Peter Farrell

The semi finals of the Thatch Bar & Restaurant National Produce Stakes served up some terrific action at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium last night and Clonbrien Treaty returned to his very best form to head into this week’s decider as the one to beat.

With just the two greyhounds scheduled to qualify from the three semi finals last night, there was no margin for error and it’s fair to say that the cream certainly rose to the top as Clonbrien Treaty, despite failing to win a round up to last night, delivered an incredible performance to get his bid for an historic Juvenile Classic double back on track.


Trained by Graham Holland for James and Muireann Murphy, Clonbrien Treaty (Pestana – Clonbrien Millie) has been feeling his way into this year’s Produce Stakes and its testament to the greyhound that he reached the semi finals despite failing to produce his very best form up to last night. Sent off as the 2/1 joint favourite in the opening semi final, the reigning Kirby King was to make absolutely no mistakes this time around as he trapped smartly from six to display that blistering early speed to round the opener in control. Once doing so, there was to be no question of the outcome. Setting a devastating pace down the far side, Hukum was to emerge as his nearest challenger in second and although running an unbelievable race in second, Clonbrien Treaty wasn’t to be denied on this occasion as he stormed into the €20,000 decider, while posting a fastest time of the Classic thus far. Two and a half lengths better off than the hugely talented Hukum in second, the time was an exceptional 28.09 .10s, firmly establishing himself as the one to beat in six days’ time.


Graham Holland was also responsible for the second semi final winner as Clona Shadow, formally known as Chasing Trooper, made it back-to-back wins in the competition.

Now under the ownership of Kevin O’Brien, Clona Shadow was sent to traps as a 3/1 shot and he made his intentions clear from the off with another slick exit from trap two. In contrast, Sober Glory, who was sent off as the 2/5 favourite, broke last of all and despite showing fine early dash, was sent sideways at the opening corner which ultimately brought his Produce Stakes tilt to an end. Clona Shadow, however, was at the head of proceedings and continued to set a strong gallop from Burgess Supreme in second. Stopping the third bend sectional clock in a brisk 16.10, the son of Malachi and Absolutely Ace showed super stamina in the closing yards to draw clear of Burgess Supreme and win by four lengths. The time was 28.60 .10s.


In the third semi final, there was to be another shock result as Ower Mystery (Droopys Sydney – Nice Mystery) prevailed at odds of 4/1.

Optic Chico was sent to traps as the even money favourite in this contest but a poor start saw him get into all sorts of trouble early doors, ending his unbeaten run through the Classic. In contrast, it was Ower Mystery, who won his opening round assignment in 28.63 .10s, who trapped wisely from five to show his customary early gears. In control rounding the opener, the Pat Buckley-trained charge, owned by A.G Harvey, was never under pressure thereafter as he saw off Mendelson, who ran a big race in second to hold off Borna Mick. Three and a half lengths separating the pair, the time for Ower Mystery was a swift 28.46 .10s.

The draw for the Thatch Bar & Restaurant National Produce Stakes was made shortly after and is as follows :








The supporting card was also very strong at Clonmel last night and in the ‘Modified Ltd A1/A2 550’, Riverside Lisa went quickest. Running from trap five, Riverside Lisa was only moderately into stride and was led early on by Classic Chick in three. A two-dog affair developed down the back but it was the Graham Holland-trained bitch who displayed the superior stamina in the closing stages to prevail. Four and a half lengths clear crossing the line, the daughter of Newinn Taylor and Rural Maui posted a rapid 29.88 .10s for the 550-yard trip.

The final of the TIME Graders Derby went down for decision in race three and this went the way of the favourite as Robs Hero continued to impress. Trained by Paraic Campion for Osmond Bennett, the August whelp emerged from a level break to show sizzling early pace and lead. From here, it was all one-way traffic for the son of Boyhero as he drew clear of his rivals to win by five and a half lengths. The time was a fast 28.70 .10s.

The semi finals of the ‘Explosive Boy @ Stud A1/A2 525’ was next to follow in race five and both semis were landed in identical fashion by Unreal Bruiser and Flashy Farloe. Unreal Bruiser was the first to score for Pat & Justin Muldoon, again trained by Graham Holland. Overcoming an early bump, the son of Droopys Sydney and Fork Lightning wasn’t to be undone as he showed fine determination to reel in Daring Bowie and score by two and a half lengths. The time was 28.92 .10s and that was matched in the second semi by Flashy Farloe. In contrast to Unreal Bruiser, Flashy Farloe was perfect at traprise as he pinged the lids from six to take control. Owned by James Heffernan, this proved a straightforward task for the son of Skywalker Farloe and Cabra Diva as he romped to a five and a half length victory.

The card concluded with the semi finals of the Kieran Purcell Snr. Memorial A3 550 and it was Corbrack Dan who went quickest. Jointly owned by Killian & Peter Power, the veteran tracker recorded a twelfth career victory as he trapped best of all from six to head the early exchanges. From here, he held off a strong challenge from Golden Palace to win by a head, in a time of 30.33 .10s.