Peter Farrell

Clonmel hosted no fewer than three sweepstake finals on Friday night and one suspects these were dress rehearsals for the upcoming Produce Stakes given some of the terrific performances on display.

The final of the ‘Upcoming Kasko Produce Stakes N2/N3 525’ produced a superb performance from the Owen McKenna-trained, 4/5 favourite, Cazador. Owned by the Auld-Creator-Syndicate, the July whelp won his opening career start in a rapid 28.70 and he came into the decider with plenty up his sleeve as a result. Running from trap two, the son of Malachi and Cielo rocketed from boxes and despite drifting to the middle, held a two length lead rounding the opening turn from Tree Top Pat in second. Setting a blistering gallop down the back, Cazador clocked 16.18 to the third turn and really turned on the style in the closing stages. Staying on very strongly, McKenna’s charge drew clear to win by six lengths in a very smart 28.33.


Highview Bizarr set the standard in the semi final of ‘Kasko Open Unraced 525’, however, it was Silverhill Ben that came from off-the-pace to score.

Installed as the 6/4 joint favourite alongside Highview Bizarr, it was in fact Only Live Once that bombed out of trap three to dictate the early yards. Turning third behind the leader and the improving Highview Bizarr, Silverhill Ben showed a lovely turn of foot to maneuver into second down the back and it was very much game on thereafter with Only Live Once still in charge. Trained by Graham Holland for Eugene Buckley, ‘Ben’ was very strong in the closing stages and the son of Ballymac Bolger and Silverhill Joyce was to wear down the longtime leader in the final 25-yards to win by one and a half lengths in 28.54.


The opening final on the night was the ‘Home Of The Produce Stakes N2/N3 Bitch 525’ and this went the way of Born Magic as she justified her even money price to make it back-to-back victories.

Trained by Jennifer O’Donnell for John Mitchell, Born Magic led from trap-to-line in her debut win and she was to implement similar tactics this time around in a more emphatic fashion. Running from trap one, the red jacket was the first to show in the opening yards and despite a slight stumble from the daughter of Ballymac Best and Marble Swallow, she still had too much early zip for her rivals. Turning with a clear daylight over Edermine Patty in second, Born Magic maintained a strong gallop thereafter to see off her rival by three and a half lengths, in 28.84.


The penultimate race on the night saw an explosive performance from the Paul Hennessy-trained Green Brigade as he broke his maiden tag in terrific fashion. Jointly owned by Brendan Cocoman and Ian Cunningham, the son of Knocknaboul Syd and Flaming Sahara was another to take control midway down the back as he raced past Born Racer in eye-catching style. Tracking brilliantly around the bottom two bends, Green Brigade was ultra-impressive in drawing clear of Tivoli Sophie thereafter and he emerged an eight length winner in a brisk 28.34.


Bockos Wazza was to hand Graham Holland on the night as the massive 85-pounder took off in the closing stages to win impressively. Owned by Beverley Lochead, the son of Ballymac Cashout and Beaming Smasher (1/1) was having just his second career start and he followed Still My Honey around the opening corner in a close second. Immediately turning on the after-burners, ‘Wazza’ powered past the leader at the midway point and proceeded to draw clear thereafter to win by an extending ten and a half lengths. The time was a fast 28.54.

Indeed, another kennel to seal a double at Clonmel on Friday night was that of Jennifer O’Donnell as Scooby Camaro justified his short price of 4/6 to win in style. Running from trap two, Steve Noble’s charge had plenty of work on his plate as Wilderness Tiger led early on with ‘Camaro’ sitting third heading into the back. However, the choicely bred son of Ballymac Anton and Whitings Gift took off down the back and he railed tightly to take control entering the penultimate bend. One-way traffic thereafter, Scooby Camaro quickly put six and a half lengths between himself and Marlfield Abbie to win in 29.01.