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Silent Wonder

Select Silent or Share The Dream

One of the highlights of the 2018/19 coursing season was the performance of Silent Wonder in the Corn Na Feile All Age after Christmas. Often the All Age event at Abbeyfeale can be overshadowed by the two Corn Na Feile puppy events but on this occasion it has to be said that the Silent bitch almost stole the thunder of Picture House & Newinn Fifi. Indeed her presence over the two days was in no small way responsible for a record attendance. Unfortunately she suffered a toe injury which kept her out of the Champion Bitch Stake but Clonmel’s loss is Co Limerick’s gain and no one will be leaving the racecourse on Friday before she goes upfield in the first round of the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake. In her opening course she meets the Brendan Matthews trained pup Foxhollow Darkie which gave Newinn Fifi a scare in the second round of the Oaks and then next up could be the very early paced pup Catch Kazuri. However should everything be ok with Silent Wonder she will progress to the latter stages with ease and is priced a very short 1/1 with the bookmakers.

Second favourite at 5/1 is the treble Cup winner Share The Dream. This lady arrived in Clonmel under a cloud and connections were thrilled with the way she performed, keeping the outstanding winner Blades Of Honour to a length in their semi-final. The word is that she has come out of Clonmel very well and is ready to do battle this weekend. A danger lurking in this fourth quarter is Cobra Angel (10/1). These two ladies had a thrilling buckle in Johnstown & Urlingford with Share The Dream only getting up late to win by half a length.

One that catches the eye in the first quarter is the 8/1 shot Central Maid.  Not only do the Centrals have a very good record in this event but this lady ran exceptionally well here 12 months ago, bowing out to eventual winner Mad Decision, in the semi-final. In her three outings this season she has performed with distinction. Kingdom Cup winner Ballymac Meena is the obvious danger although her RD1 opponent Deja Vu is a lot better than what we saw in the Oaks earlier in the month.

That leaves us with the third quarter and similar to the third quarter in the Irish Cup it is wide open. Ballymac Ismay which was withdrawn from the second round of the Oaks is the shortest priced in this quarter at 8/1 followed at 10/1 by Karasova & Elegant Wonder which made early exits in the Oaks at the paws of Sminky Star and Newinn Fifi respectively. Karasova was subsequently withdrawn from the Kitty Butler Stakes and Elegant Wonder bowed out narrowly to the eventual winner Laurina. So whilst these pups still have to prove that they are up to this level they do appear marginally stronger than the others in the quarter and Elegant Wonder might be the one to come through.

Central Maid, Silent Wonder, Elegant Wonder & Share The Dream are our selections for the Select and no doubt the final that all neutrals are hoping for is Silent Wonder v Share The Dream. The Irish Cup may have to play second fiddle to the ladies if that final pairing comes off.   

 

 

Watchman action 1 CMYK

Intriguing entry for Irish Cup

Wow is the best way to describe the reaction to the draw for the 2019 Irish Cup which was made on Sunday night. Coursing enthusiasts are now counting down the days and hours to Friday when the first round of Ireland’s oldest coursing classic will take place at Limerick racecourse, commencing at 11.00am sharp. Friday’s programme will also include the first round of the equally interesting Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake and two rounds of the Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake.

Back to the Irish Cup and it is indicative of the high esteem in which he is held that defending champion Watchman (pictured) is a clear 4/1 favourite with BoyleSports to become the first greyhound since Lusty More in 1975/76 to do the two-in-a-row. Once again he will arrive at Patrickswell on the back of a much talked about early exit at the National meeting and connections & supporters will be holding their breath until he comes up-field in his opening buckle. Adding intrigue to that first round buckle is the fact that himself & Outoftheshadow were kennel mates until midway through the season.  That second quarter also includes recent Derby ante-post favourite Boylesportsmagic (8/1) and the course between Part Exchange & Cobra Commander (both 12/1) could be one of the highlights of Day 1.

We have to go back to 1992 in the famous Charity Meadows of Clounanna to find the last bitch winner of the Irish Cup and much further again most likely to find the last time an Oaks winner even contested an Irish Cup in the same season as her Clonmel success. Ballymac Enya is a 12/1 chance to bring off a historic victory and will certainly add huge excitement to proceedings on Friday. Liam Dowling is to be applauded for this sporting move but Rockanes Steel won’t make things easy for Enya in the first round.  Kevin Smith Champion Stakes winner Ahamore Wonder is also drawn in that same section and perhaps the Galvin family owned brindle represents better value at 14/1.

