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.