Peter Farrell

It was Clonmel’s turn to cap off 2021 in style last night and it was Graham Holland who dominated proceedings at the Suirview circuit as he accounted for a treble on the night with the highlight being the performance of Matts Rocket

Running in race ten, Matts Rocket is jointly owned by Ryan & Gareth Nugent and has always been in possession of a big engine which is evident from his 21.33 spin around Dundalk earlier in the year. However, returning from a lengthy layoff, the October 19’ son of Laughil Blake and Matts Monica really put his rivals to the sword last night with an emphatic display. Running from trap four, Matts Rocket was quickly into stride and soon put daylight between himself and his rivals as he accelerated brilliantly into the opening bend. From here, he extended his lead to stop the third bend sectional clock at a rapid 15.97. Maintaining a strong gallop thereafter, Matts Rocket crossed the line with five lengths in hand over Coolbeg Whatical in second as the clock returned a sizzling 28.49.


Earlier in the card, Riverside Blake got the ball rolling in race seven, the Sporting Press Online Open 525.

Owned by Larry O’Rourke and trained by Graham Holland, Riverside Blake was in the wars on his last start but bounced back brilliantly to win what was a good class affair. Fast away from trap three, the son of Laughil Blake and Galloping Maeve showed tremendous early dash to outpace his rivals early on. Taking a handsome lead into the back, Clondoty Seamie emerged as the main threat and began to eat into the lead in the closing stages. However, after making every yard, Riverside Blake held on to score by a length and a half in 28.62.


The second part of the treble was won by the David Firmager-owned Romeo On Tilt.

Only an April puppy, Romeo On Tilt had some impressive qualifying form but was having just his second career start in what was an A3 525. Moderately into stride wearing the red jacket, Romeo On Tilt showed fizzing early gears on the inside and he maintained his position well to sneak through rounding the opener. Holding a four length advantage down the back, the son of Kilty Lad and Fabulous Pin maintained a strong gallop all the way to the winning line as he stopped the clock in 28.62.


Race two saw novice greyhounds take to the track and it was Fairys Return who produced an excellent performance to win by an amazing thirteen lengths. Owned by Patrick McCormack and trained by David Flanagan, this young May puppy proved too hot to handle from the outset as he broke well from four before displaying immediate acceleration to shoot clear. Holding a healthy advantage down the back, the son of Ballymac Eske and Hovex Grace drew even further clear thereafter as he stopped the clock in an impressive 28.88.