There weren’t too many hard luck stories from this year’s National Meeting but one of them certainly was Ballinveala Toro. Vincent Purtill’s runner was starting to catch the eye in very pleasing fashion when the hare drifted right towards the end of his Derby second round course. Both dogs lost sight, resulting in a back to slips decision. No doubt the Irish Cup was at the back of their minds when connections decided to withdraw and he has been installed at 10/1 to succeed here. There is nothing easy about the first quarter though and Kyle Steel (10/1) & Long John Silver (14/1) are just two of the dangers lurking in that 16.

Initial impressions are that the third quarter is the easier of the four but trying to pick the winner of it is a different story.  The pup Never A Lie arrived at Powerstown Park with much confidence behind him and his exit on the second morning was one of the shocks of the Derby. He is best priced now at 10/1 to show why he was so highly thought of. His Clonmel conqueror Somelittlerazor is also in this quarter as is the 2018 Irish Cup runner-up Always Inthe Run and the highly talented trio of Roquefort Teddy, Swanky Wonder & Colossal Image. 

Without any doubt we should be much wiser after the first round but in the meantime the excitement mounts and all roads lead to Limerick racecourse on Friday for the 110th running of the Irish Cup, first hosted by Co Limerick CC 114 years ago.

(Tomorrow we will look at the field for the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake).      

