Dogs at hut

IRISH CUP – Order of Running

IRISH CUP meeting

Friday 24th, Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th February
Judge: Paul Horan
Slipper: Richard Quinn jnr
Start 11.00am on Friday/Saturday and 11.30am Sunday
FRIDAY: Once through Irish Cup (Interval) Once through Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake, Earl of Dunraven Kilgobbin Dog Puppy Stake, Cu Chulainn Bar Bitch Puppy Stake and Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake.
SATURDAY: Second round Irish Cup. First round Woodlands House Hotel Irish Purse. (Interval) Third round Irish Cup, second round Select Bitch Stake, second round Irish Purse and first round Bill Chawke Irish Plate.
SUNDAY: Commence with second round Champion Working Members Stake, first round Surplus Stake, second round Bitch Puppy Stake, second round Dog Puppy Stake, third round Select Bitch Stake, third round Irish Purse, second round Irish Plate and fourth round Irish Cup (Interval) Complete all semi-finals (Interval) Complete all finals.

National Meeting testing

Please be advised that following the prohibited substance testing procedures carried out at the recent National 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 next week’s Sporting Press.

Leo & Declan 2 winners

Howdododo in the Fantasy Coursing ?

Our photo shows Leo Walsh, a member of the Cheese & Chips Syndicate, with their Kevin Smith Champion Stakes winner Howdododo and Declan Carr with Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake winner Killucan Rose. Both trained by Declan’s dad Kevin.

When we invited Declan & David Carr to participate in this season’s Fantasy Coursing for Charity they wisely included the two family all-age runners Howdododo and Killucan Rose in their selection. However not in their wildest dream did they imagine that these greyhounds would win both Champion Stakes at the 2017 National Meeting and accumulate a massive 360 Fantasy points between them since October (with possibly more to come). 200 of those points were won in Clonmel and when we add in the 50 points which David & Declan earned thanks to Kyle Mozart running-up the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes their new points total is 670.

Before we did the sums we thought that the 250 points won by the Carrs in Clonmel would be enough to move them into first place and put them on the road to becoming the first Fantasy contestants ever playing for Charity to scoop the top prize. However we forgot that it was also a great meeting for Tom Nolan of Abbeyfeale. Tom went into Clonmel 40 points ahead of the Carrs and he won 220 points (Howdododo 100, Kyle Mozart 50, Skellig Jewel 50 and Choctaw Squaw 20) so he actually remains 10 points ahead of them. More importantly he is our new Fantasy Coursing leader on 680 points. It would be fair to say he also has a team full of potential for the Irish Cup including family runner Octane Wonder and also Portane Ash & Mr Orange.

Killucan Rose was also an inspired choice by Micheal McMahon from Ballybunion. In fact on studying Michael’s team more closely we realised that he has the exact same eight as the Carr brothers so whatever happens they are going to end up on the same points. Cuine Yet, Kingsmill Jasper, Wallace Banner & Wazowski will be their big Irish Cup hopes. Of course the Carrs are guaranteed at least €1,000 for their chosen charity if they win that separate competition which is looking extremely likely at this stage.

Geraldine Doyle (with Alcar), Adrian O’Neill (with Skellig Shane & Needham Frankel), John Linehan & Donal Leahy (with Drive On Smokey) are just some of the others who have a realistic chance of overtaking our leaders if results fall right for them in Patrickswell in a few weeks’ time.

1 Tom Nolan, Abbeyfeale 680  
Jt 2 David & Declan Carr (CH), Killucan 670  
Jt 2 Micheal McMahon, Ballybunion 670  
4 Geraldine Doyle , Woodsgift 665  
5 Adrian O’Neill, Tipperary Town 660  
6 J Linehan & D Leahy Syn, Blarney 650  
1 David & Declan Carr, Killucan 670  
2 Mgt Barrett, Fethard 475  
3 Noel Browne, Castleisland 465
Knockout Rose Oaks

This week’s Sporting Press is a Knockout

On this week’s Sporting Press read how it is now back to Leaving Certificate studies for young Liam McAuliffe after training Knockout Glory to Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks success last Monday.
Gerry Holian, trainer of BoyleSports Derby dividers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire, says it would have been sad to see one of the dogs lose if the final had to be run but he has his own idea which one would have won.
Following a cracking Clonmel for the Carr family, it remains uncertain whether Kevin Smith Champion Stakes winner Howdododo will run in the Irish Cup but Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes winner Killucan Rose is heading for the Select All Age Bitch Stake at Patrickswell unless she comes in season.
Berkie Browne says Illwaitforyou was 100/1 for the Oaks (not sure we ever saw that price on his board) but she certainly didn’t run like a 100/1 shot when taking the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler Stakes in impressive fashion for Noreen McManus.
The Glory Kilmihill Syndicate from Clare expect to follow up on their Stockproof Fencing Products TA Morris success with Abunchoftools by winning the All Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship with Baile Aodha (Ballyea). And we find out the name of their pup for next season !!!
Finally, with standards of hare husbandry never as high, we put the young lady who can take much of the credit for same, Lindsey Edwards, ‘On The Spot’.
All on this week’s Sporting Press – In shops from today.

