Clonmel Take Two – National Meeting Review

Well, what a week we have been treated to. Two ‘Clonmels’ in one season. At first there was disappointment at the frost playing havoc and causing the postponement of the final day.

But, as I have said before everyone was happy that the welfare of the main attractions were put first. So, to super Sunday we looked and what a spectacle we had in store. Quarter finals, Semi-finals and finals awaited us but, weather was once again playing games. Fog fell on the field from early morning with no sign of the sun to burn it off… the rumuor mill was in overdrive, were we faced with another postponement? Thankfully, the fog lifted enough to get started just before 1pm…

On Sunday morning news started to filter quickly that Defacto was to be withdrawn from the Boylesports Derby which left the favourite, Timber House with a bye straight into the Semi-Final. But it wasn’t to be for the red hot favourite who was beaten in a thrilling semi-final by eventual winner Feel My Pulse trained by Dan Brassil. In the other semi-final Portane Allin came out on top against Blades Of Hope but after a bit of work and picked up an injury he had to be withdrawn from the final and Feel My Pulse was declared winner.

In fairness to Feel My Pulse, the bigger they were, the harder they fell. He came up against the big guns and one by one he knocked them out. Trainer Dan Brassil was always confident about his runner.

In the Greyhound and Pet World Oaks, Vienna Calling ran out a very deserving winner, she was very consistent throughout the stake and showed a real liking to the raising ground. She is trained by Michael Murphy and is a daughter of Adios Alonso and Call Up. A few nice bets were struck on this lady but we were very happy to pay out! Leigh Smokey did give her connections a great few days in Clonmel and ran extremely well in defeat and you have to give credit where credit is due.

Needham Marie was a most deserving winner of The Grace Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes which got underway on Sunday. The Brendan Matthews trained runner, who was giving him his 20th classic winner at the festival was incredibly impressive in her win beating Reserve B, Floating Cove in the Final. She was available at a nice price of 9/2 before the competition started but after the first round you could see that was value!

There was a very popular winner of the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes in the shape of Blueview Charlie owned and trained by James ‘Maxi’ Collins. He has been very unlucky over the last few years in Clonmel so really deserved to come away with a big one. Charlie never put a foot wrong over the two days and was a true professional on his hare. Vale View Flyer, the runner up had huge support in the stand. The cheer would make the hair stand on the back of your neck. Well done to the “If The Truth Be Told syndicate” ye got the award for the support of the week! Well done also to Blue Abella and Ardmore Rusty in the Kitty Butler and the T.A Morris stakes.

Overall, it was a great few days coursing, fair play to the two young officials having their first attempt at the National Meeting. Brian and Brendán both played blinders as did veterans Liam Kelly and Martin Murphy. Top class hares as per usual and a great meeting over all. The one thing I hope they look at after it all is the new escape, there was just something amiss with it. Well done to Eugene Cooney, DJ Histon, Brian Divilly and all at team Powerstown for another successful event. Only another 357 days until Clonmel 2016!

Tipperary & District Coursing Club
We are being spoiled at the moment as we have yet another weekend’s action to look forward to. This weekend Tipperary and District hold their annual meeting in Galbally. This meeting is always a good pointer for next seasons all aged dogs and I’m sure this weekend will be no different. I was speaking to club stalwart Michael O’Connell during the National Meeting and he was really happy with preparations for the weekend, hare stock are in very good order and the running surface was never better.

It promises to be a great meeting as always. We have betting available for three stakes taking place this weekend which are The Armshaw Champion Puppy Stake, The Junction All Aged Cup and the All Age Bitch Stake. I’m a big fan of Central Curator (3/1) in the All Aged Cup, he has had a stop start career but if all is well with this Northern runner he can be a big player here. Anyone looking for a bit of value should look at Grayacre Star (6/1) this third season runner is a real tough genuine dog and won’t give in too easy. In the Champion Puppy Stake the stand out runner is Tynwald Wayne (4/1) he is a pup who I thought would pick up a trial stake but failed to deliver, he can redeem himself here and provide Michael O’Donovan some bit of consolation after Clonmel.

Judiligence (5/1) could put in a bold show at the bottom half of the draw. All of us here will be cheering on Ashmore Phantom (6/1)! In the All Age Bitch stake Magical Amira (4/1) only has one outing this year and ran very well in her first course, she has good form from last year and if she can reproduce that she will go very close for the Guilfoyle family, Princess Suzie (4/1) looks a bit of value also.

All that is left to say is well done to all runners at the National Meeting for making it the greatest show on earth. Congratulations to the owners, breeders and trainers of all the winners last weekend and we hope to see you all again next year.