Draw for 2019 Irish Cup

First Quarter      

1 Luke Kilcoyne Exit Strategy v 2 Michael Spillane Bantry Onlinesearch

3 Brendan Matthews Killucan Pocket (p) v 4 Brendan Keogh Souldern Street

5 Vincent Purtill Ballinveala Toro (p) v 6 Francis Brooke That’s My Man

7 John Wilson Chance Me Alonso (p) v 8 M. O’Donovan  Killaloe Long John Silver

9 Oliver Scallon Dale Belmont v 10 Matthew Ryan Mulboy Bhuna (p)

11 Marie Field Kyle Steel v 12 Pat Savage Ozark Wonder

13 Padraig and Conor Ryan Crescent Ash v 14 Matt Feheney Key Ball (p)

15 Brendan Duffy Central Rocker v 16 Pat Horgan Barrack Jackie

Second Quarter      

17 Joan and Brendan Herbert Moonraker (p) v 18 Michael Horgan Oakview Wave

19 Peter O Loghlen Tin Man v 20 John Garrahy Cooney (p)

21 Sir Mark Prescott Post Graduate v 22 Liam & William Riordan  Granard Flash

23 Tadg Sullivan Part Exchange v 24 M. O’Donovan Tipperary Cobra Commander

25 Basil Holian Watchman v 26 Mark and Ailish Dilger Outoftheshadow

27 John Roche & Ml Fitzpatrick Smokey Harvey (p) v 28 James Cunningham and Maurice Jackson Downunder Wonder (p)

29 John Boyle Boylesports Magic (p) v 30 Pat Dalton Durango Johnny (p)

31 Tony Quinn Cuine Edge v 32 May Doolin Ballygerald Buzz

Third Quarter      

33 Eamonn Kiely Never A Lie (p) v 34 Bridget Byrne Party Wonder

35 Fr. John Fitzgibbon Ballymac Hugo (p) v 36 Brian Murphy Freestone Hill

37 Dermot O’Shea  Roquefort Teddy v  38 Tony Reddan Always Inthe Run

39 Raymond Smith Kilkeale Magic v 40 Gerry Hughes Clever Jack (p)

41 Liam and Pa Mann Faha Razor v 42 Charlie & Gerry Chawke Swanky Wonder

43 Michael Spillane Killarney Mingdrum Tank  44 Leo Walsh Spital Tyson

45 Mike Mann Jeru Steel  46 John Flynn Somelittlerazor (p)

47 Countess Dunraven & Lady Ana Johnston Fidget Spinner  48 Brian & Laurence Jones Colossal Image

Fourth Quarter      

49 Pat Pyne and Patsy Myers Five Dreams v 50 Brendan Farrelly Leading Hand (p)

51 Christy Murphy Eoin Abu v 52 Noel Collins Ahamore Rob

53 Mary Fitzgerald Gibmahs Dream (p) v 54 Una O’Sullivan Boyneside Buster (p)

55 Pat Burke Impact Factor (p) v 56 Kathleen Murphy and Dominic Magnone Marshals Cross

57 Noreen McManus Im Not Waiting (p) v 58 John Egan Lone Rocket

59 Nora & Oliver Raleigh Ballymac Enya (p) v 60 Murty McMahon Rockanes Steel

61 Tim O’Driscoll Skellig Skinner (p) v 62 Ned and Tommy Relihan Please Harry (p)

63 Tomas Coolahan Ahamore Wonder v 64 Patsy & Berkie Browne Boys Brigade (p)

RESERVES      

A  Honey Smokey

B  Electric Mayhem

C  Barrack Ricky

D  Clash Bruno

E  Dresden Vale (p)

F  Steady Rise

G  Yippee Assassin (p)

H  Wiseguy Ally (p)

 

in-slips-1

ORDER OF RUNNING

CO LIMERICK
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.

 

Blades Of Honour 2a

Clonmel Tipster Competition

Despite being as low as 10/1 in the Ante-Post betting market, only four of the 189 competitors in our ICC website Tipster Competition went for ‘Rumour Has It’ to win the BoyleSports Derby. 25 participants included Oaks winner ‘Ballymac Enya’ in their selection, Champion Bitch, ‘Blades Of Honour’, (in photo) was chosen by 38% of the total entry (71 selections) but Champion Dog, Ahamore Wonder, had just four votes with his first round opponent Watchman receiving the lions share.

Similar to last year no one managed to tip more than two winners although Darragh Sheehan (Tralee), John Kennedy (Newcastlewest) & Liam Liddy (Ballysimon) came very close to making it three as they had Huntingtown with Ballymac Enya/Blades Of Honour. However the current rules of the competition don’t allow points for runners-up although it is something we might look at doing for next year.

Therefore we have 16 people tied on 40 points. The aforementioned trio plus Conor O’Neill (Clonakilty), Eddie Kelly (Templetuohy), Gerard Flynn (Belfast), Jay Codd (Enniscorthy), Joe Collins (Abbeyfeale), John Grace (Shannon), Margaret Barrett (Fethard), Martin Ryan (Thurles), Mary Wilson (Johnstown), Mats Wicander (Sweden), Noel Hehir (Ennis), Pat Sutton (Kildare) and Tom Nolan (Abbeyfeale).       

We have decided to make the draw for our winner during the first interval on the final day of the Irish Cup meeting, at Berkie Browne’s board. All are welcome to observe.

The winner will have a choice of two tickets to the ICC Awards on April 13 including overnight Hotel accommodation or a 12-month subscription to the Sporting Press.

  • 25 points were awarded for picking the winner of the Derby or Oaks and 15 points for picking the winner of the Champion Stakes or Champion Bitch Stakes.
Ahamore Wonder 1B

Wonder-ful Fantasy result for Sean

Sean Doyle from Ennis has been a great supporter of the Sporting Press Fantasy Coursing competition over the years and usually is never far away from the business end of things. Once again this season his name figured prominently on the leader-board from early on. However even he must have had some regrets about including Ahamore Wonder (pictured) in his selections when it came to mid-December and the Lixnaw greyhound had only five Fantasy points amassed for reaching the semi-final in Edenderry. Few would have predicted that within the next seven weeks he would win two Cups, a Kevin Smith Champion Stakes and bring his Fantasy points total to 185. His success at Clonmel on Tuesday coupled with that of Blades Of Honour propels Sean into the lead on 810 points with the Irish Cup & Select Bitch Stakes yet to come. Last season’s winning score was 805 and we have to go back to Marie Field in 2010/11 to find a higher one (840 points). Luckily for John Maher he had three Champion Stakes semi-finalists (Long John Silver, Shine A Diamond & Share The Dream) as well as the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Stakes heroine so he stays very much in touch with Sean and possibly pinning his hopes on Kyle Steel in Patrickswell. John Healy of Killaoe had a very good Clonmel too, picking up 190 points thanks to the aforementioned Blades Of Honour, Long John Silver & Share The Dream but also the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes runner-up Granard Bolt.

