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Week 15 Review
Inch Hothead ( Magic/ Lola) landed the Premier Cup in for the local Egan family. This was the runner’s best performance to date and one which will be remembered by the connections in Coursing Club. Although these are his first points this season, he may still be a Reserve at the National Meeting and either way he will surely be headed for Limerick for a crack at the Irish Cup. Runner-up Barefoot Magnus was recapturing some of his better form from the last couple of seasons with a decent performance here.
Inch Hothead with connections
The All-Age Bitch Stake at the meeting proved crucial last season. The winner Secret was eventually unable to take up her position in , this time however, North Kilkenny winner Fire Height (Adios Alonso/ Lady) looks set to do so after a fine double of All-Age’s in a short time. Runner-up Kates Shoes also moves onto eight points but lacks the of other runners. The Champion Bitch Stake table is really congested and can get more competitive with runners appearing this week with the credentials for qualification.
The North Cork Cup at did however make a few changes to the Champion Stakes positions. Avenue Ranger ( Blaze/) and Roquefort Barney ( Gang/ Rio) were runners going in search of more points and confirming their places in the Classic and both succeeded. Two points was enough to see Avenue Ranger through while Roquefort needed all four. Both runners reached the final where Avenue Ranger was withdrawn and Roquefort Barney declared winner, delivering a desirable result for both sets of connections.
Trial Stakes are precious for connections all year round but with the limited places available it has now come down to the last few chances for owners and trainers. Last weekend saw wins for Micks Victory (Adios Alonso/Victory Point) in the Derby Trial Stake at while the Oaks Trial Stake went to Coffee In Spirit (Kyle James/Coffee In ), a third winner in little over three weeks for the litter. At the family picked up their second Trial Stake winner of the season when Crafty Tornado (/Crafty Estado) came in as a reserve to land the Derby qualifier. The Oaks Trial Stake was won by Bated Breath (Adios Alonso/Exact Science), who is a sister of recent Roscommon scorer Charm.
This week sees the last club action of the season and is the last chance of runners securing places at the National Meeting with closing off the Trial Stakes on Wednesday and Thursday next. There is still plenty to be decided in the All-Age categories and winners this week could well find a position for themselves in the Classics.
All-Age event could provide a decent spectacle. Blazing Music (4pts), Sunlight (6pts) and Amigo (8pts) are all strong runners in the top half while Eastern Shore (8pts) who hasn’t put a foot wrong all season, is joined by cup winners (4pts) and In The Centre (4pts). A win or a final placing for both Amigo and Eastern Shore could secure their places and it looks likely to be the final. Both dogs have been competing well all season and would deserve their place in the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes.
Lad (6pts) runs in the Seamus Hughes Memorial Cup at but will have to work hard to earn points here. He faces the more fancied Rocks of in the first round, a runner who may reach the final but will also have to get over cup winners Nova and Loyal Lord who also do battle in the first round. In the bottom half, two of last season’s winners are in action. Hotspot won the Champion Working Members last season and has won an All-Age this year, while Stormont won the Working Members and has also ran up this season. Both runners look likely to meet in the semi-final although Rocks of may just be too strong if recapturing last year’s Derby form.
Ballymena’s Ulster Cup has provided a Champion Stakes qualifier in three of the last four and this year it may provide another. Needham Simple (4pts) has twice been runner-up this season but can get the better of Cup winners (4pts) and Flash (4pts) who both have not been seen since victories in and Westmeath, to reach the final. Recent North Kilkenny scorer and the highly respected Tynwald Ash is in the bottom half and looks his likely final opponent. Wins for either could mean a possible trip to is on the cards.
There are two All-Age Bitch Stakes on the card this weekend and both could prove vital for some runners. At , in the top half, Maggie Dan (4pts) looks set to go close while the bottom half has a few bitches who search for qualification also. (8pts) has collected two Cork All-Age Bitch stakes, but lacks in the department, she goes in search of some more points this week while both and Regional winners Floating Cove (4pts) and Vicky (6pts) are also looking to make the cut. Kiwi is having her first runs since the Oaks here and is an interesting runner but Vicky may find the points she needs this weekend.
Ballymena are running an additional All-Age Bitch Stake this season and it may prove vital also. Wins for Lola (6pts), Rosie (4pts), City Beauty (4pts), She (4pts) or Vote (4pts) could see another shake up in the Bitch placing’s. Lola and City Beauty look set to do battle in a semi-final clash for the points here while She and Dundalk runner-up Vote will meet in an enticing second round clash with the winner expected to reach the final. City Beauty was most impressive at and gets the selection.
With six trial stakes up for grabs at and the date as it is, there are many hopes and dreams on the line at the venue this weekend. Many of the seasons beaten finalists, semi-finalists and reserve winners have another go at collecting the prestigious tickets to the National Meeting.
In the Derby Trial Stake, Viva a runner-up to Phantom at Wexford, lines up in the top half. He will be expected to go well while dual runner-up Adios King is in the bottom and can also be expected to have a say. All In was an impressive winner at and his final opponent makes his reappearance in the / Derby Trial Stake. Also in that stake is runner-up Tynwald Wayne and Reserve winner, Bunch of Fools. Ballymena’s Derby Trial Stake looks like it could be a battle of reserve winners as Sexy , winner and Alfie Alone, Ennis winner, make the latest appearances. The latter also ran-up to Blades of Hope in Castletown and can be expected to go well again. Derby Trial Stake also sees a few decent runners look to book their tickets, Central seems to fly early on and can go well while Mr and Wicked Monk look best in the bottom half.
The Oaks Trial Stake is a competitive one and Type, a runner-up in her only outing at New Ross can go well. Bella won a reserve recently at East Donegal and will have to face dual runner-up Jenny if she is to reach the final here. The / Oaks Trial Stake is very competitive also, She Magic and So Long Honey will be expected to go well while Ellie was running well in Dundalk where she was a beaten finalist. Tango reached the semi-final at Roscommon and she gets the vote to land Ballymena’s Oaks Trial Stake. Oaks Trial Stake can be a battle of the beaten finalists. can reach the final from the top half while Rush For Gold and Bonita can do battle in the bottom half. Blondie has been performing well this season and gets the vote to land the Oaks Trial Stake.