The provisional fixtures for the 2019/20 coursing season can now be viewed under Fixtures (drop-down menu under Coursing on top tool bar). Please note these dates must be ratified at the AGM of the Irish Coursing Club which takes place on Wednesday 14th August.
Huge thanks to Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale, Flaherty Markets Galway, Tomas O’Murchu Tipperary Town, Brian Divilly Claregalway, The National Meeting Bookmakers, Michael Horgan Mitchelstown & Bridget Byrne Surrey who were the main sponsors when the 2019 Irish Coursing Club Awards took place on Saturday, April 13th.
Awards were presented to Watchman (Coursing greyhound of the Year), Silent Wonder (Coursing bitch of the year), Ballymac Town (Coursing brood bitch of the year) & Newinn Wonder (Coursing stud dog of the year). Peter & Kathleen Reynolds were inducted to the ICC Hall of Fame, Glin & Edenderry were both presented with a cheque for €1,000 for being the clubs from where the 2019 Oaks & Derby winners qualified and Cathal McCarthy & Donnacha Seery were the successful Junior Nominators.
The Executive Committee of the Irish Coursing Club have agreed that the dates for the 2020 National Meeting will be Friday 31st January, Saturday 1st February and Sunday 2nd February.
Congratulations to our Irish Coursing Club Award winners for 2018/19. These Awards will be presented in Kilkenny on Saturday 13th April when a number of other presentations will also take place. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our very loyal & generous Award sponsors and all of you who took the time to vote.
Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale Coursing Dog of the Year
WATCHMAN – Won Irish Cup Co Limerick (64), Won Desmond Cup Glin (32), Won North Kerry Cup Ballyduff (16) (In Photo)
Flaherty Markets Galway Coursing Bitch of the Year
SILENT WONDER – Won Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake Co Limerick (32), Won All Age Bitch Stake Castleisland (16), Won All Age Bitch Stake Ballyduff (16), Won Corn Na Feile All Age Cup Abbeyfeale (16)
O’Murchù Financial Services Tipperary Town Coursing Brood Bitch of the Year
BALLYMAC TOWN – Dam of Ballymac Enya (won Horse and Jockey Hotel Oaks,won Oaks T/S Glin), Ballymac Ismay (won Oaks T/S Millstreet), Ballymac Bingo (won Derby T/S Rathkeale), Ballymac Hugo (won Derby T/S Ballyheigue, won All Age Cup Rathkeale, Runner-Up TA Morris Stakes National Meeting).
National Meeting Bookmakers Coursing Stud Dog of the Year
NEWINN WONDER – Sire of Irish Cup winner Watchman, Champion Stakes winner Ahamore Wonder, Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stakes winner Silent Wonder, T.A Morris Stakes winner Wi Can There, 9 Derby T/S winners, 12 Oaks T/S winners, 3 Reserve T/S winners, 17 All Age Cup winners (2×32 + 15x16s), 13 All Age Bitch Stake winners (16s).
Hall Of Fame Award – Kindly sponsored by Brian Divilly, Claregalway
This season’s Hall of Fame Award will be a join presentation to Peter & Kathleen Reynolds from the Glanworth Coursing Club.
Let’s begin by congratulating the members of Co Limerick coursing club on another excellent meeting. They are a club just the same as all the clubs which run meetings week in week out but have the added responsibility of hosting the season finale, the Irish Cup. It is so important for our sport that we finish on a high and we certainly have done that last year and this. It is 20 years since the Irish Cup was last held at Clounanna and many have great memories of that special venue. However it is now part of coursing history and Limerick Racecourse is producing great champions and wonderful stories of its own.
History, Champions, Wonderful stories. We certainly got those in buckets today when we witnessed Watchman become only the fourth greyhound ever and the first in 43 years to win two Irish Cups. The son of Newinn Wonder – Bossa Nova Babe gave us six faultless performances over the three days and it would probably be fair to say this was even better than last year. He was faced with formidable opponents, plenty of work and the weight of history but took them all in his stride. What a golden 12 months it has been for Basil & Bernie Holian and trainer Kevin Barry with two Irish Cups and a Derby but the emotion around today’s success was very obvious and will live long in the memory of connections and indeed all present.
