ICONIC JOURNEY STARS IN CLONMEL NOVICE STAKE

ICONIC JOURNEY STARS IN CLONMEL NOVICE STAKE

Peter Farrell

An eleven race card at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium last night featured the final of the Punters Rest ON2 sweepstake as well the opening round heats of the Good News/Belles Direction @ Stud 525.

Offering a winner’s prize of €540 for two runs, the final of the Punters Rest ON2 Unraced 525 proved to be an exciting affair with the judge called into action to decide the winner between familiar foes. Both Iconic Journey and Belvedere Rocco had a ding-dong battle last week with the latter holding on by a neck to grab the win. However, revenge was on the cards for the Patrick Norris trained bitch last night as she reversed that form to land the spoils.

Like last week, Belvedere Rocco was quickest into stride from trap one and Mark O’Donovan’s dog proceeded to lead into the opening turn as Shaneboy Velvet chased in second. Closely followed by Iconic Journey, who overcame a poor start to sit third, the final was very much up for grabs heading into the back straight despite the leader holding a five length advantage. Belvedere Rocco continued to set a fine gallop out in front and as Iconic Journey made some rapid improvement in behind, it was clear that the final two hundred yards were going to be closely contested. Held off by a neck last week, Iconic Journey wasn’t to suffer the same fate this time around and the Kieran and Marion Daly owned daughter of Droopys Sydney - Ballymac Razl rallied late on to chin the longtime leader, Belvedere Rocco, on the line. A head separating the duo, the time was a slick 28.82. A very likeable performance from the April 19’ whelp.

ROSE FASTEST

Kindly sponsored by John Kennedy of A1 Rearing & Schooling, the opening three heats of the Good News/Belles Direction @ Stud 525 also got underway and the Nick Turner trained Masterstown Rose went fastest in the opening heat of the night.

Owned by John Fitzgerald Jnr, Masterstown Rose was out of luck on her first two starts but she broke her maiden tag in relatively easy fashion in the end. From a decent break from stripes, Masterstown Rose was forced to tuck in behind during the early stages but like her previous two starts, she really started to motor during the second half of the contest. Taking up the running at the penultimate turn, the daughter of Droopys Cain - Bewitching stormed clear around the bottom two bends and flew up the straight to record a five length win. The time was a fast 29.03.

EYE-CATCHING NEWS

Next best came in heat three when Ballyhimikin News made light work of his opposition to run out a comfortable winner.

Jointly owned by Noreen and Billy Dunne, Ballyhimikin News was hoping to maintain an unbeaten start to his career after two very impressive outings at Youghal and he duly raced to a rather eye-catching victory. Only an March 19’ whelp, Ballyhimikin News was taking no prisoners early on as he bounced out in front from trap five to take control from the outset. Never under any threat thereafter, the son of Good News - Slaneyside Poppy drew clear to record a seven length victory. The time was a good 29.16.

IN FORM SHADOW

The other heat winner on the night came in heat two Seefin Shadow made it three wins from his last four starts at Clonmel for owner Breda Barrett.

Showing a nice turn of early pace wearing the red jacket, Seefin Shadow railed well to hold all the aces rounding the opening corner. A greyhound clearly in form, the son of Pat C Sabbath - Fantasy Caoimhe extended his lead down the back straight and he looked a winner from a long way out. Staying on strongly around the bottom bends, the Patrick Barrett trained black powered up the straight to win by four and a half lengths. The time was a decent 29.32.