THE Downes kennels in Killaloe are in with a shout of winning the Connolly Red Mills Produce Stakes in Clonmel on Sunday night next. They have Droopy’s Lennon in trap six for the big final on Sunday night next and hopes are high that he will the cause of celebrations across the Shannon.
Trained by Nicola Downes and owned by Michael Dunphy of Portlaw, the son of Yeah Man-Droopy’s Roberta was drawn in trap six in the opening semi-final last Sunday night. The hot 4/5 favourite in trap four was the Paul Henessy trained Colourful Champ but he got involved in crowding at the opening corner. It was the fast break Thorn Brae Brett, in trap one was the one who dominated and he was in control down the back. Owned by Aidan Robinson, Dublin, the son of Brett Lee-Bluebell Fantasy come home four lengths in front of Droopy’s Lennon with a time of 28.55, the fastest of the semi-finals. A length and a half back for third was Local Flawless.
The Downes kennels were also represented in the second semi-final by Big Ego, owned by Nicola, but he was beaten a length for the last qualifying place. The 7/4 favourite, Faypoint Dave, set the pace from trap two but by the third bend Movealong Catch, owned by Denis Barry in Mitchelstown, had taken it up and he raced on to beat the favourite by a length and a half in 28.75. A short head adrift for third place was the locally owned Valais Mover.
Trap draw for the final: 1. Movealong Catch; 2. Local Flawless; 3. Thorn Brae Brett; 4. Faypoint Dave; 5. Valais Mover (m); 6. Droopy’s Lennon (w).
Sharam Go (Droopy’s Kewell-Riverside Ash) was the only Clare winner in Limerick last Thursday night. Owned by John O’Kelly, Mullagh, the black bitch won an A5 graded 525-yard race by half a length in 29.63.
Placed in their races were Tobarachuine (Miltown Malbay), Yea I Can (Killaloe) and John O’Kelly’s Cragaknock Crash.
Cragaknock Tina was third in a race in Limerick on Saturday night while the Joe Carey-trained Steragel Fawn, owned by Brendan Carroll, Newmarket-on-Fergus, was runner-up to the 30.73 winner, Kilroigan Lee in an A4 graded 550-yard race.
Monday night racing resumed in Limerick this week and the first winner on the card was Frisco Rumble who was recording his second win for Shannon owners, the Spelman-Riordan-McDonagh syndicate. This was an A2 graded 525 in which Frisco Rumble (Ace Hi Rumble-Culleen Sally) came out on top in a very tight finish to beat the Seán and Ciarán Dillon-owned SporryRovers by a head in 29.02.
Parteen trainer, Joe Collins, also had a good night as Matt’s Jett (Matt Hyland-Scattery Mack), which he trains for the Shanakyle syndicate, won his first race. Always in control in this 300-yard sprint race, the brindled won by a length and a half in 16.74.
There was a third Clare winner on the card with Bluie Do (Droopy’s Kewell-Riverside Ash) winning an A5 graded 525 for Brendan McDermott. The winner showed early pace and looked a winner all the way for a 29.28 and two lengths win from John O’Kelly’s Cragaknock Crash.