There were a few eye-catching open races on show last night at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium but the stars of the show were undoubtedly the Kieran Lynch trained Mustang Firmino who posted an outstanding 28.33 and Liam Dowlings Ballymac Kingdom who was only one spot behind in 28.34.
Jointly owned by Sean Bourke and Paul Walter Horig, Mustang Firmino has some notable form at HQ and of course claimed the Night of Stars Open 525 back in November of 2019. That said, it would have come as no surprise to see the brindle show all of his class for the Lynch kennel last night at Clonmel. Posting a scorching 2.79 split upon leaving traps, the striped jacketed runner flew into the opening corner where Javiers Boy emerged as his nearest rival in second. Setting a ferocious pace down the back straight, the son of ‘Ballymac Eske - Mustang Vienna’ wasn’t for catching and despite the best efforts of Javiers Boy in second, ‘Firmino’ stayed on well and recorded a length and a half victory as the clock returned a red hot 28.33.
BALLYMAC FOLLOWS SUIT
In the final race of the night Ballymac Kingdom went just one spot slower than Firmino as he produced an off the pace masterclass for owner, Liam Dowling.
Narrowly beaten on his comeback race last weekend, Ballymac Kingdom would have stripped fitter this week but despite being fast away from trap four, he was headed early on by Seomra Nate and Airmount Nando. The latter was in control come the opening corner but this was short lived as Ballymac Kingdom showed terrific back straight pace to storm to the front come the penultimate corner. Staying on strongly thereafter, the son of ‘Definite Opinion - Coolavanny Angie’ claimed a comfortable four and a half length success in a slick time of 28.34.
There has been many a decent run recorded at Clonmel over the past number of years but these were massive efforts by both greyhounds who will be major players in the upcoming Larry O’Rourke National Produce Stakes should they go down that route.
DOUBLES ALL ROUND
Both the aforementioned owners claimed doubles elsewhere on the card and first up was Sean Bourke with Mustang Ali (Just The Best - Mustang Chick). Showing some good battling qualities, Mustang Ali had a ding dong battle with Bellagors Magic for much of the way but came out on top by a length come the winning line. The time was 29.54.
Ballymac Notisme got Liam Dowlings night off to a flier as he broke his duck in brilliant fashion. The heavyweight son of ‘Ballymac Best - Ballymac Cameo’ had to ship a bump at the opening corner but used this as momentum and the fawn set a strong gallop all the way to the line. Claiming a routine three length victory, the time was a brilliant 28.79.
Another owner to have a successful night at Clonmel was Larry O’Rourke and the fastest of his two winners was Newinn Sheedy. A young September 18’ whelp, Newinn Sheedy was quickly into stride from trap two but had to play second fiddle to Fortune Maker in the early yardage. However, showing grit and determination, the son of ‘Coolavanny Jap - Newinn Boddles’, trained by Graham Holland, stayed on stoutly to land the spoils. A half a length in hand over the game Fortune Maker, the time was a quick 28.90.
Earlier on the card, Coolavanny Fagan also came from behind to grab his first career victory at his fourth attempt. Moorstown Tommy led early from trap one but Coolavanny Fagan was never too far off the pace and really stepped it up a gear at halfway. Powering up the home straight, the son of ‘Good News - Coolavanny Kelly’ had three lengths in hand as the clock read a good 29.04. A solid double for O'Rourke and Holland.