Our Fantasy Coursing for Charity competition has really tightened up with now only five points separating the top three. Brian Arnold had the best Clonmel as Blades Of Honour is in his team but by picking up 40 points with two semi-finalists each, Mary Nolan & Frank Kieran have hung on resolutely to their lead.

SPORTING PRESS FANTASY COURSING LEADERBOARD 7/02/19
1 Sean Doyle Ennis 810
2 John Maher Burkino Faso 750
3 John Healy Killaloe 730
Jt 4 Sean Doyle Ennis 710
Jt 4 John Maher Burkino Faso 710
       
SPORTING PRESS FANTASY FOR CHARITY LEADERBOARD 7/02/19
Jt 1 Mary Nolan Castleisland 540
Jt 1 Frank Kieran Mountrath 540
3 Brian Arnold Fermoy 535
4 Anthony Daly Ennis 460
Big Winners Oaks Derby

Finals Day at National Meeting

The Galway Shawl & The Rose of Tralee will be sung with gusto tonight following the terrific victories at Powerstown Park today of Rumour Has It (in BoyleSports Derby) and Ballymac Enya (in Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks). The Rose will be sung twice as often because the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes also headed to Kerry thanks to Ahamore Wonder. Not content with the Liam McCarthy Cup , Limerick now has the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake trophy too, courtesy of Blades Of Honour. Co Laois does not feature on the honours board at Clonmel very often but the trophy for the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler Stakes is in Portlaoise tonight after Laurina came out best in the closest final of the meeting. As for Sweden, they may have won many Eurovision Song Contests but it is highly unlikely that they ever won a Stockproof Fencing Products TA Morris Stakes before Wi Can There gave Lars & Mats Wicander a day to remember in Clonmel this afternoon. Finally, not to be outdone it was a Clareman, Joe Kelly, who had the honour of singing the National Anthem before the finals of the 94th National Coursing Meeting.

Just a few weeks short of 12 months since they celebrated winning an Irish Cup, Bernie & Basil Holian and trainer Kevin Barry are now the proud owners of a BoyleSports Irish Coursing Derby winner also. Rumour Has It had many battles to overcome over the three days, not least in RD1 when he found himself a few lengths behind at halfway. However he kept his best performance for last and this son of Adios Alonso-Duchess, bred by Basil & Bernie, was a most worthy winner. No doubt Basil would have loved to have had his great friend, the late Richie Maher, there today to share in this success. Nine years ago Basil, Richie & John O’Sullivan teamed up to win the Derby with the sire of this newest champ.

The Dowling family and their Ballymac prefix have had memorable days on the track but never hid their great love for coursing also. They had a formidable team of dogs & bitches coming to Clonmel this year and were rewarded with a first Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks. Ballymac Enya was the first name drawn from the hat on the night of the National Meeting draw and opened the meeting with a stylish performance up the Powerstown Hill on Sunday morning. The daughter of Coolavanny Bingo – Ballymac Town, a May whelp bred by the Dowlings themselves, continued to impress in every round, as her sire had three years ago when winning the Derby.

What a year it has been so far for the Galvin family from Lixnaw. In the first seven days of 2019 they had won the Cups at Galbally & Templetouhy, as Reserve Slipper young David Galvin got the opportunity to make his National Meeting debut in the opening rounds of the Kitty Butler & TA Morris Stakes and then to cap it all, Ahamore Wonder owned by David’s father Martin and uncle Muiris today won the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes. This beautiful trophy can now sit beside the Deise Cup & Premier Cup won previously by the son of Newinn Wonder and Areyoureadynow who is trained by Dan Brassil.

Nine years after her dam Blades Of Glory suffered a career ending injury in the final of the Champion Bitch Stake, Blades Of Honour today put things right by running out an excellent winner of the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes for Tara Guiney from Rathkeale and trainer Gerry Holian. To be truthful, what happened Blades Of Honour last year in the Oaks was one of the reasons that DJ & his team at Powerstown looked at modifying the escape & top of the field, with those changes attracting very positive comments over the last three days. So perhaps there was a little bit of karma today with the success of this daughter of Adios Alonso.

