Ahead of a bumper card tonight at Clonmel, the track hosted a ten race card last night and there were four finals and an inter-track challenge all down for decision.
The first final of the night was the ‘Sporting Press S2/S3 Sprint’ worth€625 and this was landed in exciting fashion by Brynoffa Daphne. Owned by Emma Mackay, Brynoffa Daphne broke reasonably well from two but it was kennel companion Brynoffa Gem, along with Junior Prince who showed first at traprise. However, tracking expertly on the rail was Brynoffa Daphne and the daughter of Confident Rankin and Emma Honey came with a later surge to deny Junior Prince, by a head, on the line. The time was 16.49.
Next up was the ‘Support The Split The Pot A5 550’ and this went to script as Freedom Special landed the €780 winner's purse. Owned by Kathleen Pomfret, the son of Fernando Bale and Mustang Vienna won the semi final in very impressive style and although asked to work a bit harder last night, he still proved too strong for his rivals. Running from trap four, Freedom Special led early on but was headed by Brynoffa Flip rounding the opening turn. However, that lead as short-lived as Freedom Special took control back at the penultimate turn to draw clear and record a four and a half length win over Kishlawn Cayden in second. The time was 30.41.
Fast-forwarding to race seven and the final of the €800 to the winner ‘Hotel Minella A4 550’ was next on the agenda and this was landed by the strong-staying Byrneville Mouse. It was Swiller King and Ballintemple Lou who disputed the lead early on in this contest, however, after making steady progress throughout, Byrneville Mouse was edging close approaching the penultimate turn. Swooping to the front at this point, the daughter of Skywalker Farloe and Cousin Bluey, owned by the Connolly-Syndicate, stayed on very strongly to cross the line with a length and a half in hand over Bogger Biggav in second. The time was 30.70.
The concluding final on last night’s Clonmel card was the final of the ‘Premier Asphalt Roofing Systems A3 550’, carrying a prize of €850. Malvern Avenue was expected to have a big say in the outcome of this event and it was the Larry Ellard-owned black who showed first from traprise. Setting a strong gallop thereafter, the son of Droopys Jet and Stormy Pippa came under strong pressure in the closing stages from both Fagans Elimay and Fleeting Angel, however, Malvern Avenue was all out to score. A length in it at the winning line, the time was a good 30.30.
ALL SQUARE IN CLONMEL & THURLES TRACK CHALLENGE
Elsewhere on the card, the inter-track challenge between Thurles and Clonmel finished honours even as both tracks sent out two winners from the four events on display.
The first challenge came in race one and it was the Liam Peacock-owned Thurles runner, Bogger Buck who won comfortably. It was Polkadotty who led early on wearing the striped jacket, however, Bogger Buck maintained a wide course to swoop around the outside and go second. The son of Dorotas Woo Hoo and Bogger Bonnie looked menacing at this point and he duly stormed to the front rounding the penultimate bend to stay on strongly and score. Coming home three lengths clear of Polkadotty in second, the time was 29.35.
Shortly after, Waitforthecuckoo made it 2-0 to Thurles after a very polished performance in an A5 525. Jointly owned by Frank Tynan and Oliver Moriarty. It was Giglis Bellissimo who rounded the opening turn in control from trap one but proving a worthy adversary, Waitforthecuckoo swooped round to go second. Much like Bogger Buck earlier, the daughter of Ballymac Eske and Yassoo Kitty stepped it up a notch at the penultimate turn and she drew clear of her rivals to cross the line with four lengths to spare over Giglis Bellissimo in second. The time was a smart 28.94.
Clonmel started their revival in the next challenge which was an A4 525 landed in dramatic fashion by Flashy Cooper (Good News - Heavens Lilly). Owned by James Heffernan, Flashy Cooper came away racing from five but after almost hitting the deck rounding the opener, it was Dark And Sharp who went clear into the back straight. However, recovering brilliantly was Flashy Cooper in second and he delivered a perfectly timed run to wear down the leader and cross the line with a head to spare. The time was 29.25.
In the final challenge of the night, Dromana Lee ensured honours were even between the Tipperary venues in race eight, an A3 525. It was Thurles runner Cabra Veyron who showed first from trap three and he took a length advantage into the back straight where he was joined by Dromana Lee on the outside. However, the latter showed the superior gears down the back straight to take control of the contest and after swooping the penultimate turn, the son Ballymac Best and Old Fort Dakota, owned by Andrew Moloney, turned the screw to cross the line four lengths clear of Cabra Veyron in second. The time was 29.06.