This week’s ‘Buckles and Bets’

There may only be three meetings on this weekend but they’ve thrown up some fascinating buckles. There are the potential for some great buckles in quarter and semi finals, but this week I’m going to look at three first round buckles that can help to shape the season.

Doon All Age Cup

Skellig Sunrise v Kierans Sam

This first round buckle pits Kierans Sam, the Cup winner in Mitchelstown against Skellig Sunrise the cup winner in Ballinagar. The winner of this buckle will be a hot favourite for the cup here. Kierans Sam who had his colours lowered by Kyle Tanyard in the Rathcormac quarter final last weekend, makes a quick reappearance here. Sunrise should be fresher having given the Balbriggan Cup a miss last weekend. This could be a buckle to define the season for both.

Bandon and Careys Cross All Age Cup

Pay Me v Team Tyson

Triple Cup winner last season and two time winner in English Invitational stakes this year Pay Me will provide Fermoy Trial Stake winner Team Tyson with a stern test of his Derby credentials in this opening round buckle. Fermoy has had a habit of throwing up Derby contenders with the last five Derby Trial Stake winners still standing on the third morning of the National Meeting. We’ll get a better idea of Tyson’s ability on Saturday after he meets Pay Me.

Johnston and Urlingford- All Age Cup

Drumcrow View v Bridewell Kieran

I discussed this briefly in the Cup Preview blog yesterday but this has the makings of a brilliant buckle. Bridewell Kieran has been extremely consistent over the last year and it will take a top class performance to beat him. Drumcrow View has never been beaten by much in any of his buckles and really appreciates a hill as his performance in Tubbercurry last year in particular demonstrated. Regardless of who wins this buckle they’ll have to be at the very best to win this cup.


I’d a bit of luck with Yorkville Stella last weekend but Undulating Green again hit the bar. I hope this weeks selection enjoy Stella’s luck.

Fiery Sunset- 4/1

Ran up the final here last year before winning her Trial Stake in Roscommon. She entered the Oaks in Clonmel, relatively fancied last year but was beaten by Feede Blonde in an unsatisfactory course on the second morning. While I’m a little concerned that this is her first outing 4/1 seems like reasonable value for a bitch with form on the field.

Pay Me- 4/1

I’ll give Pay Me a hesitant nod in Bandon. The Sir Mark Prescott owned dog meets something of an unknown quantity in Team Tyson. Any dog that has raised 28 flags over the course of his career deserves respect. The obvious danger is Sound Pistol who won last time out in Tradaree.


Johnston and Urlingford- Paddy Doyle Memorial Cup- Preview

There is a mouth watering field assembled this weekend to contest the Paddy Doyle Memorial Cup at Johnston and Urlingford.

Bridewell Kieran, Belated Birthday and Kyle Gaisce all make reappearances after winning last time out, as they go in search of the points that will take them to the expanded Champion Stakes.

The meeting also sees a return to action for last season’s Boylesports Derby quarter finalist Skellig Wish after an enforced lay off, of almost two months. It is believed that Wish picked up a knock in the final of the Cup in New Ross when he was beaten by Offshore Eoin.

Others in attendance include Dustys Blueboy and Drumcrow View, who appear in the same section of the draw as Bridewell Kieran, and last season’s Sevenhouses hero Lawlee. The draw can be seen below with odds provided by Boylesports.

Lakyle Oscar- 25/1
Lawlee- 6/1

Jeffys Harper- 20/1
Coshair My Time- 20/1

Skellig Wish- 3/1
Floating Exile- 25/1

Nothing Upstairs- 10/1
Righttogowrong- 8/1

Kyle Gaisce- 5/1
Drunken Thought- 25/1

Marshals Safari- 12/1
Kingsmill Titan- 12/1

The Other Walker- 25/1
Windgap Lar- 5/1

Star Chaser- 10/1
Runaway Bandit- 10/1

Whitestone Rai- 5/1
Sir Boss- 25/1

Blazing Glory- 8/1
Dromore Oak- 25/1

Skellig Return- 10/1
Fiery Light- 20/1

Eoin Kirt- 12/1
Barefoot Wally- 12/1

Drumcrow View- 5/1
Bridewell Kieran- 4/1

McHugh Himself- 20/1
Dustys Blueboy- 5/1

Storm Shadow- 25/1
Belated Birthday- 4/1

Everythings Rosy- 33/1
Monabrogue Mona- 33/1

Front runners

Bridewell Kieran may not be the favourite for this weekend’s Cup with Boyles but he certainly represents the in form Holian kennel and will be many people’s selection for this cup. Beaten only twice this season (by dual cup winners Latest Trick and Skellig Way), Kieran has amassed himself 8 Champion Stake points and is right in the reckoning for Clonmel honours.