Every couple of years we have a greyhound in one of the Consolation Stakes which has us all commenting on how well he or she would have performed in the Derby or Oaks if things had been different. However it is usually an unlucky first round loser. On this occasion it was a reserve, Wi Can There (Newinn Wonder – Central Stardustwhich did not make it into the Derby proper but then hit us with one fast clock after another in the Stockproof Fencing TA Morris Stakes. That includes the clock he recorded in his course for reserves on Day 1. It has sent his owners, brothers Lars & Mats Wicander back home to Sweden as two very happy men and has the rest of us scratching our heads as to how he had never won a full Derby trial stake. Congratulations to trainer Gerry Holian and to Noel & Molly Loughnane also.

The first leg of Gerry Holian’s treble came about this afternoon when Laurina won the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler Stakes. The daughter of Blades Of Hope – Adios Belle was quietly fancied for the Oaks but bowed out to Crafty Cuckoo in the opening round. However it was not to be the last we saw of her and in a thrilling final to the Kitty Butler she just held off the late challenge of her opponent, a most popular success for Ray Conroy & Ollie Dunne from Portlaoise. Indeed her supporters packed the podium for the trophy presentation and set a trend for the presentations which followed.

All of us involved in coursing at Club level know only too well that you are only as good as your last meeting. So no doubt but soon after the dust has settled on the 94th National Meeting the team at Powerstown will look at every aspect of this one with a view to 2020. However for now it is only right that we congratulate each and every one of them on a wonderful National Meeting and say thank you.     

 

Sminky Star 1B

Day 2 at National Meeting

Offspring of Moat Matilda, purchased by Noreen McManus for the 2016 Oaks after  qualifying for the Fieldings at North Kilkenny, are this evening heading the betting markets for both the 2019 BoyleSports Derby and Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks. For good measure a third member of the New Inn Wonder – Moat Matilda litter is still very much in contention for Derby honours also. Followers of breeding will be taking note that Newinn Wonder has five Derby & Oaks quarter-finalists, Adios Alonso has four, new sire Blades Of Hope has two and Coolavanny Bingo, Crafty Gonzalo, Killimor Matey, Kyle Leigh & Mafi Magic have one each.

There was no sisterly love however this afternoon when Outstanding Lady eliminated her litter comrade & ante-post Oaks favourite Newinn Fifi in the biggest shock so far of the 94th National Meeting. It was a terrific performance from the Killimer Kilrush qualifier and she may not be finished yet. She now meets Rub And Tug whose owners ‘The Eye Candy Syndicate’ have been dreaming of this week in Clonmel since she won the Kilflynn Oaks TS on Sept 30th. The first quarter-final will be contested by another early qualifier Ballymac Enya representing Glin and Sminky Star which took the very last Oaks ticket of the season at Macroom. Both of these ladies are running exceptionally well and a great buckle is in store. Jackie Farrell was advised by her trainer that she had the weakest link of his formidable team but her Miltown Malbay qualifier Cheerful Blonde now finds herself in the last eight of the Oaks. There she will meet Crafty Perfecto whose owner does not have ICC Presidential duties for the first time in 11 years but could easily find himself on the podium for a different reason tomorrow afternoon if his Galway & Oranmore trial stake winner keeps running like she did today. And then we come to the final quarter which houses the new Oaks favourite Cha Cha Matilda, running for the McDaid, McManus, Foley syndicate. This Castleisland qualifier is running the Powerstown hill extremely well and was very impressive when she raced by her early paced opponent this morning after looking to be in trouble momentarily. By coincidence she now meets Westlimerickrose which won the Loughrea Oaks TS at the same meeting as Cha Cha’s owners won the Derby TS with their new Derby favourite Return Ticket and in another coincidence Noreen McManus has Westlimerickrose drawn in the Classics Club.

