Thursday, January 1, 2015


Christmas Meetings Review 
A first blog of 2015, I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. Roll on Clonmel 
We would be on the road to Clonmel if I were to review all the Christmas action. Instead, I will have a quick look at the movers in both Champion Stakes tables and a few of the trial stake winners from over the Christmas period.  

In the Champion Stakes, the main movers are Bango Malone (Jingles/Killea Millie) and Kyle Roger (Kingsmill Dynamo/Uptown Dilemma) who both moved onto ten points after victory in both the Loc Garman Cup (16) and the Kingdom Cup (32) respectively.  
Fingal Master (Mafi Magic/Fingal Swagger) landed the Jubilee All-Age Cup at Mooncoin and the Derby semi-finalist moved into the top sixteen for the Champion Stakes. Lochbo Benny (Bexhill Eoin/Lochbo Polly) was successful for the second time this season in the Cork Cup and also moved onto eight points 


Impressive Abbeyfeale winner and the most notable mover of the week is Needham Danger (Bexhill Eoin/Lisloose Rain), who moved to the top of the Champion Stakes table with victory in the Corn Na Feile All-Age. The winner followed up on his Listowel victory and did not have a final to run as kennel companion Needham Simple was withdrawn beforehand. He has set a high standard in both his outings this season and could well start favourite for the Champion Stakes in February.  
Laurence and Brian Jones were victorious in the Corn Cuchullain at Dundalk with Figaro (Kingsmill Dynamo/Kalanova), last year’s Derby Trial Stake winner on the same field. The unfortunate member of that stake was undoubtedly Blueview Charlie (10pts)He was carried off after he sustained a visible injury, how serious is unknown to me, but it will surely be a race against time to get him back on the field this season.  

The Champion Bitch Stake had a major shake-up over the Christmas Meetings. Careful Betty (Bexhill Eoin/Inspiring) and Horgie Baby (Jingles/Dunkil Heros) both moved onto ten points after victory in Co. Kerry and Borrisoleigh respectively. Both ladies are safe in terms of qualification and look likely to be joined by last season’s Oaks winner Somelittlething (Kingsmill Dynamo/Moat Belle) who landed the All-Age Bitch Stake at Mooncoin. She will be the star attraction in Powerstown as she bids to follow up her great victory of last season.  

Another mover in the Champion Bitch Stake was Loyal Lyric (Musical Time/Strideaway Smurf), beaten in the Wexford All-Age Bitch Stake final by Crohane View (Adios Alonso/Windgap View), she picked up two points to add to the six she has already bagged this season.  
Two Trial Stake winners this week make some appeal having performed consistently well throughout the season. Kingtone Jessie (Adios Alonso/Ballyina Lady) and Isabelles Charm (Adios Alonso/Exact Science) both landed their Oaks tickets over the Christmas meetings at Mooncoin and Roscommon respectively. Both ladies had already been beaten finalists in two trial stakes each and picked up well deserved victories this time round.  
Mooncoin’s meeting provided a number of pointers for Powerstown as Fingal Master and Somelittlething now look to have booked their Champion Stakes placing’s and both trial stake winners providing talking points. Also on show were seven trial stake winners and a runner-up in the Champion Puppy Stake. On this occasion it was the Glin runner-up Somelittlelady (Central City/Moat Lady) who came out on top. She was fastest throughout and beat the Clonmel and Kilsheelan Derby Trial Stake winner Arcade Maximus in the final. Although the winner hasn’t won a trial stake she replaces Lochbo Pearl in the Oaks line-up as she has been withdrawn.  
More Derby and Oaks performers were in action in the prestigious Corn Na Feile Puppy Stake. Michael O’Donovan is having a great season to date and that continued in great fashion as both his runners Cooga Jonjo and Serene Angel reached the final. Serene Angel was declared winner of the event after Cooga Jonjo was withdrawn. Connections can now look forward to their runners taking their places in the Classic itself.  

The Trial Stakes at Abbeyfeale were also won by runners who had shown a good level of form. Cash Call (Adios Alonso/Ballyina Lady) joined his sister Kingtone Jessie in the Classics line-up with victory in the Derby Trial Stake. Previously a runner-up at Ballyheigue, Cash Call went one better here for trainer Pat O’Connor. The Oaks Trial Stake went to Cryptic Kerry (Razor Ashmore/Kerrykil Lass). Previously a runner-up at Lixnaw and beaten by the winner in the third round at Galway and Oranmore, Kerry booked her ticket this week with victory over Dublinfourdasher 
It is little over three weeks since Hi Five Yankee became the latest of Cumbawn Ellen’s offspring to win when she collected the Mitchelstown Reserve Oaks Trial Stake. She captured her full ticket at Galbally on New Year’s Day and has now become the second puppy to land a reserve and full ticket this season. Also at GalballyHollyoak Rio (Kingsmill Dynamo/Hollyoak Pegasus) landed the Russell Cup. Although his victory has not impacted on the Champion Stakes listings, this is Rio’s best performance of the season, returning from a break since Waterford’s late October meeting. Blue BerukiRathdowney’s Derby qualifier put up a notable performance with a runner-up display here.  
Millstreet and Templetouhy  
The North Cork Cup gets underway at Millstreet tomorrow (Friday) and there are a number of runners who could have an impact on the Champion Stakes standings. Duarigle Mystic (6pts) and Avenue Ranger (8pts) are both in the top half, wins for either would surely see them safe. In The Centre (4pts) is another in the top half and will need a win to feature in the Powerstown Classic. Lochbo Charlie (8pts) meets Alleyesonus (4pts) in a first round buckle which will be of great interest in the bottom half. Roquefort Barney and Blazing Music both sit on four points and will also need outright victories to contest the Champion Stakes.  
Another event which may have a big effect on the Champion Stakes placing’s is the €4,000 Premier Cup at TempletouhyCooga Mafi, Power of Peace and Downtown James all have four points in the top quarter while Crafty Who sits on six points. Wins for any of these runners will secure a position in the field in Clonmel and a final appearance may be enough for some runners. Skellig Sunlight is the runner in the second quarter which makes most appeal, with six points already collected this season, he will also look to secure his place. The winner of the Newinn Glory and Boynepark Conor course in the first round will have a good chance of collecting points, Newinn currently has two points from his only outing while Boynepark Conor was a recent winner at BorrisoleighSkellig Blues may well be best in the bottom quarter and with her four points already collected, she will look to follow Loyal Lyric’s strides and pick up the six points at stake to seal a Champion Bitch Stake place.  

Templetouhy’s All-Age Bitch Stake can play a part in the final placing’s for the Champion Bitch Stake also. Last year’s winner Garrys Secret (4pts) is back in the line-up and looks best in the top half. Ballyheigue winner Maggie Dan (4pts) looks like she can reach the semi-final here where her opponent looks likely to come from the buckle between recent North Kilkenny winner, Fire Height Una and this season’s surprise package Primeley Sceptre (8pts).


 After being put back from the frost it turned out to be well worth waiting for.   Top class hares make top class meetings and we got both.   The winners were worthy too and should play a big part in the coming festival


Winner: NEEDHAM DANGER (Declared Winner)
R Up: Needham Simple

Winner: SERENE ANGEL (Declared Winner)
Adios Alonso x Uptown Angel   (Listowel)
Irish Town syndicate
Micheal O`Donovan

R Up: Cooga Jonjo

Adios Alonso x Ballyina Lady
Dan Nelligan
Patrick O`Connor

R Up: Bedford Banker

Razor Ashmore x Kerrykill Lass
John O`Sullivan

R Up: Dublinfourdasher