Peter Farrell

On a weekend when the cream of the crop came to the fore at Shelbourne Park, there was also a very talented tracker on show at Clonmel as Bionic Buck made it four wins from as many starts on Sunday night.

Owned by Graham Campbell, it was Bionic Bandit, a litter brother to Bionic Buck, who made the headlines at the tail end of 2021 after he put together four wins on the spin, posting some very smart figures over the two bend trip in the process. At that time, Bionic Buck was still searching for a first career victory but things have certainly taken an upward turn since early Spring. Clocking a decent 29.12 in late March, the son of Laughil Blake and Fourpenny Pearl displayed all of his power from halfway and that has proved the running theme for most of his successes thus far. In possession of a real change of gear from the halfway mark, Bionic Buck recorded his fourth victory from as many starts on Sunday night at Clonmel as he came from some seven lengths off the pace to draw clear and record a three and a half length victory. Indeed, Bionic Buck has now amassed eight victories so far in 2022 and he is sure to add to that record given his current form.


In what has been an extremely prolific litter, which also includes the talented Stickman, it certainly does bode well going forward for Fourpenny Pearl with her offspring already accounting for almost €10,000 in prizemoney from just five runners. Bred in the purple from a line that dates back to the likes of Scenic Star and Scenic Beauty, this line has produced some serious greyhounds over the years such as English Puppy Derby winner Glenpadden Rock, Glenpadden Ace and Glenpadden Post so it’s certainly no fluke that Fourpenny Pearl has been churning out the winners.


Aside from the exploits of Bionic Buck, there were a number of impressive victories at Clonmel on Sunday night and there was a very popular winner in the opening race as Apex Axel scored for the first time.

Trained by Stuart Kavanagh and partly owned by Brandywell stalwart Lynda Bonner, Apex Axel had shown glimpses of big potential early on in his career when running Raha Mofo to three parts of a length on debut but a four month exodus from competitive racing saw Apex Axel have to wait for a first career victory. However, after threatening to break his duck in his last two starts, Apex Axel justified his 6/4 favouritsm with a trap-to-line success from trap four. A son of Magical Bale and Oldburrin Queen, the May 20’ whelp disputed with Polkadotty early doors but he displayed the superior early dash to shoot clear around the opener. Running a terrific second bend, Apex Axel drew clear thereafter and he made every inch to come home five and a half lengths clear of Heavens Dove in second. The time was 29.35.

In race six, Circus Jota posted an emphatic victory as he clocked a blistering 16.15 for owner Michael Ryan. A very talented sprinter, who has recorded 16.04 in the past at Clonmel, Circus Jota returned to winning ways in routine fashion after proving too hot to handle for his rivals over the 300-yard trip. Running from trap three, the son of Laughil Blake and Knockboy Kathy broke smartly from the middle and although challenged in the opening yards, he took off within a matter of strides to go two clear into the opener. From here, it was plain sailing for Circus Jota as he galloped to a four length victory in 16.15.

The fastest time of the night over the standard trip came in race seven as Please Cabela posted a fourth career win for owner John Mulcahy. Formerly known as Bogger Cabela, the September 20 daughter of Skywalker Farloe and Bottle Of Banter, a sister to Derby hopeful Callaway Pro Am, pinged the lids from trap three and this was to prove the decisive factor in running out victorious. Setting a powerful gallop throughout, Please Cabela saw off the late challenge of Daring Buick to come home a half length clear and record a smart 28.85.