Where there is a King you will find a Queen and her name this weekend was Silent Wonder. A fantastic season which saw this daughter of Newinn Wonder – Silent Belle romp through All Age Bitch Stakes at Castleisland & Ballyduff and the Corn Na Feile All Age at Abbeyfeale concluded in the best way possible this afternoon with victory in the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake. Like Watchman she was not spared when it came to turns and with her interrupted preparation since Abbeyfeale at the back of our minds we wondered how much could she take. But class will always win out and this Nolan family owned & Mossie O’Connor trained bitch, a litter sister to their 2018 Derby winner Silent Whisper, has it in spades.
The Irish Cup meeting has been very lucky for Sir Mark Prescott over the years and thanks to Post Graduate he has the Bill Chawke Irish Plate with him this evening on his flight back to Newmarket. The third season son of Adios Alonso – Intense Focus which Sir Mark owns with Shane O’Gorman had been in very good form recently and carried that through to Patrickswell this weekend. The winner is of course trained by Michael O’Donovan, Tipperary Town.
Grace Foley & her family from Tralee have had a hectic season with their greyhound Souldern Street, winning the 32 runner Cup at Ballyheigue and reaching Cup finals at Lixnaw and Templetuohy (withdrawn). However nothing will compare to the joy of winning the Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse. Surprised by the pup Killucan Pocket in the Irish Cup on Friday, he never put a paw wrong thereafter and the John Moynihan trained son of Adios Alonso – Churchil Queen was a most worthy winner.
There were more celebrations for Tralee when the Co Kerry CC representative Mouse Is Magic was successful in the highly sought after Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake. A son of Mafi Magic – Maggie Dan he only had two outings all season, Kilflynn and Co Kerry (Tralee) which would suggest he had a set back in between and Eugene & Eoghan Costello could have some great fun with him in All Age company next season.
Another one for the 2019/20 Fantasy Coursing list will be Man In Motion which was an impressive winner of the Earl Of Dunraven Kilgobbin Puppy Stake for Irish Cup winning connections. A litter brother to Derby winner Rumour Has It (Adios Alonso – Duchess) he had been beaten in Derby trial stake finals this season at Abbeyfeale and Tubbercurry and was a warm favourite for today’s event from the outset.
Congratulations to all of today’s winners. There were also some really strong performances over the three days from the pups so we have much to look forward to next September. However now is the time to celebrate all that was good about the 2018/19 season and thankfully there was plenty. It is in our nature to speak longingly of times past and great dogs of yore without realizing just how fortunate we are to be living through present times. I have no doubt that if past generations of coursing men & women could come back they would be very pleased with what they saw. Take a bow everyone.
Surely the sign of a coursing superstar must be when the bookmakers will not engage in short odds betting on your courses (against very decent opposition) but instead offer odds on whether you will go under or over a certain clock. Such was the case for both of Watchman’s courses today at the Irish Cup and those punters who went for ‘under’ were cheering the loudest as the reigning champion recorded two identical clocks of 10.96. Just for the record, his three flags so far this weekend have been against Outoftheshadow which won his two courses in the Irish Purse today, Smokey Harvey which enjoyed a very easy success in the Irish Plate RD1 and Boylesportsmagic which we all acknowledge is a top class pup. We may be only halfway but already this has all the hallmarks of one of the all time great performances in an Irish Cup.
None of the above however should take from the other seven runners who have reached the quarter-final stage of the 2019 Irish Cup. There is no huge surprise amongst them and Leading Hand was the biggest price ante-post at 25/1.
The decision by the Purtill family not to go back to slips with Ballinveala Toro in the second round of the Derby is certainly paying off and he has replicated that strong showing at Powerstown Park in each of his three runs here this weekend. He now meets the second season Central Rocker who is the latest in a long line of greyhounds to bring East Donegal form into the third day of an Irish Cup. Remember his dam won the Select Bitch Stake here twice and in the first of those she beat Duchess (dam of Rumour Has It) in the final.
When Part Exchange exited the 2018 Derby at the semi-final stage (after leading for most of the way) it was very much expected that he would win multiple Cups in his second season. That didn’t happen but his performances here this weekend make it all the more harder to understand. A bye course this afternoon will be a huge help to his chances of overturning the aforementioned Watchman tomorrow morning but it is still a mammoth task.