Ever since Abbeyfeale, coursing enthusiasts have spoken of a rematch between Boylesportsmagic and Huntingtown and will get their wish in the first quarter-final of the BoyleSports Derby. In that Abbeyfeale Derby TS semi-final Boylesportsmagic (then known as Ballymac Whisper) had only half a length to spare and went on to win the final. Two weeks later Huntingtown took the Ballymena Derby ticket at Tubbercurry. Both greyhounds had battles on their hands at various stages today but coped very well. Next up will be the Gorey qualifier Oakview Leigh and the Fermoy qualifier Moonraker. Oakview Leigh was originally a 40/1 chance but is proving a real surprise packet and putting in one polished performance after another. Moonraker gave the bravest display of the day when he came back a second time near the escape to deny Somelittlerazor a third day appearance. We mentioned in our Day 1 report that the third quarter would be very intriguing and so it proved. The winning of the quarter is now between the Gerry Holian trained Itstheonlyway (representing Roscommon) and the Kevin Barry trained Rumour Has It (representing Edenderry who last season sent us Watchman so not easy to win that Derby TS !!!). This could be another thriller of a course. Finally we have the new Derby favourite & Loughrea qualifier Return Ticket who stopped the clock the fastest in both rounds today and never looked in trouble. He meets Undersupervision which runs on the Clonmel & Kilsheelan ticket and of course subsequently won the All Age Cup at Cappoquin for his Henrys Disciples Syndicate. He benefited from a bye this afternoon when the two greyhounds below him were involved in the only unsatisfactory course of the day. Ballinveala Toro was well in command only for both greyhounds to lose sight resulting in a back-to-slips. Connections of Toro took the decision to withdraw at that stage and whilst Durango Johnny did run a Bye course he too was then withdrawn from round three.

It really was another great day at Clonmel and our dearest wish is for more of the same tomorrow when all six stakes including the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes and Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes will be concluded.  The Derby & Oaks are hugely competitive still and don’t be surprised if there are plenty more upsets along the way. Handicaps (see below) are probably the fairest in years and due in no small way to the new layout at the top of the field. The action gets underway at 11.00am with the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler Stakes and the Stockproof Fencing Products TA Morris Stakes in which Wi Can There will be raging hot favourite after his impressive 11.97 and 12.08 clocks today.

Oaks Handicap:  Sminky Star 93; Rub And Tug 90; Cha Cha Matilda 83; Outstanding Lady 82; Westlimerickrose 80; Cheerful Blonde 78; Ballymac Enya 74; Crafty Perfecto 72.

Derby Handicap:  Itstheonlyway 89; Oakview Leigh 87; Undersupervision 86; Rumour Has It 85; Huntingtown 81; Boylesportsmagic 76; Return Ticket 75; Moonraker 72.

Clocks & Latest Betting in Quick Results.

Photo has Mark, Leah & Ellen Linehan with their Oaks quarter-finalist Sminky Star

 

 

 

First brace in slips in Oaks 1a

Day 1 at National Meeting

Conditions were perfect at Powerstown Park today for the opening rounds of the 2019 Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks and BoyleSports Derby and in keeping with the lovely weather the coursing was also of the highest order. Indeed the first round of the Oaks before the interval was probably one of the most enjoyable and incident free sessions of coursing seen in Clonmel for many a year. There was very little wrong with the first run through the Derby either except perhaps one or two of the fancied runners under-performed and a couple of courses in the third quarter created the major talking points of the day.  Rumours that Corn Na Feile winner Picture House was under a cloud proved well founded as he never looked like winning against Incorruptiblemen, 25/1 shot Itstheonlyway got the better of the much fancied Ballymac Hugo in what was certainly a Judge’s decision and three courses later Bexhill Liam gave away what looked like a winning lead to Rumour Has It at the top of the field (Bexhill had clocked 12.09 to Rumour Has It’s 12.21 at the beam). However if we didn’t have a few talking points it would be all very quiet in the Grandstands and in the Clonmel pubs tonight.

Timing Ireland kindly informed us that the distance between the starting beam and their photo finish capture point is 236 metres which means that Boylesportsmagic was travelling at 71.10 km per hour and Newinn Fifi was travelling at 70.86 km per hour when they recorded the fastest times of the day in their respective Classics. Quite honestly, no clocks were needed to know that these two worthy ante-post favourites were travelling at speed and we look forward to seeing them back in action again tomorrow. Others to catch the eye in the Oaks were the two Crafty runners, Samsara and Ballymac Enya which took a while to get into her stride but ran on well. Cha Cha Matilda remains second favourite but would need to improve on today’s performance (Maggs Fly which held her close for a long time was later beaten in the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler). Boylesportsmagic was magical in his Derby first round buckle and has to be the one to beat. The expectation is that he is set for a quarter-final showdown with Huntingtown but his kennelmate Ballymac Bingo could give the Matthews runner a fright tomorrow afternoon. Somelittlerazor ran sweetly in the second quarter and Return Ticket might take the fourth quarter, especially if Undersupervision feels the affects of his tumble today. That leaves us with the intriguing third quarter where we have two Gerry Holian trained runners meeting each other in RD2, two Paudie Lyons trained runners meeting each other in RD2 and two Kevin Barry trained runners possibly going to meet each other in RD3. Add Tom O’Dwyer & Brendan Farrelly into the mix and I challenge anyone to name the winner of that quarter !!!!

