*Donal Cooney. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Wins at the Galway Track on Friday and Saturday night for Owner Trainer Donal Cooney proved the ideal start for the O’Callaghans Mills man who continued his winning streak in Cusack Park as part of the management team that led the Fireballs back into the last eight of the Clare SHC.
Friday’s four quarter-finals of the welcome back to sport A4 graded 525 Yards Stake dominated proceedings at Galway. The Cooney owned and trained Killuran Puma showed plenty of pace and stamina as he made all the running to outpoint Rising Turbo by a length and a quarter in 29.20.
Away well, the winner outpaced Grahams Jet on the run towards the opening bend and railing well he led by a length entering the back straight. Approaching the third bend Raising Turbo closed on the inner but the door was shut in his face as Killuran Puma tracked well to run out a game winner in the end.
The Third Quarter Final went in superb style to the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained Astro Abby who never saw another rival as he trounced them by upwards of five and a quarter lengths in a superb 28.86. The daughter of Storm Control and Cragbrien Shawl was away like the wind from her trap three berth and approaching the opening bend she led Killanin Sky by two lengths but that rival had closed to within a length as they closed on the halfway mark with Rathmeehan Hill in third place. At the third bend though Astro Abby went through the gears and the Pepper-Williams-Murray Syndicate owned lady drew clear in the straight for an authoritative victory.
Own Spice won the concluding quarter-final. Owned by John Browne of Ballyea, he led at the third bend on his way to a four and a quarter length success over Burren Ripple in 28.83.
Siobhan Garrahy’s Cloneyogan Blaze took the spoils in the A3 graded seventh contest on Saturday night. After finding another gear at the finish, Cloneyogan Blaze scored a three lengths victory in a sizzling 28.81.
In what was the second win on the track for the Cooney clan, Full Flight owned by Gary Cooney held off Typical Birch drawing clear in the straight to score by three and three quarter lengths in 29.23.
Mr Logan owned by Roslevan’s Eve and Martin Crowe made it two wins from two starts with a seven length triumph over Corrandulla Brae in 19.23. Approaching the opening bend though the Donal Duggan of Tulla trained runner looked in bother with a wall of runners headed by Corrandulla Brae kind in front of him but just as they reached the bend a gap appeared on the rails and Mr Logan needed no second invitation as he powered through and settled the outcome in a matter of strides.
Kilwest Lucky owned by the Keating Syndicate from Ennis and Kilmihil never left the inside rail in the A6 graded sixth contest proving a length and a half too good for the staying in Puck Out in 29.32.