Kieran has perhaps the most unkind draw of the front runners with the seriously pacey Drumcrow View his opening round opponent and Dustys Blueboy and Belated Birthday potential second round and quarter final opponents.

The draw has been a little kinder to the returning Skellig Wish who makes his first outing from the second weekend of the season. Wish impressed at the Wexford venue beating India Rio (subsequently beaten in two finals), Kingsmill Larch (subsequent Cup winner in Fermoy) and Blueview Ben (subsequent Cup winner in Gorey) before going down to Offshore Eoin when a clear favourite in the final.

The Dennis O’Driscoll kennel is in good form having won a Trial Stake and a Cup last weekend and if he’s back to his best and injury free then Wish will take plenty of beating.

Kyle Gaisce represents the equally in form Fields kennel and like Bridewell Kieran also has 8 Champion Stake points. Gaisce finally registered his maiden stake win in Lixnaw last time out and is a massive player in this Cup. He’s got a reasonably favourable draw and could meet Lawlee or Skellig Wish in the semi final.

Belated Birthday was one dog I ensured I included in my Fantasy coursing selection for this season and he’s hasn’t let me down to date. Beaten by Bridewell Kieran in the Glin 3rd round, Birthday went to Freshford and ran out Cup winner there. He could meet Kieran again in the third round here!

Drumcrow View withdrew with permission from the Slaney Cup last weekend and reappears in Fermoy. View has had success before on fields with an incline (notably Crohane and Tubbercurry) and will provide Bridewell Kieran with a difficult opening round challenge.

Dustys Blueboy is also likely to challenge in this half of the draw and has improved as this season has progressed. Like Belated Birthday he has been beaten by Bridewell Kieran this season, last time out in the final of the Corn Ceatharlach but he can’t be written off here.

What sires are producing the goods this year? Alonso leads the way

Adios Alonso continues to lead the way in terms of qualifiers for Powerstown with 16 Trial Stake winners from his first crop. Among the 16 are recent Knockgraffon qualifier Mr Big priced at 16/1 for the Boylesports Derby.

Musical Time is now in second position and has benefited from some top quality dams with his litters to Belated Legacy and Blades of Glory accounting for 6 of his Trial Stake winners between them. He’s also the sire of the Oaks favourite Blades of Steel.

Mafi Magic has performed admirably for having his first full crop with Wilton Magic near the head of Derby betting amongst his progeny. Mafi has also enjoyed All Age success with his only litter last year, Skellig Way amongst the Champion Stakes front runners.

In fourth place is Bexhill Eoin with 7 winners. His numbers have picked up a bit over recent weeks with last weekend providing his first Derby Trial Stake winner when Peace and Ease found success in Rathkeale. Loughrea qualifier Nina For Out is a front runner in Oaks betting with Boylesports cutting her to 14/1 from a first show of 25/1.

Another Sire with 7 qualifiers is Kyle James. Kyle is performing admirably given his limited numbers of litters and he has produced the hotly fancied Derby qualfier Kyle Leigh as short as 10/1 with BetBrowne.

Janey MacAroo has thrown two leading Derby hopefuls in the shape of the Patsy Byrne owned Kingdom Call and Glendower a product of a repeat mating to Eoin Bui- a mating that gave us

Among the Sires with a qualifier is Tullamore who produced Foxhill Mick, the winner of the Reserve Trial Stake in Balbriggan.

Sire Winners Runners Up
Adios Alonso 16 10
Musical Time 11 7
Mafi Magic 9 10
Bexhill Eoin 7 12
Kyle James 7 4
Matt Hyland 6 4
Razor Ashmore 6 4
Janey MacAroo 3 5
Sandy Sea 3 3
Wallace Green 2 7
Central City 2 2
Cross Country 2 2
Murtys Blaze 2 2
Bar Time 2 1
Johnny Casanova 2 0
March Is On 2 0
Murtys Gang 1 2
Castle Pines 1 1
Kingsmill Dynamo 1 1
Trajectory 1 1
Crafty Hugo 1 0
Tullamore 1 0


‘Steel’ makes her mark: Weekend review

There had been an expectation for some time that when Blades of Steel eventually collected her ticket for Clonmel she would be among the favourites with the bookmakers for the Greyhound and Petworld Oaks.