Very often we see pups returning to win Cups at the same venue as they won their trial stake 12 months earlier. So ‘horses for courses’ works for greyhounds too and we shouldn’t be one bit surprised to see 2018 Irish Cup runner-up Always Inthe Run still in contention. Indeed tomorrow he will occupy the very same position as 12 months ago, running from the red collar in the third quarter-final. Can he emulate Drive On Smokey which reached consecutive finals in 2016 & 2017 ?. He meets the big local hope Faha Razor, owned by the Mann family who are synonymous with Co Limerick Coursing Club. He has rewarded the decision of the Irish Cup selection committee to give him a wild card entry by producing three great runs over the last two days. A heavy tumble in the third round could come against him but that remains to be seen.
In our Sporting Press Formguide we mentioned that on a line with Incorruptiblemen there would be very little between Leading Hand and this season’s Derby winner. Therefore the presence of Leading Hand, a son of Oaks winner Dale Roisin, in tomorrow’s fourth quarter-final is a great boost to Clonmel form and indeed he looks capable of enhancing the form even further. He meets another pup, Skellig Skinner, who represents 2017 Irish Cup winning connections, and is doing his own bit for Clonmel 2019 form where he bowed out to Boylesportsmagic & Wi Can There. Both these pups took on and beat more fancied opponents today so well deserve to be returning for Day 3.
Of course no report from Patrickswell today would be complete without a mention of Silent Wonder in the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake. Those of us who thought Catch Kazuri might lead her out of slips were very badly mistaken and like Watchman she gave the performance of a true champion. Certainly though there was much to like also about the way Central Maid (litter sister to Central Rocker) and Cobra Angel ran today and if the favourite’s disrupted preparation since Abbeyfeale comes against her, either of those are capable of taking advantage.
The Bill Chawke Irish Plate cut up a little this afternoon with three byes but is still ultra competitive. Bookmakers will probably put up the two third season runners Post Graduate & Ballygerald Buzz as their favorites tomorrow morning. An equal number of pups and All Ages remain in contention for the Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse and whilst Kyle Steel is still the one to beat there is not a huge gap between his clocks and those of his opposition with Souldern Street another to catch the eye in RD2.
Coursing was most enjoyable again today and the hares which came out for the Irish Cup in particular were top of the range. Day 3 commences at the later time of 11.30am but get there early as the bookies are certain to be offering a huge range of trebles & accumulators. Those holding the dockets with the Watchman & Silent Wonder doubles might start buying the drinks early tonight expecting a certain payout but as is often said, ‘The greatest certainty in coursing is the uncertainty’.
Clocks & Betting in Quick Results.
Following an opening day of very few shocks (perhaps just Kyle Steel in Irish Cup and Share The Dream in Select Bitch Stake) those holding betting dockets on the Watchman – Silent Wonder double will be very pleased. Defending champion Watchman gave a faultless display in the first round of the Irish Cup and not only was he the only greyhound to break 11 seconds today but he did so by 14 spots. To this observer Silent Wonder was unsighted for much of her course in the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake but her clock of 11.01 was only bettered today by Watchman. Coincidentally that time of 11.01 was matched by Clondoty Tom running in the Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake and 45 minutes later he did 11.14 in the second round.
Back to the Irish Cup and besides Watchman the other stand-out performances came today from Part Exchange (11.04), Smokey Harvey (11.12), Ballygerald Buzz (11.18), Never A Lie (11.11) and Oaks heroine Ballymac Enya (11.16). Unfortunately for the first three named they are in the same second quarter as Watchman. Enya’s success was welcomed by all neutrals in attendance and her participation has added great excitement to the event. In her fourth quarter also is Kevin Smith Champion Stakes winner Ahamore Wonder and after a tardy start he showed a terrific burst of pace to get up in a short slip. Never A Lie does indeed appear to be a very decent pup and has narrowed to 5/1 second favourite. His biggest danger in the third quarter could be last season’s runner-up Always Inthe Run which showed all of his old sparkle today. With Kyle Steel eliminated the first quarter has really opened up and connections of all eight remaining will fancy their chances of a quarter-final appearance. Ballinveala Toro v Long John Silver should be a thriller in the morning.