The action gets underway again at 11.00am tomorrow morning with the first round of the Stockproof Fencing Products  TA Morris Stakes. Here’s hoping for more of the same. All today’s clocks and latest prices in Quick Results.

 

 

Catchers 2 1a

Best Of Luck

The very best of luck to connections of the 139 runners who will be heading to Powerstown Park tomorrow morning in search of the ‘Holy Grail’. For some, simply raising a flag to ensure a return trip on Monday will be enough to spark off celebrations in the town’s bars & hotels tomorrow evening. Others will have the bar raised to a Final Day appearance and who knows what may happen then. Of course the ultimate dream for every coursing woman, man & child is to be on that podium on Tuesday afternoon circa 3.30pm. We know the ones that the bookmakers and the shrewd followers of form expect to be accepting the silverware. However in recent years for every Adios Alonso, Thomas The Tank & Graceandglamour that justified favouritism or near favouritism there has also been a Central City, Feel My Pulse & Fortuna that belied their fancy odds when they came to Clonmel.
For the third successive year Abbeyfeale could prove to be the line of form to keep onside. For years regarded as the best forerunner to Clonmel, it lost its significance somewhat for a time. However Derby successes in 2017 & 2018 for Corn Na Feile winners Reikers Island & Silent Whisper have restored its lofty reputation and no less than three winners from their recent meeting, Picture House (Corn Na Feile Derby), Newinn Fifi (Corn Na Feile Oaks) and Boylesportsmagic (Derby TS) are widely touted as possible Clonmel winners. Unfortunately the Abbeyfeale Oaks qualifier Saleen Julie is a non-runner.
2018 was one of those rare years that Gerry Holian left Clonmel empty handed. However the Galway man returns with 13 qualifiers for this year’s Festival. The chances of none can be dismissed but the word on the ground is that Cha Cha Matilda & Elegant Wonder may have the edge. And the Tailteann prefix makes a welcome return to the National Meeting, both in the care of Gerry also. 2018 saw a very first Oaks success for Brendan Matthews and the Newry maestro teams up again with Nora Raleigh in search of an Oaks double. Despite having had to withdraw Needham Ougham yesterday, he remains very much in the contest for a 6th Derby success too with either Huntingtown or Bexhill Liam.
For Liam Dowling it has been a season to remember so far and he heads to Clonmel with no less than six ‘Ballymacs’ (if you count the previously named Ballymac Whisper, now running as Boylesportsmagic). The first name drawn from the hat last Friday night was Ballymac Enya and if she raises the first flag of the meeting it could be the start of a wonderful three days for the Ballymacelligott based family. It could be a wonderful three days also for the many owners and syndicate members who are having their first ever runner at Clonmel. For connections of Slan Abhaile and Tromora Basil their Derby dream only began yesterday when they received the news that they would be coming in from the Reserves bench. A little bit of symmetry in that the Hogans from Quilty in Clare had the first runner into the Oaks when Tromora Bliss qualified in Liscannor and may possibly have the last dog to get into the Derby.
After overnight frost it has been a bright sunny Saturday here in South Tipperary. For fear of ‘putting the mockers on’ we won’t make too many predictions about the weather to come but we are very hopeful that the first brace will go to slips as scheduled at 11am tomorrow morning. Without doubt the newly designed escape and top of field will come in for plenty comment as people start to arrive at the racecourse for Day 1. No decision was taken lightly and many views were listened to, so the wish of every true and genuine coursing enthusiast is surely that those changes will generate the desired result. Here’s to a 94th National Coursing Meeting that will live long in the memory for all the right reasons. #LongLiveCoursing #Clonmel2019