ANOTHER outstanding finishing performance from Authority of Northern Hunt ensured glory in the Singleton’s SuperValu Donal O’Mahony Senior draghunt at Blarney on Sunday afternoon.
What a day for the sport as people young and old converged on the mid-Cork venue in beautiful weather that created a carnival atmosphere.
The hounds were slipped at Newcastle before making their way to Killowen as they veered towards Birch Hill and from there it was back to the finish.
The warm conditions saw the organisers reduce the distance of the course and well done to all concerned for making this wise decision for the welfare of all hounds.
Reports from all vantage points suggested the hounds were racing with vigour and pace but it proved a disappointing day for race favourite Slievemish Spring of Clogheen who refused to race much to disappointment of his trainer and many backers in the betting ring.
When the hounds came into view there was a cluster vying for the lead as they dropped in before taking the ascendancy to the finishing tape.
Before they went out of sight it was evident Authority was bang there and as they appeared into sight it became a one dog race as he romped to a comfortable success.
For his dedicated trainer John O’Callaghan it was a day to savour as he paid tribute to his champion hound.
O’Callaghan said: “What can I say only that I am very lucky to have had the luck to have got this hound early in his career as they mustn’t have thought very much of him in Cumbria to have sold him so reasonable.” Back in April Slievemish Weapon suffered a serious skin injury and it was a worrying time for his trainer.
“When I first saw him the alarm bells went off but to be truthful he was just unlucky and we had him treated intensely for a month that saw him make a remarkable recovery.
“I won this draghunt also last year with Audacity but today feels a bit more special as I think this hound on this best day is sheer class and I think the manner in which he finished is testament to that today.”
Donal O’Donovan of Griffin United will be wondering what it will actually take to win the Donal O’Mahony Senior draghunt as his charge Little Miss finished runner for the second consecutive year.
Blue Lad has been a wonderful servant to the Southern/Carrigaline Harriers husband and wife training partnership of Ken and Trina Long and once again he gave his all to snatch third ticket.
In a race that was competitive from start to finish lets pay tribute to the remaining ticketing hounds Jamie’s Lady, Jase Star and Eden Lad.
The day started with the Puppy draghunt and it proved to a memorable one for Stephen and Kyle Quilligan of Northern Hunt when their charge Sally’s Girl landed the spoils.
In a driving finish the winner saw off Wolfe Tone Lass of Mayfield and championship leader Kilbrittain Girl of Shanakiel Harriers.
The remaining ticketing hounds in this race were the IHT trio of Tiger’s Boy, Diamond and Penny’s Girl.
There was natural elation in the winners camp.
“This is our first hound and to win at this meeting is a dream come true for all my family,” said Stephen Quilligan.
In the Veteran draghunt the Denise Rall trained Magic’s Lad showed his consistency to finish ahead of Misty Jack trained by Ger and Jennifer Kenneally of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers.
The concluding race of the day in the Senior Maiden draghunt proved to be major shock when the Joe and Gary Freyne Clogheen trained Zola romped to an impressive success.
Having failed to get in the mix this season the winner crossed the tape comfortably ahead of the consistent Maxine Silver trained by Kieran Kearney of Shanakiel Harriers.
The IHT duo of Prince Reece and Mrs Briggs filled third and fourth tickets ahead Kerry Star and Max.
Results Singleton’s Supervalu Donal O’Mahony Senior: 1. Authority (Northern Hunt); 2. Little Miss (Griffin United); 3. Blue Lad (Southern/Carragaline Harriers); 4. Jamie’s Lady (Clogheen); 5. Jase Star (Mayfield); 6. Eden Lad (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers).
Senior Maiden: 1. Zola (Clogheen); 2. Maxine Silver (Shanakiel Harriers); 3. Prince Reece (IHT); 4. Mrs Briggs (IHT); 5. Kerry Star (Griffin United); 6. Max (IHT).
Puppy: 1. Sally’s Girl (Northern Hunt); 2. Wolfe Tone Lass (Mayfield); 3. Kilbrittain Girl (Shanakiel Harriers); 4. Tiger’s Boy (IHT); 5. Diamond (IHT); 6. Penny’s Girl (IHT).
Veteran: 1. Magic’s Lad (Mayfield); 2. Misty Jack (Southern/Carrigaline Harriers).