Blades Of Fire Reikers Island Derby divide

Finals Day at 92nd National Meeting

It was a family affair at the final day of the 92nd National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel today.
As was widely predicted litter brothers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire divided the Boylesports Derby for joint owners Mary O’Kelly, Mullingar and Mary Guiney, Rathkeale with both trained by Gerry Holian.
Litter brother & sister Howdododo and Killucan Rose recorded an historic double by winning the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes and the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes for the Carr family, Killucan, Co Westmeath and the Cheese & Chips Syndicate.
There will be huge celebrations in Athea, Co Limerick after father & son Bill & Liam McAuliffe won the Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks with Knockout Glory.
The Glory-Kilmihill Syndicate from Clare were in full voice cheering Abunchoftools to victory in the Stockproof Fencing Products TA Morris Stakes.
And three years after her dam won the Champion Bitch Stake, Illwaitforyou took the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler Stakes for Noreen McManus and her son Kieran.

It had been 36 years since the Derby was divided but once Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire were placed in the same ownership a few weeks ago (shortly after Reikers Island won Corn Na Feile for Dr Paddy O’Kelly) it became a very distinct possibility that these two super hounds would share the spoils in Clonmel. They were faultless over the three days and the only regret is that we will never see them go upfield together. What a buckle that would be. However not one person will begrudge their dam Blades Of Glory this Classic victory after producing some exceptional offspring in recent years for Denis Guiney & family.

20 years ago the McAuliffe family came to Clonmel with the 5/1 Oaks favourite & Corn Na Feile winner Knockout Rose but it was not to be. There was much less hype about Knockout Glory but many shrewd judges who saw her qualify in Charleville availed of the 25/1 on offer on Saturday morning. She came through arguably the toughest quarter and then ran like a true Oaks Queen in the semi-final and final to give her sire Adios Alonso a cracking Oaks / Derby double or would you call it a treble considering two sons divided the Derby ?. Her grand-dam Portinard Nine won the Champion Bitch Stake five years ago.

Kevin Carr, his sons Declan & David and their friends in the Cheese & Chips Syndicate would probably have settled for the Dog or Bitch Champion Stakes as they travelled from Westmeath this morning. To be going home with both must be like a dream for them. However for the second year running Howdododo (Johnny Casanova – Your Symbolic) enthralled us at Powerstown Park and adds the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes to his TA Morris Stakes won in 2016. His sister Killucan Rose was one of the bigger priced runners before the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake got underway but was never really troubled in any of her three courses. With Reikers Island qualifying at Westmeath Utd and Dr Paddy & Mary O’Kelly their own, the celebrations in Westmeath will last until its time to course in Raharney next October.

And so concluded the 92nd National Meeting which was up there with the best of them in terms of quality of winners, quality of hares, attendances, weather and ground conditions.
We may have no control over the weather but none of the other parts happened by accident and there are many deserving of a celebratory drink tonight, not least the hare husbandry team. Roll on 2018.

Gerry Holian 1

Day 2 at 92nd National Meeting

The sunshine we enjoyed yesterday may have taken the day off but the greyhounds and the hares of the 92nd National Coursing Meeting lit up Powerstown Park today in front of an attendance which was again up on 2016 figures.
We now know our ‘Final 8’ in the BoyleSports Derby and Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks of 2017 and what a thrill it must be for their connections.
To make it to the third day of Clonmel is the dream of every coursing man, woman and child as the aptly named owners of Derby quarter-finalist Wheres Mr Wilks, the ‘Part Of A Dream Syndicate’ will most surely agree this evening.
Incidentally Crohane & Killenaule CC must be delighted to be the only club with both of their qualifiers through to the third day (Wheres Mr Wilks and Yodgik). And the members of Abbeydorney CC who are busy fundraising at this year’s National Meeting must be hoping that their qualifier Wiseguy Mark can win the Derby and earn them the €1,000 Club Award kindly sponsored by Michael Horgan.

