks and Mother Of Pearl had put in a very fast clock in the Kitty Butler. Finn Dancer went to slips as favourite for the final but got behind early and had no answer to the Sir Mark Prescott owned and Michael O’Donovan trained Mother Of Pearl. In her previous course the winner had surprised Champion Stakes winner Killucan Rose.

There was compensation for the connections of the original Irish Cup favourite Octane Wonder when he took the Irish Purse. The winner had run brilliantly throughout this stake but Domain King made him work very hard in the final. The loser built up a nice lead in the early stages, lost it, but then came again at the very end which admittedly was almost at the escape making it difficult for the Judge. In fairness he was in the right position to make the difficult call.

There was no braver winner today than the pup For The Parish in the Irish Plate. The hare brought him & his opponent all the way back to the slippers hut in their quarter final and many thought he might be withdrawn. However he came from behind in his semi-final to gain a narrow verdict and set himself up with a final match against Alcar. When his early lead in final petered out we thought he would have no more to give but how wrong we were and he fought back much to the delight of all the neutrals in the stand.

Bexhill River, Ardmore Magic, Gadget Eoin and Pay Me Later were the winners of the supporting events and congratulations to all of their connections.

And so concludes the 2016/17 Coursing Season. Well done to everyone at Co Limerick Coursing Club who put on another very good show and made us all wish we didn’t have to wait seven months before we go to slips again.
Of course we do have the ICC Awards to look forward to in April and voting for the four Greyhound Award categories will be open to all paid up members of our web site in approx two weeks time. Make sure to cast YOUR vote.

Foot Solution a

Day 2 at Irish Cup

Two pups, five second season dogs and one third season performer will contest the latter stages of the 2017 Irish Cup at Limerick Racecourse tomorrow (Sunday). That third season runner is Kyle Bruce who reached the semi-final in 2015 and the quarter-final in 2016. Remarkably he now meets Drive On Smokey who reached the final here 12 months ago so both of these greyhounds certainly know their way up Limerick racecourse and could provide a thriller tomorrow morning. However the one they all have to beat is Portane Ash who again ran like a worthy favourite today and has now shortened to odds on 4/5. Will it be another chapter in the story of that outstanding brood bitch Newinn All In who has already produced an Irish Cup winner in Newinn Wonder and a Derby winner in Coolavanny Bingo (litter comrade of Portane Ash).

Giving Brendan Matthews a powerful hand in the top half of the Irish Cup are last year’s Derby quarter-finalist Wallace Banner and Needham Frankel which came in from the reserves yesterday. It would be difficult to find fault with either of their performances today and it would be no surprise to see them meet in the semi-final. Standing in their way are Kingdom Cup winner Skellig Shane and the pup Gurteen Davi. Shane has paid a huge compliment to Howdododo by the manner of his three victories here this weekend so far and seems to be loving the field as was predicted he might. He did enjoy a small rub of the green this afternoon against Kyle Mozart but you need that in coursing. Enjoying more than a small bit of luck was the pup Gurteen Davi who appeared to be in trouble against Wiseguy Mark only for the latter to lose sight when the hare veered right. However no one will begrudge the Spillanes from Bantry the excitement of having a runner in last eight of Irish Cup.

As already mentioned Kyle Bruce and Drive On Smokey are back in the familiar territory of an Irish Cup quarter-final and the winner will oppose either Portane Ash or the pup Stonepark Mick. Mick has devastating early but has an unusual style of running which may explain what was a sluggish clock this afternoon. He could certainly lead the favourite for the early part of their course but then needs to knuckle down to the job at hand. It will be strange for his trainer Michael O’Donovan to be taking on a dog which he trained for all of his puppy season and owned by friends for whom he trained many other good dogs such as Timber House and Portane All Inn. Michael cut back on training All Age dogs for this season and Declan Byrne was delighted to receive Portane Ash into his Carrick On Suir kennels. Whether Declan will be bringing an Irish Cup winner home tomorrow evening remains to be seen but for now we can all look forward to what should be an epic finale to the 2016/17 coursing season.

