THE Downes family from Killaloe are still interested in the outcome of the Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel as their Big Ego and Droopy’s Lennon have qualified for the semi-finals next Sunday night.
They survived the quarter-final sessions last Sunday when punters had a bad night as all four favourites were beaten and half of them failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
With his main rival, Broadstand Lad missing from trap one, the Paul Hennessy-trained Colourful Champ was expected to ease through in the opening heat. However, he encountered traffic problems around the opening bends and had to rely on a grand-stand finish to earn third place. The Owen McKenna-trained Faypoint Dave led all the way for a 28.61 and two-and-a-half-length win over Cooladerry Fizz.
Heat two saw the Eddie and Denis Fitzgerald-owned Castlelyons Ralf score another trap-to-line victory. At the finishing line, he had one a half length on the Mitchelstown-owned Movealong Catch. His clock of 28.60 was the best of the quarter-finals. Three lengths back for third place was Big Ego owned by Nicola Downes. Monlesa Station, the 2/1 favourite, finished fourth.
Olympic Sunrise was the money-on favourite for heat three but first to cross the line was the 5/1 shot and Dublin-owned Thorn Brae Brett. He had a clock of 28. 78 for his half-length win over Valais Mover who finished a length and a half in front of the third placed Olympic Sunrise.
Kid Billzer went to traps as 5/4 favourite for the final heat but he finished down the field. The trap-three runner Master Blaster came out on top, winning by four and a half lengths in 28.78 from Droopy’s Lennon, which is trained by Nicola Downes for Michael Dunphy, Portlaw. Two lengths in arrears for third place was Local Flawless.
Draw for the semi-finals
Heat one: 1. Thornbrae Brett; 2. Master Blaster; 3. Local Flawless; 4. Colourful Champ; 5. Castlelyons Ralf; 6. Droopy’s Lennon (w).
Heat Two: 1. Movealong Catch; 2. Olympic Sunrise; 3. Cooladerry Fizz; 4. Faypoint Dave; 5. Big Ego; 6. Valais Mover (m).
There was a Clare winner in Clonmel on Sunday night when Ballyhannon (Tucks Mein-Adorableiventia) was a 31.50 and two-length winner of heat two of the Hometown Boy At Stud A1 graded 575. He was the fastest heat winner on the night. The other heat winners were Kilscan Bob (31.51) and Carrowkeal Sam (31.69).
The Knocklong-owned Mary Paul (Royal Impact-Scala Judy) won the final of the Limerick and Clare A3 final over 525 yards in Limerick last Saturday night. Her winning time was 29.06 when beating Gorgeous Rosie by three parts of a length. Third place was filled by Frisco Rumble owned by the Spelman, Riordan, McDonagh syndicate from Shannon.
San Trapattponi, owned by Michael O’Donovan, Killaloe and trained by Pat Conway was beaten half a length into second place by the 28.98 winner, Thorns and Roses, in an open 525.
Upland Lake, a reserve runner, led at the second bend and raced on for a two-length win for Cratloe owner, Harry Galvin in an A6 graded 525-yard race in Limerick last Thursday night. For his third win, the son of Droopy’s Maldini-Very Pretty clocked 29.35.
Shadow Sands won the opening race of the night, an N3 525 in a time of 29.80, three parts of a length in front of the Michael Downes-trained newcomer Stormy Dan. Third place went to Way To Success owned by JJ and Noel Crowe, Ennistymon.
Carhugar Bobsie takes top-graded race
THE Quin-owned and Michael Downes-trained Carhugar Bobsie won the top -raded race in Galway last Saturday night when Burnpark Pearl qualified for the final of the Cumann Sacair Chois Fharraige A4 event over 525 yards.
The A0 graded 525 saw Glenfort Dove (trap three), owned by Ballyvaughan native Brigid D’Arcy and the Noel Mullins-trained and Gort-owned County Hurlers (trap six) setting the pace. However, it was Springwell Sindy in trap two, who slipped into the lead at the first and she led by a length down the back. At the halfway stage, she had gone two lengths clear with Carhugar Bobsie making up a lot of ground to emerge as the biggest danger to the front runner coming towards the third bend. And in fact, the Quin-owned brindled did pounce and take over the lead and at the line the son of Premier County-Blondie Lotto) emerged as the 29.25 and length-and-a-half winner after his customary strong finish. Glenfort Dove was half a length back for third place.
