Twinkle’s Blades offer Liam a glimmer of Hope – By Frank Kieran
THE current lockdown has been tough on many economically, it’s closed the doors on many small businesses, most notably restaurants and pubs. One of those to feel the pinch is Liam Comerford, landlord and owner of the Valley Inn, Woodsgift, the legendary Kilkenny watering hole that’s not much more than a stone’s throw from the hallowed sod of the Johnstown & Urlingford Coursing Club.
“The pub has been closed for over seven weeks now, we shut the door on Monday, March 16. It’s not only myself, the lockdown has had a devastating effect on rural businesses throughout the country. “The Government have stated that with continued improvement with regards controlling the virus that we might be allowed open with the proper restrictions in place come August 10, which offers a little light at the end of the tunnel.” stated Liam.
Thankfully, Liam hasn’t been idle during the lockdown as his Jeffys Twinkle (Thomas The Tank-Lady Twinkletoes), who reached the third-round of the 2015 Greyhound & Pet World Oaks having qualified on her local field, had a litter of two dogs and six bitches to Blades Of Hope just over a week before he pulled down the shutters at the pub.
“I suppose everyone says it, but they are the finest pups I’ve had about the place. Twinkle is already proven from her first litter to March Is On. Bubbleicious winning the Freshford Oaks TS last season for Robbie (O’Flynn), and just like the maiden litter, his father, John, is going to rear two bitches this time round.
“May (Aylward) and I are keeping a dog pup and he along with his brother are going to John Kennedy of Good News fame to be reared. The remaining four bitches will be advertised in time and thankfully there has already been an interest expressed from some quarters.”
That interest is hardly surprising given that Twinkle is a litter sister of Timber House and a daughter of Lady Twinkletoes (Janey Mac Aroo-Eoin Bui), who of course is a litter sister of the 2010 BoyleSports Derby winner and leading sire, Adios Alonso. Also, the cross is already proven as Twinkle’s litter sister, Fire And Silver – dam of the 2019 Kevin Smith Champion Stakes semi-finalist, Long John Silver (by Feel My Pulse), threw two further Champion Stakes qualifiers last season, to Blades Of Hope.
“The cross has already worked. Twinkle’s litter sister Fire And Silver had two Champion Stakes qualifiers last season, the Norton brothers’ Fire And Hope, as well as our own Jeffys Gold, so you’d be hopeful that our lady would also click with Blades Of Hope.
“Jeffys Gold is down enjoying the sun at May’s and he will run again next season. Despite being a third season dog, he has only coursed a dozen times, having missed his puppy season, so he is a very fresh hound and should give us plenty of sport next season so long as he stays sound.” concluded Liam.