Kilflynn Coursing Club kicked off the new season with a terrific meeting last weekend and all associated with the fixture can feel extremely proud of a job well done. The hare stock was off the highest order, fit, healthy and full of running. The big winner on the day was Rosegreen trainer Kevin Barry, who captured the Reserve Derby Trial Stake and the Derby ticket on offer, as well as claiming the feature of the weekend the Denis Leen Memorial Cup with the long odds favourite Mad Mans Game.
Without doubt the most popular leg of Barry’s treble came when Kilmurly (NewInn Wonder/ Knockout Glory) claimed the Reserve Derby Trial Stake for The Glory Syndicate which is headed up by renowned Tarbert publican Thomas Coolahan.
The winner won all his courses en route to the final with the minimum of fuss, but the decider saw him pitted against kennel companion A Boy Dakid who had enjoyed a similar successful passage and it was no surprise to see the pair go to slips at equal odds of 4/6. Early supremacy would prove decisive, and Kilmurly showed in front through the opening yards. While his rival was never far off the pace, he failed to get on terms and to the cheers of vocal supporters, the winner ran on gamely up the testing incline to took the flag by half a length. Both finalists appear decent performers and should go on to claim full Trial Stake honours as the season progresses.
Another Tarbert winner on the day was Meek And Mild (Adios Alonso/ Vim And Vigour) from the kennels of John Flynn. The home bred January pup showed her class from the opening round of the competition when denying the well fancied Lone Wisdom. Following that effort it was no surprise to see her sport the red collar in the final against StepitoutAnnie.
Going to slips, the winner was a red hot favourite at ¼, but she didn’t get things all her on way and played second fiddle to her rival to halfway. Once Meek And Mild hit top gear she quickly reversed the placings and took full command of proceedings to run out a deserving winner by a length. No doubt, Meek And Mild will reappear against All Age company later in the season and any further improvement should see her current odds of 25/1 for Classic success diminish.
Mad Mans Game (NewInn Wonder/ Snowys Babe) justified favouritism to land the feature event of the weekend, the Denis Leen Memorial Cup. An All Age winner at Abbeydorney last term, Mad Mans Game was the class performer throughout the competition. The winner blew his rivals away with phenomenal early pace all weekend and went to slips the 1/2 favourite in the final against the Patrick O’Connor trained Amborella. Quickly into stride, Mad Mans Game again showed superior early dash from slips and by the midpoint held a commanding three-length advantage which he nursed through to the opening score.
The form book for the All Age Bitch Stake got flipped in the opening round when Shes Invincible (Adios Alonso/ Woodpark Fever) earned a convincing win over long odds jolly Lets Get Started. The Ray Conroy and Ollie Dunne owned bitch proved the victory was certainly no fluke by progressing through the Stake in impressive fashion and polished the deal when defeating Toor Candy by eight lengths in a one sided final. The winner had just one outing as a pup last term and looks a good thing to pick up a ticket this term for the 20/21 Oaks.
The 2021 Derby ticket was won by Brave (NewInn Wonder/ Laurdella Dani) and provided Kevin Barry with the final leg of his unique treble. Owned by Basil and Bernie Holian, the winner accounted for Crafty Taranto (2l) and Longchamp (3l) on finals day to secure passage through the deciding buckle.
Rossbrin Rebel had made steady progress from the bottom half of the draw but the Dan Brassil trained brindle was declared a non-runner for the final having got plenty to do following his two length semi-final success over Totes Emosh.
Brave is certainly an impressive sort who relishes the rising ground. His current mark of 20/1 may well seem generous when the National meeting comes around.
Lisselton trainer Willie Keane produced Lone Champ (Crafty Gonzalo/ Dublinfourdasher) to victory in the One Course Duffer Stake. The winner went to slips with Noeleen Egan’s Glenwood Molly in the deciding buckle and while there was little to choose between the pair through the opening yards, Lone Champ drew clear of his rival on the hill to take the opening score with four lengths in hand.
Boomtown Blaze (Drive On Smokey/ Wizard Blaze) came from off the pace to win the Working Members Stake for Brian O’Sullivan, Abbeyfeale. While his opponent Some Shenanigans made the early running, the winner was back on terms passing halfway and finished the contest much the stronger to hold a length and a half advantage at the turn.