The Laois Cup has attracted a good entry this year and in the top half Gorey winner Crafty Who reappears in a bid to double up on his points tally. Downtown James and Hotspot meet in a what will be an eagerly anticipated first round buckle for connections as both dogs are having their first runs since their victories in Knockgraffon and Enniscorthy respectively. In The Centre has been beaten by Make Peace and Needham Work since his win at Nenagh and if forgiving him those defeats he will have a big say in the top half. CoshairSlane and Grayacre Star are both winners meeting in the first round while Crohane trial stake winner Attention Matey will be tested in a first round buckle with dual trial stake winner and Abbeydorney Cup winner Vale View Flyer. The winner of this buckle could progress to the final with slight preference for Vale View Flyer for outright success.
Bigbadleroybrown went extremely close at Johnstown and Urlingford in the Derby trial stake and can again go close here while Call Here Alonso and Red Mania are capable performers to keep an eye on. Clerihan Misty led Droopys Sugar for a long way in the final of the Oaks trial stake in Waterford and may well land this reserve event.
The Second meeting of the season at East Donegal gets underway on Saturday of this week. The James Magee Memorial Cup and a cracking All-Age Bitch Stake are the highlights on the card.
Janeys Eoin is the only Cup winner in the top half of the James Magee and makes his first appearance since winning at Cavan. He will take some beating. Listen To Him was a runner-up in New Ross and this lightly coursed son of Bexhill Brian and WakeyWakey can give him most to do. In the bottom half Cup winners from last season, Central Curator and Fee Fontaine meet in the first round while Crohane runner-up Broadwell Johnny looks a likely semi-finalist. Preference goes to Janeys Eoin to supplement his Cavan victory with another win here.
The Hugh Duffy All-Age Bitch Stake looks to me, like the best renewal in a number of years. With seven All-Age Bitch Stakes between them this season and a total of thirteen victories in all it certainly is a high quality event. Hollyhill Rosie, recent Dungannon winner, can reach the semi-final with a minimum of fuss. The buckle of the round sees consistent third season performer, Glin winner and last year’s winner,Garrys Secret meet one of this seasons surprise packages in double scorer Primely Sceptre. Central Maven has been an unlucky lady and can meet Roadside Lady in a second round buckle while Charlie Faul’s double scorer Split Decision can overcome a second round buckle with Trim winner Corrupt Committee. Overall it’s going to be a fascinating stake and the highlight on the card. Split Decision may be too good however and is selected to land the event and move on to twelve points and head the ladies standings once again.
In the Derby Trial Stake Go On Dessie (Razor Ashmore/Urker Mo Ghra) is a very capable pup and had the trial stake at the first meeting all but wrapped up until he lost sight of a wayward hare in the final fifty yards of his semi-final when well clear of Crafty Enzo. He can make up for that misfortune with success here. Of the others, Do It King has been fast in his previous few runs while Northland Rebel looks the best in the top half. In the Reserve Oaks Healys Daughter has form with last month’s winner Flagfield Razor and may be best in the top half while Jubilation looks best in the bottom after two semi-final performances.
We were getting used to seeing Light Duty coast to impressive victories at East Donegal, this week he changes course slightly and contests the Walsh Cup at North Kilkenny. The result I feel however, will still be the same. Last year’s Derby semi-finalist and Gold Cup winner looks set to make his points tallyshift to eight this weekend. Barefoot Magnus is a capable third season runner and can face the selection in the semi-final. In the bottom half, Tilford Tom is the stand-out runner. This season’s Castleisland winner can add to his impressive tally of eight points as he is expected to overcome Father Flash and Glenlough Mick along the way. The younger Light Duty may just have too much for him in the final however.
Skellig Rose already sits on six Champion Bitch points and gets the nod to lift this All-Age at the weekend. A quarter-finalist in the Oaks last season she is a top class performer and may be given most to do by puppies Leigh Snowie and Annual Edition who both reappear after trial stake victories.
The top half of the Derby Trial Stake is a tight affair with Sunfire Central (RU), Adios King (RU), Annual Exchange (RU) and Waterford Reserve winner Wallers Lot Matt all involved. The winner of this half will certainly have to earn their final place and may meet Bedford Banker a semi-finalist from Castleisland in the final.
The Oaks Trial Stake is another tight stake with a host of runner-ups and semi-finalists. Among the fancies are Coffee In Spirit, Annual Encounter, Rocking Casanova and Onthegoagain, with preference just given to the latter Onthegoagain, a runner who may pay compliment to Mantann Maple’s form from Bandon.
Mitchelstown Coursing Club got their meeting underway on Monday and Tuesday of last week. Bango Malone (Jingles/Killea Millie) landed the Oisin Cup and moved on to six points in his bid for a place in the Champion Stakes line-up. A beaten finalist in a trial stake at Castletown Geoghan last year, he was also runner-up this season at Enniscorthy where he picked up his other two points.
The All-Age Bitch Stake was won by Rossmore (Johnny Casanova/Hard To Sell). A super consistent lady this year, beaten in the semi-final at Dungannon in November, she has since landed two All-Age Bitch Stakes at both Rathcormac and last week at the Mitchelstown meeting. Rossmore is now one of the six bitches to have doubled up on their Cup victories this season.
