Peter Farrell

The semi finals of the Kasko National Produce Stakes took place at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium on Sunday night and Romeo Taylor justified his outright favouritism with a thoroughly professional performance to go quickest.

Despite failing to win a round up to this point, Romeo Taylor was still the hot favourite in outright terms, such as his stunning early speed, and he got off the mark in emphatic style last night with a dominant display from the front. Trained by Graham Holland, who was represented by no fewer than fifty percent of the field, ‘Taylor’ went to boxes as the even money jolly and despite not breaking as fluently as he can, he excelled in between both Unanimouspanther and Canya Steve early on to lead. Running a terrific and indeed courageous opening corner to shoot clear of Unanimouspanther, trouble in behind saw several runners impacted and suddenly, Dave Firmager’s charge found himself with a four length lead passing the sprint boxes. Setting a blistering gallop down the back, the sectional for the son of Newinn Taylor and Fabulous Mila stopped the sectional clock in a rapid 15.95 and he continued to fend off the challenge of the massive Unanimouspanther in second. The battle was well and truly on in third between Romeo Kingpin and Canya Steve, however, there was no doubt over the winner as Romeo Taylor saw out the trip expertly to win by two and a half lengths from Unanimouspanther in second. Romeo Kingpin held on for third a further seven lengths adrift, and the time was a scorching 28.44.


In the second semi, the aptly named In Good Time (2/1) finished at speed to land the spoils for Kerry handler, Brendan Maunsell.

Indeed, the Tralee track record holder, who of course clocked that superb 27.91 in early May, caught the eye in defeat last time out and he built on that performance brilliantly to recover from what was, by his standards, a tardy start from five. In contrast, both Hot Wood in six and Quarry Boy in one flew from traps to dispute the early running with In Good Time (Droopys Sydney – Peters Queen)occupying third. Some bumping in behind saw the favourite, Silverhill Adam, shuffled back in the pack as both Hot Wood and Quarry Boy went stride for stride on the approach to the penultimate turn. However, something had to give as a result and unfortunately for the connections of Hot Wood, it was Gerry Holian’s runner who was forced to check, in turn allowing In Good Time to improve into second with Quarry Boy now creating daylight out in front. That said, there was a certain inevitability surrounding the result as Quarry Boy, who struggles with the trip, began to fade in front and this allowed In Good Time to fly around the outside and seal victory. The 18/1 Quarry Boy sealed second for Paula Heffernan, while Silverhill Adam (5/4) got up for third. The time returned a smart 28.73. (Sec: 16.08)

The trap draw for the final of the €20,000 Classic was made shortly after and is as follows :









Elsewhere on the card, there were several sweepstakes that continued to progress and in the opener, which was the ‘Clonmel Track Members A3 525’, the standard was set by Ascot Logan (9/2). Jointly owned by Billy Murphy and Francis Mullan, this tracker won by eleven lengths last time out and he produced a similar performance last night. Breaking best of all from five, the son of Laughil Blake and Ascot Grace wasn’t for catching as he made every yard to cross the line two and a half lengths clear of Foxrock Pippa in second. The time was 28.93. In the second semi, Sinbolina justified 11/8 favouritism with another trap-to-line victory. Trained by Maurice Organ for Pamela Holt, the daughter of Pestana and Sinfonia is all about early speed and she implemented perfectly from four to make every post a winner. One and a half lengths clear of Slaneyside Messi in second, the time was 29.15.

Next up was the semi finals of the ‘Tom Piper Delahunty Memorial A2 550’ and Ardera Freya produced a blistering display to go quickest for William Brennan. A daughter of Head Bound and Fork Lightning, who has just turned two, this lady was a fine winner in 29.84 last time out and she was never under pressure in this contest as she led early from two to press home her lead in the closing yards and win by four and a half from Julies Gem in second. The time was 29.68. In the opening semi, the Jennifer O’Donnell-trained Scooby Camaro also produced a hugely impressive victory to go one better than his second place finish last time out. 7/2 at the off, Steve Noble’s charge pinged out from three and showed the superior early speed to turn in front. Maintaining a solid gallop throughout, the son of Ballymac Anton and Whitings Gift never relented in crossing the line two and a half lengths clear of Fiery Jack in second. The time was 29.89.

The semis of the ‘Kieran Purcell Snr. Memorial Guys & Dolls 525’ were next on the agenda and they will all have to go some to stop Airfield Katie from landing this decider as the 4/7 shot, trained by Michael O’Meara for Fergus Walsh, made it back-to-back wins in style. A winner by ten lengths last time out, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Airfield Biddy meant business once again from trap six with a slick exit to lead. In doing so, she drew clear of her rivals to cross the line seven and a half lengths ahead of Beaming Opium in second. The time was 28.65. In the opening semi, Serene Warrior, trained by Michael O’Donovan for Eddie Ryan, was ultra impressive in recovering from an early bump to win emphatically. A son of Ballymac Bolger and Charity Anna, the white and blue puppy pulled clear wearing black and he crossed the line eleven lengths clear of Jacko Carvoeiro in second. The time was 29.07, however, make no mistake this October puppy will go considerably quicker sooner rather than later.