The qualifiers from the first semi-final of the Cumann Sacair Chois Fharraige A5 over 525 yards were Tyrur Lauren (29.37), Killea Fancy and Menlo Polly. Burnpark Julie, a reserve runner owned by Shane Mullins, Galway, won the second semi-final in 29.70 from Burnpark Pearl and Ezfrank. Trouble erupted at the first and third bends in this heat in which Ezfrank led the way from trap two. He led at the first but was baulked and Burnpark Julie hit the front on the outside.
At the third bend, Burnpark Julie led by two lengths and avoided more bunching. Owned by Shane Mullins, Galway, Burnpark Julie ran on to beat the John Browne-trained Burnpark Pearl by half a length in 29.70. Ezfrank took third place. Trap draw for next Saturday night’s final is: 1. Killea Fancy; 2. Ezfrank; 3. Menlo Polly; 4. Burnpark Julie; 5. Burnpark Pearl; 6. Tyrur Lauren.
The John McDonagh (Kinvara) trained Shyan Sonia held a four lengths advantage down the back in the opening race of the night, an A5 graded 525 but between the final two bends, the Liam Jones-owned and trained Lingrawn Supreme closed in and in the final few strides got up to beat Shyan Sonia by half a length in 29.69. Third home was the Ennis-owned Blaze Flame (Anthony Brigdale and Margaret Burns).
Scattery Sally, owned by the Scattery Syndicate from Killimer, got to within a length and a quarter of the leader but had to be satisfied with second place in an A9 graded 525, which was won in 29.52 by Pieball Nolan.
The pace-setting Matt Bird, trained by Joe Collins for the Shanakyle syndicate, Parteen went very wide at the first and lost a few lengths in the process in an S8 graded 350 yards race. In contrast, the locally owned Everylittlehelps railed sharply to take full advantage and she dominated from here to the line and beat Lormic Morag (Michael and Aidan Nash, Kinvara) by half a length with a clock of 19.58. Matt Birds was the same distance back for third place.
The John McDonagh-owned Ballyhill Cool got back to winning ways in an A3 graded 525. He led rounding the opening bend on his way to beat the Tom Flanagan-trained Utorquealot, owned by all the C’s syndicate from Ballyvaughan by three parts of a length in 29.29. Third place went to the Brigid D’Arcy owned Glenfort Prince.
Crafty win for ICC president in Galway
CRAFTY Fandango, owned by Irish Coursing Club President, Brian Divilly and Master Peter Divilly, Claregalway won the big race in Galway on Thursday night, the A2 graded 525. Jumeirah Joe was the early leader after Crafty Fandango was forced to check at the first. Jumeirah Joe maintained his advantage down the back but as they began the swing home, Crafty Fandango found another gear to take the lead and win by three lengths in 28.89. Jumeirah Joe was runner-up with third spot going to Sailing, representing the Downes kennels , Killaloe.
Mary Browne from Quin won race two, an A7 graded 525 with Mine Hazel in trap three. For her maiden success, the daughter of Hades Rocket-Jumeirah Jess made all the running to defeat Plums Gaffer by two lengths in 29.75.
The first sprint race of the night, an A6 graded affair, produced a Clare winner in an all-Clare finish. The favourite, Willbrook Fawn in trap three was first to show and the daughter of Prince Monolulu and Missouri Dame led by a length from Bridge Blaze on the run to the opening bend. Despite running quite wide, the Ennistymon-owned fawn bitch extended her advantage to two lengths. Turning for home, the leader again raced wide but the Michael Davoren-owned fawn stayed on to beat the trap-four runner, Pal Duke, owned by Colie O’Loughlin, Inagh by three-and-a-half lengths in 19.42. Third home was the West Clare-owned Bridge Blaze (Anna Carey).
Third in the next race an A5 graded 525 was Kylea Dreamer owned by Irene Barry, Inagh. The 29.62 winner of the race was Work of Art.
Wisdom Lingers, owned in Kilmihil by Martin J Keane, was runner-up to the 19.22 and three-length winner, Kilbannon Magic, in an S2 graded sprint race.
West Clare owners Patrick J Troy and John Carey had to be satisfied with runner-up spot and third place respectively with their Lismsadine Crash and Bridge Blend in an A4 graded 525. Bridge Blend set the pace but on rounding the opening bend, the Frank Cook-trained Nathan’s Joy in trap one took over after railing well. He continued to do so for the rest of the race to win by four-and-a-half lengths in 29.34 from Lisamadine Crash with Bridge Blend half a length back for third place.
