THE South Clare coursing meeting at Cooraclare did not escape the weather conditions that interfered with the running of a number of meetings all over the country during the Christmas holiday period.
Cooraclare coursing on St Stephen’s Day had to be postponed because of the hard ground conditions and, although the fixture did go ahead the following day, a number of fancied runners did not participate.
Amongst those not running were Ibrickane Pat, the favourite for the South Clare Cup for 16 dogs and Cleanaway Smurf, whose connections were hoping to win the South Clare All-Age Bitch Stake and qualify for the Grace Bruton Champion Stakes.
Also missing from the line-up was Him Over There, who stood a good chance of winning the Reserve Derby Trial Stake after being beaten in the final at Ennis-Clarecastle.
Despite more heavy frost on Monday night, the meeting went ahead and concluded on the following day after club members covered the field overnight and rolled it before coursing on Tuesday that had a two-hour delay.
With the absence of the Pat Curtin-trained trial stake winner, Ibrickane Pat, the Doon-owned Carrigmore Heart was the one to watch after the opening round of the South Clare Cup for dogs.
Drawn in the bottom half, he saw off the challenge of Quay Performer by one length in his first buckle on Monday and then advanced to the semi-final by gaining a four-length advantage on the Gort-owned Louises Delight.
In the top half, the Killimer-owned Scattery Hyland made progress at the expense of the Seán Hehir-trained Dunsallagh Milo. In the first of the semi-finals, the Scattery dog looked in no danger but had to withstand a late challenge to win a just-up verdict on the Kilmihil-owned Trial Balance, who was a trial stake winner in Abbeyfeale last season.
Owned by The Clohessy brothers and Bridget and Anthony McNamara, Moneen, Killimer, Scattery Hyland poached a narrow lead in the final but when the pair bumper at the half-way stage, Carrigmore Heart came out the better and he swept on to a decisive four-length win. Nominated by Tommie Gallagher, the South Cup winner is owned by Pat and Aoife Coffey, Doon.
After the opening rounds of the South Clare All-Age Bitch Stake the Quilty-owned Tromora Ocean was fancied to win out.
She was drawn in the top half of the card, where she disposed of Varadero by two lengths to qualify for the first semi-final against the reserve runner, Carrigmore Jewel, who had earlier beaten Bejo Blonde by a similar distance.
In the bottom half another West Clare representative, Looks Whos Unique, was making strides. She qualified for the semi-final by scoring a six-length win in a straight run against Rylane Express. The Sixmilebridge-owned and Noel Murphy-trained Startfromscratch also earned a semi-final spot by overcoming Bank View by three lengths.
There were no turns in either of the semi-finals in which Tromora Ocean saw off Carrigmore Jewel by six lengths. Five lengths was the wining distance for Looks Whose Unique over Startfromscratch.
In the all-Clare final, Look Whos Unique (Bexhill Eoin-Syndi Rose) was the one to prevail when beating Tromora Ocean by three lengths. Looks Whose Unique, nominated by P Scales, is trained by Pat Curtin for owners Ciara Malone, Liscannor and Aisling Mahony, Carrigaholt.
Jeru Eile, owned by South Clare Coursing Club officer, John O’Donoghue, ran impressively in her two opening rounds to be nominated the overnight favourite for the Oaks trial stake. However, when coursing resumed on Monday, she was an absentee. The bye run in this quarter-final run went to Burnpark Sadie. Also in this half the Dan Brassil-trained Medieval Castle advanced at the expense of Cailín Oran.
In the bottom half of the card, Atlantic Honey and Ashtown Abi made their way to the semi-final by way of straight-run wins over Gold Heidi and the Gort-owned Georges Street Diva respectively.
The first to make her way to the final was Medieval Castle, who won a just-up verdict on Burnpark Sadie. She was joined by Ashtown Abi by reason of her three-length win over Atlantic Honey.
Members of the Dream On Syndicate from Newcastlewest had most to cheer about when their Medieval Castle (Castle Pines-Flashy Vieri) came out on top in the final against Ashtown Abi, trained by Pat Curtin for the Barony syndicate from Dingle.
The reserve Derby trial stake (24) stayed locally after the Killimer-owned I Say So (Judicial Best-Killimer Flyer) won another all-Clare final. The runner-up was Daruje, again owned by John O’Donoghue of the South Clare club,
In the semi-finals the white and black dog, I Say So, had a comfortable three lengths advantage on Rathmore Pines, while Daruje had a bye in his run.
The syndicate of the Clohessys and McNamaras from Killimer and Kevin Burke had better luck on this occasion when their I Say So (Judicial Best-Killimer Flyer) got the flag from stand-in judge, Dermot O’Sullivan, when having a length-and-a-half to spare on Daruje.
The Cloncullen Stake and Exilies Cup for 12 members and one and two course dogs and bitches was won by Ennis-based Jack Keating and Marian Hayes from Tipperary, whose white and brindled bitch White Diva (Castle Pines-Saruje) beat Abby Jack, the white and black dog owned by Joe Keane, Carrigaholt, in the final by four lengths.
Five lengths was the wining distance for Milesian Son (Matt Hyland-Scattery Mac) over Danema Lady in the final of the working members stake (16 one course dogs and bitches). The winner, a fawn dog, is owned by Paddy Conlon, Brisla, Cooraclare. The runner-up, a blue and brindled bitch, is owned by Dan and Emma Keating, Kilmihil.
Clare Cup (16 dogs): semi-finals: Scattery Hyland bt Trial Balance; Garrigmore Heart bt Louises Delight. Final: P and A Coffey’s (Doon) bk Carrigmore Heart (Carrigmore Becks-Fast Loser)4l bt Clohessy and McNamara syndicate’s (Killimer) Scattery Hyland (Matt Hyland-Atlantic Beauty).
South Clare All-Age Bitch Stake (16): semi-finals: Tromora Ocean bt Carrigmore Jewel; Look Whos Unique bt Startfromsctrach. Final: C Malone (Liscannor) and A Mahony’s (Carrigaholt) Look Whos Unique (Bexhill Eoin-Syndi Rose) 3l bt D Hogan’s (Quilty) Tromora Ocean (Judicial Best- Callura Gift).
Oaks Trials Stake (32): semi-finals: Medieval Castle bt Burnpark Sadie; Ashtown Abi bt Atlantic Honey. Final: Dream on Syndicate’s (Newcastlewest) Medieval Castle (Castle Pines- Flashy Vieri) May one-and-a-half-lengths bt The Barron syndicate’s (Dingle) Ashtown Abi (Droopys Caesar-Flowing Action).
Reserve Derby Trial Stake (24): semi-finals: I Say So bt Rathmore Pines: Daruje, a bye. Final: The Way Inn syndicate’s (Killimer) I Say So (Judicial Best-Kilimer Flyer) one-and-a-half-lengths bt J O’Donoghue’s (Cree) Daruje (Janey Mac Aroo- Tanyard Beauty).
Cloncullen Stake and Exiles Cup (12 members- one and two course dogs and bitches): final: J Keating (Ennis) and Marian Hayes’ (Tipperary) White Diva (Castle Pines-Saruje) 4l bt J Keane’s (Carrigaholt) Abby Jack (Cushie Theory-Cushie Lark).
Working Members Stake (16 one course dogs and bitches): final: P Conlon’s (Cooraclare) Milesian Son (Matt Hyland-Scattery Mac) 5l bt D and E Keating’s (Kilmihil) Danema Lady (Castle Pines- Saruje).