As it happened the daughter of Musical Time and Belated Legacy finally collected a trial stake yesterday in Rathkeale and has today been installed at the favourite for the Oaks with both BetBrowne and Boylesports.

Denis Guiney’s bitch was introduced at 12/1 with Boyles before being reduced first to 10/1 and then 9/1 with the Derby sponsors. Browne’s introduced Blades at 8/1.

Interestingly Stop That Ger, the bitch that beat Blades of Steel at Miltown Malbay, is currently priced at 16/1 with both books. Blades of Steel was the third of her litter to collect their ticket to Clonmel with Kilkeale Hero having won the dog Trial Stake in Edenderry and Blades of Joy having triumped at the Limerick City meeting.

Another Skellig Double

A number of weeks ago, Tim and Rose O’Driscoll enjoyed an All Age Cup double on the same day as their dogs Skellig Way and Skellig Sunrise triumphed in Miltown Malbay and Ballinagar respectively.

Well it seems the O’Driscoll’s like to work in twos as they again enjoyed a Sunday double, this time at Killimer Kilrush with Skellig Way and Skellig Tivoli obliging. Way, winning for the second time this season, overcame twice Cup winner this season, Hunters Glory enroute to a second triumph in Clare. Trained by Denis O’Driscoll, Skellig Way must now be among the favourites for the Champion Stakes at Powerstown.

Skellig Tivoli, owned and bred by the O’Driscoll’s in Glanmire and again trained by Denis O’Driscoll, collected her Oaks ticket at the Clare venue. The daughter of Adios Alonso and Beyond Tivoli is a half sister of derby quarter finalist Skellig Wish and has been quoted at 18/1 for the Oaks.

 Flynns doing it with ‘Ease’

The Flynn family from Tarbert are enjoying quite a season and it got better at the weekend as they enjoyed a double. Their Oaks quarter finalist Awe and Wonder certainly did things the hard way beating Coffee in Currow, Turnpike Tara, Holy Lady and Capetown Lucy on her way to the Bitch Stake in Knockgraffon. With 6 points now for the Grace Burton Bitch Stake, Awe and Wonder will certainly be in the mix for a place in Powerstown.

In Rathkeale, the Flynn’s added to their runners for the National Meeting when Peace and Ease won the Derby Trial Stake. The son of Bexhill Eoin and Gallant Pride is the sires first dog trial stake winner of the season. He’s currently quoted at 33/1 for the Derby by BetBrowne and 25/1 by Boylesports.

Rathcormac success for All Age stars

Lochbo Bob and Tilt Your Skirt went a long way towards guaranteeing their presence in Clonmel in February following their successes in Rathcormac yesterday.

For Tilt Your Skirt in particular it was her third win in four outings this season a fantastic achievement for any hound. Having won a trial stake in Liscannor last season, Tilt Your Skirt doubled up with an opening weekend win at the Clare venue before winning twice in Cork, in Mitchelstown and yesterday in Rathcormac.

Lochbo Bob, moved on to 10 Champion Stakes points in Rathcormac winning the 16 dog All Age Cup. With the €3,000 prizemoney from the Cup in Abbeydorney already in the bag he could almost be there already. Bob’s litter comrade Ardmore Butch won the TA Morris Stake in Powerstown last season and has already collected a Cup this season winning a hot stake in Edenderry. He was beaten in the second round in Knockgraffon on Sunday by eventual winner Bluebird Razor.

Buckles and Bets

I’m planning on starting a weekly look at the best buckles (or potential buckles) and the most attractive bets for the up-coming weekend. I can’t promise success on the betting front just my own interpretation of the value that’s on offer. There are a number of mouth watering buckles in prospect this weekend not least in the Cup at the Killimer and Kilrush meeting.


