A good crowd turned up at Thurles on Saturday night for the semi finals of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup which has a prizefund of over E15000, The final is being run next Sunday night, the first race is timed for 7.30pm.
The first semi final last Saturday was won by the Declan Byrne trained Coolard Chief a recent winner of the Irish Examiner Stake a couple of weeks back. Running from trap three the winner was quickly into his stride and took the bend on the outside of some crowding and from here on he went on to hold off the late challenge of Colourful Marco in a time of 29.09 with Kilgraney West another three quarters back in third place.
The favourite Glideaway Ace owned by Jimmy Ferncombe and Clive Taylor and trained by Peter Cronin was an all the way winner of the second semi final. Unbeaten in this stake so far the winner went clear on the run to the bend and was always holding the challenge of Castlelyons Ralf who was a length adrift at the line with Stunning Tina another four and a half lengths back in third place. The winner has won six of his ten races.
Also up for decision was the Ladbrokes Derby Trial Stake which was won impressively by the Paul Dillon owned Bua Dearg. Ideally drawn in trap one this fellow was headed from traps but showed a nice turn of foot to take it up going into the bend. From here he got the better of a tussle with Judicial Academy on the back straight and pulled away to win by two and a half lengths from Cleevehill Manor in 30.24 with Judicial another length and a half back in third place.
The opener an S7 sprint was won by Gaytime Walter who was slowly away but showed the superior pace to the bend and went right away to score by six lengths from Borris Bridge in 20.00 with loyal Pupil another length back in third place.
The second race a semi final of the Pumpkin Kennel A3 semi final was won by recent sales purchase Home Tiger owned by Kathy Latheiff. Making it two on the trot the winner was led in the early stages but shot clear at the bend and went away to win by two and a half lengths from Kilgraney Hawkeye with Monadreen Star another four lengths back in third place. The time here was 33.44.
Porter Bob owned by John Quelly was another all the way winner of the second heat. Running from trap six the winner was quickly away and made every post a winning one crossing the line seven lengths clear of Imperial Way in a time of 33.13 with Gimme Spartan another two lengths back in third place.
The third semi final was won by Jack Molloys Lough Moskova who clocked 33.54. This fellow looked in trouble when well in arrears on the back straight but he showed a terrific turn of foot on the back straight to come through on the run for home to beat long time leader Lahern Dancer by three quarters with Point Syatem another three lengths back in third place.
The fifth race on the card was won by the well bred Move Over Bono who got a flier from trap six and was never headed. Going right away on the back straight the winner scored by a massive nine lengths from Jamesys Gate in 29.16 with All goes Well another short head back in third place. The winner was having the second race of his career and is owned by Jack Drinan Charleville.
There was a close finish to the sixth race an A2 Thurles Fresh Milk stake. Heat one was won by Eamon Lloyds Knockroe Castle who clocked 29.25. making it eleven career wins. Clocking 29.25 the winner was led on the back straight by Doc Herman but took it up approaching the top bends and went on to hold off the late challenge of Bantiss Sonia by a half length with doc another length back in third place.
Another to come from behind was the Michael O Donovan trained Tynwald Bolt in the second semi final. Owned by Terry Corden this fellow completely mistimed his break and well in arrears on the run to the bend and on the back straight. Taking it up at the last bend he went right away to win by three lengths from Tipp Jewels in 29.13 with Beat The Cats another half length back in third place.