From the offset we said this year’s Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake was a classy affair and so it is proving to be. One of the most eagerly awaited buckles of the season will be the Champion Stakes final rematch tomorrow between Killucan Rose and Skellig Jewel. I doubt if two Clonmel All Age Bitch finalists ever met a second time like this before. Jewel has it on the clock but she did get an awkward looking tumble in front of the escape this afternoon whilst Rose went up effortlessly in a bye course following withdrawal of Bexhill Anna. The best clock in this stake today came from Pumpkin Abbie who looks to be well over the set back she had in Clonmel. She meets Mother Of Pearl who eliminated Abbie’s older half sister Kia and is showing the form which won her many admirers when winning the Oaks TS at Doon. In the top half the favourite Finn Dancer gave another polished display and may get the upper hand of Delightful Babe which ran five times at Tipperary a fortnight ago when winning their All Age Bitch Stake. The winner will go down to meet either Laurdella Dani who is really catching the eye at the moment or Isshenamedyet which had a surprisingly comfortable win over Clerihan Pockets. This stake itself is worth the admission fee into the coursing tomorrow.

Betting and Clocks in Quick Results

Irish Cup 4a

Day 1 at the Irish Cup

The first day of the 2017 Irish Cup meeting belonged to Portane Ash. A gamble which started earlier in the week intensified on course this morning and he went to slips the 6/1 favourite, half his original odds. When he moved away from the three times winner Kingsmill Jasper it was obvious he was doing something special and so it proved with his clock of 11.45 (a full 20 spots faster than anything else today). Trainer Declan Byrne has had to be very patient with this litter brother to Coolavanny Bingo because of an injury picked up before the season got underway. He qualified for the Irish Cup at the 11th hour in Macroom but is tonight the clear 5/2 favourite to win it.

With the score 2-0 in his favour Octane Wonder looked to be making it a hat-trick of wins over Kyle Mozart for most of their eagerly awaited buckle. However Mozart had already shown in the Champions Stake final that he doesn’t go down easy and he fought back to take the vital first turn. It was a good day for the Kyle dogs with all three going through but Bruce doesn’t help himself. This third season dog is as keen as mustard and after clocking a notable 11.66 he drove in and somersaulted a number of times. He looked fine afterwards though so hopefully all is ok. He did the same in 2015 Derby and also here at Patrickswell 12 months ago.

Noted for producing some very fast clocks in early rounds, Needham Frankel came in from the reserves to record the second fastest time of the day 11.65. By all accounts he was the subject of a mild gamble too at 25/1 or better. The two other Brendan Matthews trained runners Wallace Banner & Needham Eoin qualified also for Day 2 but had to work hard for their flags.

Of the other All Aged runners the ones to impress most were Alcar, Skellig Shane and Drive On Smokey although the latter who ran up last year was probably lucky that the turn took place where it did because Tellmemorelies was catching up rapidly. The ground is much softer than 12 months ago which may not help his cause. Unfortunately last year’s winner Foot Solution is out after failing to cope with the devastating early pace of Acres Bob.

There were some great performances from the pups and they could yet have a big say in the final destination of the €40,000 first prize. Eye catchers were Wiseguy Mark, Ballinveala Yolo, For The Parish, Another Country and Stonepark Mick although the latter barely held the bitch Kingsmill Ariel after being three lengths in front at one stage.

The biggest shocks of the day were reserved for the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake with Newinn Rose, Bower Judy and two of the Skelligs (Sky & Bright) bowing out. There was a gamble pre-coursing on Finns Dancer and as she had done in the Oaks first round a few weeks ago she flew up again today and is now 11/4 favourite. The second & third quarters are very hard to call but Champion Bitch Stake winner Killucan Rose has a lovely style of running and is the one they have to beat. There could be an all-Pumpkin final to the fourth quarter with Abbie in particular very impressive.

IRISH CUP Betting after first round: 5/2 Portane Ash; 6/1 Skellig Shane, Wiseguy Mark; 8/1 Kyle Mozart, Wallace Banner, Needham Frankel, Needham Eoin, Stonepark Mick; 10/1 Alcar, Ballinveala Yolo, Drive On Smokey.

PATSY BYRNE SELECT BITCH STAKE Betting after first round: 11/4 Finn Dancer; 7/2 Skellig Jewel; 4/1 Killucan Rose, Pumpkin Abbie; 5/1 Laurdella Dani, Bexhill Anna; 6/1 Lineroad Lamar, Isshenamedyet.