Peter Farrell

Kindly sponsored by the Stud owners, the final of the 2022 Munster Juvenile Cup took place at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium last night and Murt Leahy made it back-to-back wins in the Cup as Lilywhite Queen led from outset to claim the €5,000 first prize.

Sawdust Hondo landed an upset in the 2021 running of the Munster Juvenile Cup and lightning was to strike twice at Clonmel last night as Lilywhite Queen, although landing her semi final in good style, was still available at 4/1 prior to the off. Riverside Fudge was sent off the even money favourite after his explosive 28.36 effort last time out but there was nothing lucky about the performance of Lilywhite Queen as she led from the outset to hold on gamely to score. Owned by Paul Finn, Lilywhite Queen (Droopys Sydney - Dunquin Anna) was the most experienced tracker coming into the decider and she made this tell as she rocketed from trap three to lead early doors. Stalked in behind by Riverside Fudge, the reserve Bens Teddy, and Romeo Turbo rounding the opener, there was little to separate the quartet heading into the back but Murt Leahy’s charge showed brilliant pace to open a two length avantage heading into the penultimate corner. Posting a very smart 16.02 sectional to the third, Lilywhite Queen continued to set a relentless gallop and although challenged strongly in the closing yards by Riverside Fudge, she displayed bags of determination to hold on by half a length. A fantastic performance by the October 20’ whelp, the time was a rapid 28.52.


The opening race on the card was the Droopys Stud A4 525 final and Chamberlain Anne (Pestana - Glenegat Mildred) built on her semi final victory with another smart display. Owned by David O’Neill, Chamberlain Anne went off the 5/4 favourite but she completely missed the kick from trap two and was playing catch-up early on. Eskvale Weeman took charge entering the back but Chamberlain Anne stuck to her task well and she edged closer towards the business end of proceedings to prevail by a short head. The time was 29.27.

The FFK Sires A4/A5 550 was the next final down for decision and Armour Prince landed the spoils at odds of 3/1. Running from trap five, Armour Prince flashed from traps and he showed exceptional early speed to lead by three lengths around the opening corner. From here, William Esmonde’s charge maintained his healthy advantage and the son of Pat C Sabbath and Holycross Crash was three and a half lengths clear of Fahrenheit Lily crossing the line. The time was 30.15.

The final of the FFK Sires A3 525 was next on the agenda and this was landed in fine style by the Martin Costigan-owned Droopys Shaun. Trained by Murt Leahy, who was to land the feature later in the card, Droopys Shaun was the 6/4 favourite at the off but was led early on by Giddyup Bike in six. However, Droopys Shaun really knuckled down at the halfway mark and stormed past the early leader to hit the front at the penultimate turn. From here, it was one-way traffic for the son of Loughteen Blanco and Droopys Berry as he scored by two and a half lengths from Mustang Puma in second. The time was 28.74.

The final of the Droopys Stud A3 550 was next to follow and 5/2 chance Times Up Cheers, won easily for the Parachute Syndicate. Running from trap one, the well-bred son of Magical Bale and Ballydoyle Honey broke well on the fence and showed sizzling early speed to turn one length clear of Minor Trump in second. Excelling into a clear advantage down the back, there was to be no catching Times Up Cheers as he galloped to a comfortable, four and a half length victory over Minor Trump in second. The time was 30.11.

The last final down for decision was the Newpark Stud A2 525 and the Declan Byrne-trained Moorstown Buster came out on top at odds of 2/1. Running from trap two, Moorstown Buster was narrowly beaten by Chasing Maggie last time out but he was to reverse that form as he broke swiftly and made full use of his inside berth by barging his way through at the opening bend. Taking full control entering the back, the strong running son of Crash and Moorstown Debbie kept on well thereafter and was two lengths clear of Chasing Maggie crossing the winning line. The time was 28.90.

Many thanks are extended to the Stud Owners, Droopys, Newpark and Frightful Flash, for their sponsorship of last night’s Munster Juvenile final card.