Peter Farrell

Thurles Park hosted a twelve race card last night and there was no surprises as to who stole the headlines as 2020 Champion Bitch Stake winner, Cabra Ava, produced a polished performance in landing the Open 330 contest in a blistering 17.59.

Returning for her first race in four months, Cabra Ava (Kinloch Brae - Cabra Smokey) had a couple of ding-dong battles with Explosive Boy prior to the break and she outlined her wellbeing with a slick 18.87 spin around HQ prior to last night’s contest. Led early on by Eleco last night, it didn’t take long for Cabra Ava to display her superiority as she took off upon hitting the sand and the red jacketed runner held a clear lead over Eleco rounding the first. As you would expect, Cabra Ava tracked brilliantly thereafter and Paddy Scally’s top hound stayed on stoutly in the closing yards to secure a three and a half length victory. The time was a blistering on 17.59 on a track rated .10 slow.


There was no shortage of fine displays on the night and Meduza proved best over the standard trip as she kick-started what was to be a double for John Meelam and John Byrne.

Meduza has mixed it with some of the best in training and after receiving a troublesome passage last time out at Limerick, she displayed all of her pace and power in landing race eight, an A1/A2 event. Jointly owned by John Meelam and Sean Ryan, Meduza was slowly into stride from trap two and she looked to have plenty on her plate as she trailed the field around the opening corner and into the back straight. However, showing a lovely turn of foot, the daughter of Good News - Jaytee Osprey cut through runners like a knife through butter to take charge at the penultimate corner. From here, it was a formality for the strong running bitch as she stayed on powerfully to cross the line two lengths clear of Cabra Dawn in second. The time was 28.73.

The double was completed in the very next race as Courty Girl made virtually all of the running to see of Heavens Shadow. Quickly into stride wearing the white jacket, the daughter of Laughil Blake - Killaheen Queen showed excellent early gears to take a four length lead into the back straight. From here, Courty Girl stuck to her task well and despite coming under later pressure from the eye-catching Heavens Shadow in second, she sealed victory by half a length at the line. The time was 29.17.


Another kennel who recorded a double on the night was that of Paraic Campion and his first winner came in the opening race of the session as Boleys Champ ran out an easy victor. 

Jointly owned by Michael Lonergan and Sean Mulligan, Boleys Champ (Scolari Me Daddy - Boleys Ace)had a modest qualifying campaign but he stepped it up on debut to race to a comprehensive win. Fastest into stride from trap four, Boleys Champ soon took control in the opening exchanges and despite the early advances of Private Jet in second, Campion’s charge proved a class above from the midway point on. Romping to an eight length success over Private Jet in second, the likeable September 19’ black clocked an estimated 29.23.

The double was completed in race six as Hollyhill Sonny overcame a bump early on to make it three wins from his last four starts at Thurles Park. Owned by Gerard Gubbins, Hollyhill Sonny was only moderately away from trap two and didn’t enjoy the clearest of passages early on. However, despite sitting some four lengths off the pace at the midway point, Hollyhill Sonny crucially had the rails advantage and he used this to full effect as he stayed on best of all the seal a three and a half length win. The time was 29.24.


There was one other very smart return in race eleven as the Adam Hogg owned Whizzing Katie recorded a first win since January in emphatic fashion.

A very well bred daughter of Droopys Jet - Volcano, Whizzing Katie broke best of all with Eskvale Gran in second but crucially holding the inside line from trap three, Hogg’s charge soon established a clear lead heading into the back straight. From here, Whizzing Katie wasn’t hanging around and as she extended her lead throughout, the chasing pack were now running simply for the minor honours. Coming home an easy, seven and a half length winner, the time was a fast 28.82.