It will be interesting to see how Silent Wonder handles the early pace of Catch Kazuri tomorrow morning but otherwise the top half is probably at her mercy. Central Maid had a tougher first round than anticipated and Deja Vu could now be the one to progress to the semi-final. The second round course between Cobra Angel & Lakeside Pearl could decide the bottom half but with Share The Dream gone it really is all to play for. Her nemesis Heart Over Mind may even cause a few more upsets between now and Sunday afternoon.
Coursing was of a very high standard today, especially after the interval, so the message is to get to Patrickswell tomorrow and Sunday because greyhounds like Watchman, Ballymac Enya & Silent Wonder don’t come around very often.
See Quick Results for Clocks & Prices
The following is the draw for the Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse, with the first round on Saturday before the interval.
Boys Brigade v Roquefort Teddy
Five Dreams v Mingdrum Tank
Eoin Abu v Outoftheshadow
Tin Man v Lone Rocket
Chance Me Alonso v Freestone Hill
Honey Smokey v Somelittlerazor
Downunder wonder v Durango Johnny
Fidget Spinner v Cuine Edge
Kyle Steel v Electric Mayhem
Oakview Wave v Barrack Ricky
Key Ball v Onlinesearch
Granard Flash v Cobra Commander (Doubtful)
Please Harry v Souldern Street
Rockanes Steel v Party Wonder
Marshals Cross v Barrack Jackie
Thats My Man v Boyneside Buster
Reserves: Clash Bruno, Dresden Vale, Steady Rise, Yippee Assassin, Wiseguy Ally.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Thomas (Tom) Kennedy of Ahabeg, Lixnaw, Co. Kerry after a brief illness. Thomas was one of nature’s gentlemen and a lifelong coursing man. First associated with Ballyduff CC where he and his brother Dan were active working members for many years and well regarded hare catchers for the club, Thomas then joined Lixnaw CC when they moved to their new grounds in Granshagh, which was a stone’s throw from Thomas’s home. At the time of his passing, Thomas was Vice President of Lixnaw C.C. However more importantly he was in charge of hare husbandry for the club for close on 20 years, where along with his lifelong friends, Jeremiah Roche and more recently Sonny Galvin, they produced hares of exceptional quality year in year out.
During his life time Thomas was fortunate to enjoy great success up the field, winning 11 Trial Stakes along with several Cups and Duffers. However it was in later years that he enjoyed his greatest joy by breeding a T.A Morris Stakes winner in Curragh Stevie, winning the Select Bitch Stake at the Irish Cup with Glenside Oak, breeding a Champion Stakes runner-up in Live Oak, a Derby semi-finalist in Village Legacy and coming close to lifting a classic in 2004 when Replica reached the Oaks semi-final.
Our sincere sympathy to his wife Hanna, son Tom (Secretary of Lixnaw CC), daughters Maria & Catriona, grandchildren Clodagh, Aoife, Jennifer & Jodie, brother Dan and the extended Kennedy family.
Reposing this Friday, Feb 22nd at Casey’s Funeral Home, Causeway from 5pm to 8pm. Requiem Mass will take place on Saturday at 11.30am at St. Michael’s Church, Lixnaw and burial immediately afterwards in Rahela Cemetery, Ballyduff.
May he Rest In Peace.
No 42 Swanky Wonder will be a non-runner in the 3rd quarter of the Irish Cup. He was due to meet Faha Razor.
ORDER OF RUNNING
Irish Cup Meeting
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 22nd, 23rd & 24th February
Judge: Paul Horan; Slipper: Richard Quinn jnr
Start 11.00am on Friday/Saturday and 11.30am Sunday
Friday: First round Irish Cup. Interval. First round Kyle Champion Working Members Stake, First round Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake, Second round Kyle Champion Working Members Stake.
Saturday: Second round Irish Cup & First round Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse. Interval. Third round Irish Cup, Second round Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake, Second round Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse, First round Bill Chawke Irish Plate.
Sunday: Start with Kyle Champion Working Members Stake, Earl Of Dunraven Kilgobbin Puppy Stake, Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake, Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse, Bill Chawke Irish Plate, Irish Cup.