Peter Farrell

Ahead of next week’s final of the Larry O’Rourke National Produce Stakes, sweepstake action dominated last night’s Clonmel card and there were a number of eye-catching performances.

The first sweepstake to get underway was the Frightful Flash Kennels ON3 525 and the fastest in the two semi finals was Galloping Blake (Laughil Blake - Galloping Maeve) who ran in the opener. Owned by Una Creed, this September 19’ whelp was most impressive in breaking smartly from trap two and he proceeded to open a healthy lead and run out a comfortable four length winner over Heathview Lynda in second. The time was a fast 29.00.

This final of this stake should prove a closely run affair as Nomadic Bolt wasn’t too far behind on the clock in the second semi final. Owned by Elizabeth Lonergan, the son of Laughil Bolt - An Cailin Alainn was also smartly into stride wearing the striped jacket and it was one-way traffic rounding the opening turn. Staying on impressively to cross the line six lengths clear of Rewind Honey in second, the time was a good 29.12.


The second of the unraced stakes to get underway was the Droopys Stud ON2 525 and Russian Sammy set the standard for Pat & Justine Muldoon.

Trained by Graham Holland, Russian Sammy pinged the lids from trap four and he soon developed a healthy advantage heading into the opening bend. Striding out well thereafter, the son of Secreto - Silverhill Exit stayed on well to come home two and a half lengths clear of Barra Best, who made up good ground, in second. The time was 28.90.

The opening semi final was landed by Strides Banjo who held off the late surge of Callmesteve. Owned by Alan Brazier, Strides Banjo broke well from trap three and showed fine early dash to take control at the opening corner. From here, the son of Scolari Me Daddy - Farranrory Misky showed good determination to hold off Callmesteve, who ran a big race in second. Just a short head separating the duo, the time was 29.06.


The first of the graded sweepstakes on the card was the Dan The Man A4/A5 525 and both semi finals dipped under the 29 second mark.

The fastest of the two semis was Slaneyside Post for owner Eleanor O’Neill. A blue son of Good News - Slaneyside Twirl, Slaneyside Post had a previous best of 29.44 but he smashed that effort in emphatic fashion. Bolting from trap four, it was all over from an early stage in this contest and O’Neill’s charge developed a healthy lead to come home four lengths clear of Jims Rich Pick in second. The time was 28.79.

Prior to that, Latest Jet also produced a trap to line performance for owner John Murphy. Another who improved dramatically on their previous best of 29.37, Latest Jet broke smartly from trap five and he set upon setting a strong gallop throughout. Three lengths too strong for Five Alley Ace at the winning line, the son of Droopys Jet - Deercrest Lady stopped the clock in 28.97.


The Good News/Belles Direction @ Stud A3 525 was next on the agenda and Lynchy Boy (Confident Rankin - Boozed Bubble) set the standard for TJ Campion.


A winner of the Epic Hero Guys & Dolls stake at Clonmel in recent months, Lynchy Boy clearly has a soft spot for Clonmel and he made light work of the opening semi final. Quickly into stride wearing the blue jacket, Lynchy Boy was never under any threat and he stayed on strongly to record a six and a half-length victory over Heavens Shadow in second. The time was 28.77.

It was a night to be out and gone at Clonmel and the second semi final was also won in trap to line fashion by Hawkeye Supreme. Owned by Dan Murphy, Hawkeye Supreme was swiftly into stride from trap three and from here, it resulted in a relatively easy victory for the son of Sparta Maestro - Fancy Nancy. Coming home five lengths clear of Compo in second, the time was 28.87.


The final stake to get underway on the night was the Sure Systems A4/A5 Bitch 525 and Minor Brexit went narrowly quickest in the second semi final.

Owned by Mary O’Connor, Minor Brexit (Minor Mike - Minor Winner) was only moderately away from trap four and had found Dacash a tough nut to crack early on when sitting five lengths adrift down the back. However, wearing down her rivals in front, Minor Brexit stayed on best of all to claim a short head victory over the longtime leader Dacash. The time was 29.41.

The opening semi final was landed by the Emer Dunne owned Emers Meg. It was Silk Cut Sally who led early on but Emers Meg, after not the clearest of runs, reeled in her rival to take control at penultimate bend. From here, the daughter of Skywalker Rory - Emers Baby finished at speed to claim a three and a half length success in a time of 29.48.