*Coolavanny Chick. Photograph: Steve Casey
When Noel Hehir places Coolavanny Chick in trap six on Saturday night for the English Greyhound Derby Final, it will mark another milestone in the history of Ennis/Clarecastle Coursing Club.
Considered as one of the hardest working members of the club, Noel’s name does not roll off the tongue in English greyhound racing circles but it holds high esteem across the water.
Present secretary of the club, Johnnie Moroney recalled that Coolavanny Chick started her career by winning the members stake at their Annual Meeting in 2019. Newhall Missile owned by present Chairman of the Club, Noel Coote and the late Colin Barry went on to win the Consolation Irish Derby in 2018, he too was a winner of the clubs members stake.
John Browne who trained Newhall Missle is another hard working member of the club, he hails from Cree while his dad the late Michael Browne won the Track Irish Oaks with Burnpark Sally in 1984.
Lifelong members of the club, the Quinn family from Lower Market St in Ennis tasted success in 1950 with Cahercalla Rebellion winning the Irish Oaks in coursing. The Gallerys of Rockmount in Ennis are another family with a long association with the Ennis/Clarecastle Club, they were Champion Stakes Winners in Clonmel with Kilone Oak in 1987 and Cillowen Glory in 1995.
Two time All-Ireland winning captain, Anthony Daly is also a member of the club. Success came his way in 2002 with Murtys Gang winning the Irish Coursing Derby for ATM Syndicate which included Anthony, Tom Howard and Michael Daly.
The following year the Club made it a one/two in The Irish Coursing Derby with Danaghers Best winning for Eric Moloney. Proud veteran member Gerry Moloney is President of the Club he bred Sidaz Jack and was owned by Denis Torpey, the winner of the 2012 English Derby.
Coolavanny Chick will be well supported by many in Clare to be in the winners enclosure on Saturday Night. Noel Hehir is a handler with a hugely successful record, his greatest success came in 2008 with co-owners Pat Curtin & Margaret Montgomerie winning the Irish Track Greyhound Derby with Shelbourne Aston.