But back to today and the morning session belonged to Dicks Bimbo in the Oaks which brought a loud gasp from the stands when stopping the clock in a brilliant 12.28. She followed that up with a gutsy victory over the fancied Bexhill Anna in the third round and is now 6/4 favourite.
That time was only lowered once today when Wiseguy Mark continued his impressive run through the Derby and recorded 12.24 in his third round success over Go Usain Go. On quite a number of occasions in the past the Consolation Stake winner has been put out by the Derby/Oaks winner in the first round so it is interesting that Don Cossack (beaten by Wiseguy Mark) is looking like a potential winner of the Stockproof Fencing TA Morris. We could say the same of Mother Of Pearl which did a brilliant 12.36 in the Dublin Coach Kitty Butler after being eliminated from the Oaks yesterday by a bitch that is loving the hill, Touch Of Class.

Truthfully, as the betting indicates, the Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks is still wide open. Any one of the eight remaining would be a worthy winner. Jamaica Judy was fortunate to avoid a dusting this afternoon. The first turn took place over near the flag hut but a racing hare made cover quickly. Other than that they all got about the same with Richie Quinn jnr (and Brian Doyle) performing excellently.
To name the Final Four should be at least 10/1 !!!!. I’ll side with Jamaica Judy, Touch Of Class, Yodgik and Dicks Bimbo but the other four ladies, Try Colour, Gadget Queen, Our Miztique and Knockout Glory (all 20/1 chances last week) are running out of their skin.

The betting in the BoyleSports Derby suggests we should be in for one fascinating quarter-final and two epic semi-finals. Wheres Mr Wilks is certainly the worst off on the handicap and Take Three only qualified at Sevenhouses two weeks ago today. Ballinveala Yolo is the other priced in double figures but there was nothing wrong with his clock of 12.38 this afternoon. The possibility of a divide between the litter brothers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire will become a step closer if the first named puts out Needham Eoin in the morning but that could be the course of the entire meeting. The brothers were faultless today though and it is starting to feel like that whatever beats them (if anything) will win the Derby.
Ballygerald Buzz, a June whelp like Needham Eoin, might have to beat three Gerry Holian trained runners to win the Derby but he has one down after putting out Wi Can Riki this afternoon and could give Gerry (pictured) a few more anxious moments.
Wiseguy Mark only has to keep repeating what he has done in every course so far to rattle the Derby for Paudie Lyons and Gavin Johns.

We simply can’t wait for the action to resume again tomorrow at 11.30am and with the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Stakes and the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes only starting it is going to be ‘Coursing Heaven’ for supporters and enthusiasts.
Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats were obviously never at the National Meeting Finals Day on a Monday !!!!

Best of Luck to everyone. (Third Round Clocks & Current Betting now in Quick Results)

First Pair 1

Day 1 at 92nd National Meeting

With a blue sky overhead and lush green grass following a mild winter it is probably true to say that coursing’s Field of Dreams, Powerstown Park, seldom looked as well as it did today for Day 1 of the 92nd National Meeting.
The beautiful weather also brought out a huge crowd for the opening day and the stands were full by the time Billistown Babe and Blazing Queen headed to slips for the first course of the day (in picture with Des Mullen and Darren Lee).

It was to be a day of very few shocks. Ballymac Vale would have been a fancied runner a few weeks ago but it was well known that he had suffered a set back in training and he had no answer to the early pace of Needham Eoin in a fast clock (12.55)
The only other mild surprise was that Derby favourite Blades Of Fire (12.54) did not set the clock alight like many expected him to but that could happen tomorrow.
The honour of clocking fastest in the BoyleSports Derby today went to Wiseguy Mark (12.47) and Killacolla Jet (12.48) but would you believe they are due to meet in the second round tomorrow morning.
Other quick clocks came from For The Parish (12.50), Ballinveala Yolo & Jamess Treasure (12.52) and Ballygerald Buzz who seemed to devour the hill in a time of 12.54.
Slightly behind those but to this scribe looking the strongest of the Gerry Holian trained runners was Corn Na Feile winner Reikers Island (12.59).
One that took an age to get his head in front and then took a nasty looking tumble is Ashmore Rocket and it is strange to see him as low as 6/1 in the betting this evening however popular a winner he would be for his most generous owner & Derby sponsor John Boyle.
The general consensus this evening is that this is not a two dog Derby like many had been predicting and it is nigh on impossible to pick the winner at this early stage.

The Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks is probably just as open although it was hard not to be impressed by the performances of Jamaica Judy (12.52) and Bexhill Anna (12.59) this morning. These were not the best clocks but they certainly caught the eye.
Two ICC Executive Members Des Tighe and Gerry Meehan met in the 9th course of the day and it is Des who has the broadest smile tonight after his Finn Dancer recorded the best clock of the day 12.42 (bearing in mind of course that we had a different slipper for the Derby and the two styles of slipping can produce a variation in clocks).
Whilst Des and Finn Dancer came all the way from Donegal it was three local runners Wilderness Queen, Tree Top Kerry (both 12.45) and Try Colour (12.46) who were next best followed by the well backed Handsoffshesmine (12.47) and Well Friend (12.49).
One of the most eagerly awaited second round courses will be the pairing of Well Friend and Dicks Bimbo who according to those looking from behind came well off her line and is better than her 12.65 clock might suggest.
Commentator James O’Connor was hopefully prepared for the roars and screams of his co-presenter Damien Lonergan when Trillainminella came from behind to take the vital first turn from long time leader Offshore View. Unfortunately though the winner did take a tumble and then got a few extra turns, not ideal after being on the easy list for the last few weeks.

A massive day of coursing is in prospect for tomorrow with some cracking second round buckles likely in both Derby & Oaks.
Right now I’m liking Jamaica Jane / Bexhill Anna / Reikers Island / Ballygerald Buzz but remember it is 2010 since I backed a winner at Clonmel (Lisloose Accord)

Draw for TA Morris Stakes

The following is the draw for the Stockproof Fencing Products TA Morris Stakes which will open proceedings on the second day of the National Meeting (Sunday) at 11.00am  

Only The Lonely v Awfully Fast
Whatdontuknow v Mulboy Hunter
Breska Diamond v Acres Bob
Fleetwood Douvan v Abunchoftools
Ashwood Tank v Creggane Tom
Do It Barney v Kilkillogue
Tankofftom v Galevalley Hero
Cardinal Court v Askcharlesoliver
Chooseyourweapon v Floating Victor
Central Avenger v Callura Sonic
Sporting Romeo v Don Cossack
Vardy Time v Barna Rock
Needham Brexit v Path Way
Moon Shorty v Ever So Magic
Dru Mac v Ballinveala Boru
Tullamoy Thomas v Shaunanne Tiger
Wiseguy Pat

Almost time to take up your position

This is the view that Escape Stewards, Paddy Brett and Darren Smith, will have of the 92nd National Coursing Meeting which gets underway at Powerstown Park, Clonmel tomorrow Saturday and continues for three days.
It might not be everyone’s idea of the best seat in the house but knowing Paddy and Darren they wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Down at the other end of the field in the Hare Boxing Shed, the hare husbandry team will be lucky if they get to see any course properly. Such is their dedication to the job.
If all goes to plan, and please God it will, they will take great satisfaction from watching the many replays that will be shown in the hotels & bars around Clonmel and further afield each evening.
A new camera angle may be in play on the third & final day as we hope to erect a camera on the roof of the Slippers Hut. That should make for some very interesting viewing as anyone who ever stood in a Slippers Hut will tell you how incredible it is to see so many greyhounds lose ground by running off a true line, something that is often not noticed by those in the stands or at the wire.

My own first ever National Meeting was the third day of 1977,the year Boston Point and Tender Heartrob won the Derby and Oaks. That year and I would say for the next 20 National Meetings I watched every course from the same spot at the very back of what is now the TA Morris Grandstand. That was my grandfather’s spot from many years before I came along and he would head there about an hour before coursing together with Jim Moore, the late Michael Phelan and many others from the Carrick-on-Suir area. There they would receive a warm hand-shake and embrace from a few gentlemen from Roscrea who they wouldn’t have met since the final course went upfield 12 months earlier.
Sadly many of those great people are with us no more but I am quite sure that the same scenario will be played out in many parts of the TA Morris Stand, the Club Stand and out along by the fence tomorrow morning around 10.30am.

The 2017 National Coursing Meeting is almost ready to begin. Take up YOUR position.


THERE is great sadness in greyhound circles at the death of Paddy Sweeney, the very well-known greyhound vet. Paddy, who was aged 95, passed away on Wednesday night.
A native of Co. Donegal, he treated countless greyhounds in England, where he lived and practised for many years, but never lost his love of his native land and made frequent trips home.
He was a very popular regular at the National Meeting, where he will be sadly missed this week; and also at the Irish Cup.
Paddy and his beloved wife Jane would have been married for 69 years this year and he is survived by her, their sons Walter, Warwick and Simon, daughters-in-law Dr Nuala, Fiona and Lyn, eight grandchildren, and friends too numerous to mention.
May he rest in peace.