AUTHORITY of Northern Hunt began the season as he finished the 2022 campaign with a comfortable win in the Clogheen Senior Draghunt at Glenville on Sunday.
The John O’Callaghan trained hound the reigning All Ireland champion and joint Senior champion looks to have the measure of his opponents again judging by his display on this occasion.
In the race to the tape, the winner crossed the tape ahead the Trina and Ken Long-trained Blue Lad from the Southern/Carrigaline Harriers club.
The consistent Captain James trained by Barry O’Keeffe of Shanakiel Harriers filled third ticket with Midday Charmer, Time will Tell and Zion the minor placed hounds.
Speaking after the draghunt the winning trainer praised his hound's resilience. “Authority has given our kennel many great days and although it was the opening draghunt of our season the pace he showed on the finish was impressive.”
In the Senior Maiden Draghunt, last year's Puppy champion Kilbrittain Girl of Shanakiel Harriers showed her class when getting up to win from the Tristan Herlihy trained Dublin Pike Lass of the Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers club.
Northern Hunt trainers Gary and Adam O’Sullivan will be pleased with the run of Step Ahead who took third ticket ahead of High Maintenance, Magic’s Pride and Naoi.
The winning trainer Kieran Kearney was naturally delighted to get this campaign off to a winning start. "A great way to get our season off to a winning start but it's early days to be getting carried away."
The Puppy season opened on Saturday at the same venue and it proved a great day for Mayfield trainer Troy O’Mahony when his aptly named Hannah Banana landed the spoils in the style of a useful hound.
Northern Hunt trainer John O’Callaghan has three useful pups from his Senior joint champion Authority and two of them filled second and third tickets with Ashcroft and Amazing.
For the record, the other hound in the kennel Authentic ran also ran a cracking draghunt to fill sixth place.
The remaining ticketing hounds were the Thomas Murray Shanakiel Harriers trained Chloe’s Boy in fourth and Dave and Damien Kidney’s Samantha’s Show of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers.
The winning trainer Troy O’Mahony missed the opening win of the season as he was in Liverpool with his daughter and co-trainer Ava but he was naturally delighted when his father Johnny informed him of the win. "A great start but in reality too early to be getting carried away and it’s just a case of hoping we have an injury-free season."
In the veteran grade sparse numbers continue with the honours going to the Sean and John O’Sullivan Griffin United trained The Butcher Boy who crossed the tape ahead of Mayfield hound Magic’s Lad.
1. Authority (Northern Hunt); 2. Blue Lad (Southern/Carrigaline Harriers); 3. Captain James (Shanakiel Harriers); 4. Midday Charmer (Mayfield); 5. Time will Tell (Shanakiel Harriers); 6. Zion (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers).
1. Kilbrittain Girl (Shanakiel Harriers); 2. Dublin Pike Lass (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers); 3. Step Ahead (Northern Hunt); 4. High Maintenance (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers); 5. Magic’s Pride (Mayfield); 6. Naoi (IHT).
1. Hannah Banana (Mayfield); 2. Ashcroft (Northern Hunt); 3. Amazing (Northern Hunt); 4. Chloe’s Lad (Shanakiel Harriers); 5. Samantha’s Show ( Southern/Carrigaline Harriers); 6. Authentic (Northern Hunt).
1. The Butcher Boy (Griffin United); 2. Magic’s Lad (Mayfield).