John Browne handled Brackhill Frank to win the last sprint race of the night. The son of Ballymac Maeve-Rathmeehan Maura was prominent from the start and led by three lengths at the first corner. Some crowding here left Blue Duke as the only threat to the winner but Brickhill Frank, owned by a Ballyhaunis syndicate, was not going to be denied and he stayed in front to win by almost three lengths in 19.22.
The Seamus Fahy-trained Big Thrills was favourite to win an A3 graded 525 and he did not disappoint. He won by close on three lengths in 29.25 from the Kinvara-owned Lormic Bill.
Fastest clock for Black Donail
FOUR Clare owned winners emerged from Galway card last Friday night when the Seamus Fahy-trained Ballyshea Peg won the main race of the night, the A2 graded 575.
She led from the opening bend and had three lengths of an advantage going down the back and went on to score a five-and-a-half-lengths success in 31.67. The Paul Burke-trained Grandas Mica was runner-up and third spot went to the Michael Downes-trained Tell me Skinner.
As well as adding to her list of successes, Black Donail won with the best clock of the night to the delight of her owners Kieran and Aaron Nugent, Ballyea, Ennis. This was an A3 graded 525 and from the start, Black Donail made her mark by leading in the run to the first corner. At the halfway stage, the daughter of Droopy’s Vieri-Droopy’s Lottie maintained her lead of one length, despite the strong challenge from Lady Richmore. And from here to the line, it was all Black Donail who won with five lengths to spare in a time of 29.16 for her fourth win. The runner-up was O’Garney Flo (Bernard Coffey, Sixmilebridge).
West Clare owner and trainer, TJ McMahon was the first of the Clare winners of the night with Bodyshop Hill. This was an A5 graded 525 and the first race of the night in which Sloopy Legs led a tightly bunched field from the start. However, when rounding the first bend, she left a space on the her inside which Bodyshop Hill filled as they headed down the far side. And when they passed the halfway stage, Bodyshop Hill began to dominate and eventually crossed the line four lengths in front of Sloopy Legs in a time of 29.32. Third home was the John McDonagh-trained and Kinvara-owned Campaign Manager.
Don Gallery from near Shannon won the second race on the card, an S5 graded 350 with the Leo Kelly-trained Ballycasey King in trap six. Leading on the wide outside in the approach to the first corner, the son of Droopy’s Maldini-Money Go Lucky then switched to the rail and was a few lengths ahead of the rest at the home bend. In the run home, he further extended his lead to win by five-and-a-quarter lengths in 19.23 from Katies Kitten.
TJ McMahon’s Bodyshop Legend was placed third in an A4 graded 525 won in 29.33 by the Tony Fahy-trained Cloonlish Lisa.
Finishing in the same position in an A3 graded 550 was Knockbrack Yeman owned by Margaret Nestor, Miltown Malbay. The 30.59 winner of the race was the Jack Mahony-trained and Salthill-owned Shrewd Buy.
An A3 graded 525 produced a very exciting finish between Tyrur Saturday and the Johnny Burke-trained and Ennis-owned Drimeen Holly (Master Eoin Coote and Miss Sally Carrig). Birrogue Jer set the pace from trap three but Tyrur Saturday (trap four) closed in and took the lead at the second-last bend. However, he was then challenged by Drimeen Holly in trap six, who became the new leader at the home bend. And in the run home, Tyrur Saturday, on the rails, came back in front again to beat Drimeen Holly by one length in a time of 29.59.
Leading all the way, the Michael Downes-trained Rock of Lacala, owned in Limerick by Pat Reeves and Cathal Kilmartin, was an easy 18.95 winner of am S3 graded 350. His winning time was 18.95 when beating Mickey Bear by close on six lengths. Third placed was Louise’s Delight owned by Louise O’Donoghue, Gort.
South East Clare owner, Frank Casey, Stonehall won the last race of the night with Tiermana Vieri. This was an A6 graded 525 and the eventual winner hit the front at the opening bend. He was in control from this stage to the finishing line where the son of Droopy’s Vieri-Sincerely Yours, was four-and-a-quarter lengths clear of the Kinvara-owned Cable Kiowa. His winning clock was 29.67.