The dream of every coursing man and woman to reach the third day at Clonmel switches to the fourth day for 2022. However if anything it makes it even more special and there were tears in the eyes of many an owner this afternoon at Powerstown Park when it all became real. Sadly there were tears too for the Going Grand Syndicate from New Inn & Donegal when Full Redress incurred an injury after winning his third round course of the Boylesports Derby impressively. However otherwise it really was an excellent day of coursing and a credit to Team Powerstown. It augurs well for the final day tomorrow (Monday) when six coursing champions will be crowned.
BOYLESPORTS DERBY (2020 whelps)
The John & Donal Wilson owned Corn Na Feile winner Annual Fergie continues to impress and now meets his kennelmate Terminator running for the 2021 Track Derby/Oaks winning Comerford family. Connections of Black As Gold (Harry McGuinness/Teresa Reilly) and Badminton Wonder (David McGrath) both had to withdraw other qualifiers before the draw but are getting ample compensation with the performance of these dogs. (Badminton Wonder being a litter brother to Terminator). Mitchelstown’s Michael Horgan, joint sponsor of the Club Awards at the National Meeting, shrewdly purchased Two Bears after it had won the Working Members at Thurles in November and now has a Derby semi-finalist on his hands (receives a bye tomorrow morning). Noel Sheehan and his son Stephen give the rebel county a second chance of Derby success with Echo Bill and of course he qualified at that excellent meeting in Blarney over Christmas. He meets Killucan Pat, running for the Carrs and Healys and attempting to give them more Clonmel success, five years after their memorable Champion Stakes double.
BOYLESPORTS DERBY (2021 whelps)
Glenhouse Wonder qualified at Charleville at one of the last meetings before the 20/21 season shut down due to the pandemic but the long wait has been worth it for Timmy Collins & past ICC President, Gerry Meehan. His quarter-final opponent Kyle Karl was probably the least fancied runner that Marie Field brought to Clonmel this year but he is enjoying his role of ‘last man standing’. Off To Chicago already added an All Age Cup at Lixnaw to his Listowel trial stake win and is giving Donal O’Connell another super run. On My Terms owned by ICC Executive member Kevin Marmion is leaving things very late in all his courses but is representing Kevin’s club Loughrea with great credit. Leo Walsh and his daughter Katie (Secretary Balbriggan CC) will be thrilled this evening to have their ‘Spital’ prefix in Derby contention and Spital Ted now meets Granard Wonder belonging to another great coursing family, the O’Flahertys of Liscarroll near Mallow. The last quarter-final will be contested by two other very well-known coursing prefixes, with Wallace Best representing the one and only Brendan Matthews of Newry and Carrowkeal Shane running for Kathleen, Brian & Jackie Murphy (another one for Mallow). Shane caused one of the big upsets of Day 3 when eliminating the favourite this afternoon.
HORSE & JOCKEY OAKS (2020 whelps).
This season Paul Reid was joined in his Tory prefix by Paul Horig and it is proving to be a winning combination so far with Tory Elite. Her opponent tomorrow morning is Knockout Sky whose dam won an Oaks for the McAuliffe family of Athea (Bill, Rose & son Liam) in 2017. There will be plenty of singing if the Jimmy Buckley led ‘Shtick At It Syndicate’ is successful tomorrow afternoon with Montpelier Lolly but first she has to get the better of the Tactical, jointly owned by Damian & Dayna O’Shea and trained by a man who made all the decisions at Clonmel for many many years, Tom Lawler. Pheobes Pride is another daughter of a bitch which tasted success up Powerstown (Blades Of Honour) and is giving Sean Herlihy and young Tiernan Horgan a weekend to remember. She meets a bitch which represents the ‘Blades’ line on the sire side, Rushview Raven. This lady got everyone’s attention with her blistering early in the first round and owner Paul Willis will be hoping to go one better than 10 years ago when he ran-up the Oaks. Coursing bitch of the year 2019, Silent Wonder, is responsible for our next quarter-finalist Chance To Shine which runs in the ownership of the Three Lucky Ms Syndicate led by her trainer Mossie O’Connor and she now comes up against the ante-post favourite Kilty Coco. The latter is owned by Agnes & Una Mai Hallissey and how they would love to be going to slips for the final tomorrow afternoon as their fellow Clonakilty club man Jimmy O’Regan is singing the National Anthem.
HORSE & JOCKEY OAKS (2019 whelps).
Two weeks is a long time in coursing because two weeks ago the connections of Murhur Lady (Work The Mobile Syndicate) and Masonbrook Ivy (Jennie Griffin and her dad Tom, retired ICC Control Steward) did not even expect to be running at Clonmel. However they both came in when we needed to draw from runners-up to fill vacancies and the rest as they say is history. Vying to make history by winning two Oaks at the same National Meeting are the McAuliffe family and Knockout Model is showing all the right attributes. Her next opponent is Ballybeg Honey, a litter sister to Granard Wonder and running for Janette Buckley of Buttevant (Cork very well represented on Day 4). Martin McDaid of Derry came to Clonmel six years ago with high hopes of Oaks success with Moat Matilda but it is her daughter Positive Note that might bring him that Classic success. Standing in her way tomorrow is the Wexford representative Maisy Daisy which would be a popular winner for the Grannell, Fitzpatrick & Dempsey families. Some of the loudest cheers at Powerstown Park today were reserved for the locally owned Village Robin which won the last qualifier of the season at Sevenhouses for Tommy O’Gorman, Lar Walsh & Co. Let’s hope they mind their voices for when she meets Ballymac Floral from the powerful Liam Dowling kennels, a half-sister of his 2019 Oaks heroine Enya.
Coursing starts on Day 4 (Monday) at 11.00am with the first round of the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes.
For Results, Clocks & Latest Prices go to Quick Results.
Our photo by Imelda Grauer includes Helena Dennehy, Michael & Martina Richard, Timmy Gleeson and Michael Dennehy enjoying the 96th National Coursing Meeting.
On a sad note tonight we sympathise with Thurles Coursing Club and the Ryan family, Beakstown, Holycross on the death of Johnny Ryan. Not only was Johnny the President of Thurles CC but he and his family provided the Club with their coursing field which is developed into a top class venue. Funeral arrangements to follow. May he Rest in Peace.