What A Legacy (Adios Alonso/Belated Legacy) went one better than his runner-up performance at Listowel with a victory here in the Derby Trial Stake. In two outings to date he has performed very well and made sure of his ticket last week. The Reserve Oaks Trial Stake went to another member of Cumbawn Ellen’s litter, this time Hi Five Yankee (Kyle James/Cumbawn Ellen) collected the silverware and takes up her position as sixth reserve for the Oaks.
With coursing taking place every day last week, Tradaree ran the second meeting of the week on Wednesday and Thursday.
Breska Lantern (Kyle James/Blades of Glory) was simply head and shoulders above anything else in the field when she collected her Oaks trial stake. Her clocks are phenomenal and she is now a clear 8/1 favourite for the Oaks. She paid a handsome compliment to the form of her litter sister, Boshki, who previously had beaten her at Doon. However this lady seemed much more forward on her second outing of the season. An impressive winner and one which will be watched closely at Powerstown.
The All-Age Cup was won by Alleyesonus (Kingsmill Dynamo/ShesThe West), a winner at Kilfynn in the Patsy Byrne Memorial, he took another step forward to land this event. The winner beat two cup winners, Ocean Sirocco and Blazing Music as well as Charleville runner-up CoogaMafi on the way to the final and overcame Windfarm Ben in the final.
The Derby Trial Stake was won by Derrylough Henry (Johnny Casanova/Sandyman Magic). The winner had only one previous outing where he was beaten in the first round at the Killimer/Kilrush meeting.
Coursing continued on throughout the week with joint meetings held at both Cappoquin and Castletowngeoghegan from Friday through to Sunday.
Cappoquin hosted Dungarvanin a joint meeting which provided some good winners.
To start with the Cappoquin stakes; the Fran Mangan All-Age Cup was won by last years demoted Champion Stakes winner, Corriga Rebel (Janey Mac Aroo/Glowing Times). A tough individual, now becomes the latest third season runner to land an All-Aged event this season.
Next up was a double for the Wallace family; victories in both the All-Age Bitch Stake and the Oaks Trial Stake add to Floating Patriot’s exploits to mark a really good campaign for the team. The All-Age Bitch stake was won by Floating Cove (Wallace Green/Floating Spirit), a litter sister to Patriot. The Oaks Trial Stake winner for the Wallace’s was Kilfergus Belle (Castle Pines/Quality and Dash). Having previously shown good form at both Kilflynn and the Killimer/Kilrush meeting, she went a few better to collect her ticket this time round.
The Reserve Derby Trial Stake was won by SpalpinFanach (Adios Alonso/Moat Elsa). His only other victory came in the first round of a trial stake at Clonmel and Kilsheelan but he improved considerably to land this event. He is now 7th reserve for the February Classic.
The DungarvanDeise Cup was won by Dan Brassil’s Avenue Ranger (Murtys Blaze/Madtogoagain). There were upstes galore on the first day as DroopysBestie, Go Conquer and Whiskey Galore were all beaten. However is was the Rathkeale winner Avenue Ranger who came out on top from fellow Limerick winner Black and White. Both enhanced their Champion Stakes prospects with their performances here.
The Dungarvan Derby Trial Stake was won by Sharp Edge (Kyle James/Blades of Glory), a litter which has brought their total qualifiers to six after and excellent week. He had previously shown decent form at Glanworth but makes the Classic’s field after his display in the Dungarvan trial stake last weekend. The Oaks Trial Stake went to Alva Lil (Kyle James/Coffee InCurrow). This lady showed some of what she was capable of at Killimer/Kilrush and improved to collect her ticket this time around. A welcomed winner also for Coffee InCurrow who’s pups Bornforthehill, Supa Slick and Coffee In Spirit had been performing well without success.
Much to disappointment of the seven or eight All-Age Bitch winners seeking more Champion Bitch Stake points, the All-Age Bitch which looked like a spectacular stake had to be cancelled with only the four trial stakes to be run, which did however throw up some spectacular winners.
None more spectacular than Blades of Hope (Kyle James/Blades of Glory), who was expected to land this event having been runner-up to current Derby favourite Crushers Oak (8/1) early in the season at Nenagh. He duly prevailed with an impressive victory and earned a quote of 12/1 for Derby glory.
Go Home Hare, a great Derby winner had only sired one litter before he sadly met his fate on the field. His legend lives on after his daughter CoolreeNadene won the Oaks Trial Stake at the meeting. Can she emulate her daddy and provide what would be a great story for ‘The Hare’?
Ardmore Rusty (Razor Ashmore/Call Biddy) became the first Reserve winner to book a full ticket with success in the Wesport Derby Trial Stake. He already showed he was a capable performer at Cavan and made the step up from a Reserve Trial Stake to a Full Trial Stake at the Castletown stretch.
Ougham Ellen (Kyle James/Ougham Miss) won the Oaks Trial Stake. This was her best performance to date to give Michael Kilcoyne a welcomed trial stake winner