First Round:  Coffee in Currow v Awe and Wonder

Two Oaks quarter finalists square off against each other for the chance to meet an Oaks semi finalist in Oh Banba. (Though I’m sure Turnpike Tara will have something to say about that!) Awe and Wonder ran herself into some form last time out beaten in the Listowel Bitch Stake final by Call Me Kerry and having had a couple of weeks break, should be fresh for battle. Coffee in Currow reached the semi final in Kilflynn where she was beaten by Bossa Nova Babe, and was beaten by subsequent winners in her next two outings. If she’s at her best it should be a cracking buckle


Potential second round: Kyle Tanyard v Kierans Sam

Kyle Tanyard reached the Champion Stakes last season having won two cups and ran up the Cup in Ballyduff. Having reached the semi final of the Cup in Lixnaw last time out he’s certainly got himself back into the grove for this season. Kierans Sam finally broke his maiden in Mitchelstown and with 6 Champion Stakes points already secured connections will be hoping he can push on to Powerstown. Kyle Tanyard however will stand in his way if the pair win their first round buckles on Saturday. It’s certainly too close to call from my position!

Killimer Kilrush

Potential Second Round: Skellig Way v Hunters Glory

Perhaps the most mouth-watering clash of the weekend is the potential meeting of Milton Malbay winner Skellig Way and double cup winner Hunters Glory. Skellig was an impressive winner in his first outing of the season fulfilling the potential he had shown last season and beating some very good dogs in the process. Hunters Glory’s form to date this season has been nothing short of spectacular with silverware from Ballyheigue and Cappoquinn already on the mantlepiece. It’s thesort of buckle that leaves you salivating at the very thought of it. Can’t wait!

Best Bets

Knockgraffon- Undulating Green 3/1

Rathkeale- Smart Touch 2/1

Balbriggan- Yorkville Stella 3/1

For value I’d select Aghadown Oak each way however there’s no price available just yet. He’s a lightly coursed hound who showed some form last season, but I certainly wouldn’t expect him to be a short price. Could upset a few in Rathcormac

Slaney Cup- Enniscorthy Preview

Given time constraints I’m going to change the weekly format a little. I’ll focus on the most competitive (in my eyes anyway) Cup of the weekend on a Wednesday and take a more casual look at the best of the other stakes on Thursday and Friday. This week the Slaney Cup in Enniscorthy is the focus of my attentions.

The Slaney Cup is  one of the stronger and more open Cups up for decision this weekend with 5 dogs priced 4/1 or shorter! Kingsmill Larch, Cup winner in Fermoy and a semi finalist last weekend is among the front runners and the only dog in the field to have won a Cup this season.

Ashmore Master, Lixnaw Eoin and Ridgemount Mac have all run up Cups this season while Drumcrow View was unfortunate to run into Killimor Matey in Cavan last weekend at the semi final stage. Quite a few owners and trainers will fancy their chances of taking home the silverware.

The current prices with Boylesports are as follows.

Lakyle Oscar- 10/1
Ridgemount Mac- 8/1

Charlemont Mills- 6/1
Muddy Waters- 10/1

Fingal Raptor- 4/1
Ashmore Master- 4/1

Kingsmill Larch- 3/1
Inner Circle- 5/1

Drumcrow View- 2/1
Noirs Guinness- 10/1

Lixnaw Eoin- 6/1
Lisloose Pirate- 10/1

Vacume Cool Dude- 4/1
Ballymorris Hill- 10/1

Dillrock Gold- 10/1
Denshee Magic- 8/1

Front Runners

Kingsmill Larch  has already silverware on the mantelpiece and money in the bank this season and will take a bit of beating. If one were to trust the times available from the ICC website it would suggest Larch was a little below par last weekend when he lost out in the semi final at Kilsheelan last weekend.

He’s drawn in a difficult quarter with Inner Circle his first round opponent, and Ashmore Master or Fingal Raptor likely to meet him in the semi final. He did beat Ashmore Master enroute to his Trial Stake win in Rathdowney last season but if Master can hit top form her has the ability to reverse the form.

Drumcrow View is the current favourite for the Slaney Cup and if he’s at his best he will take a bit of stopping. I did discuss him briefly last week when looking at the Dungannon Cup and there’s not a lot to add to that. He came through his first outing of the season unscathed and should enjoy a relatively straightforward opening round. His potential semi final clash with Vacume Cool Dude is one to look forward to for all those planning a trip to Enniscorthy at the weekend.

The enigma that is Ashmore Master returned to form in Trim earlier this month and is one dog that can never be overlooked. His performance in Tubbercurry winning the Kilcreevin and Ballymote Trial Stake and subsequent first round clock in the Keen Laddie show that he’s capable of beating just about any dog on his day, but too often his performances can be a let down. Running up to Offshore Eoin in Trim demonstrated that the dog is still capable of a big run and I wouldn’t bet against him repeating the dose here.

Vacume Cool Dude has only had one outing this season when he was withdrawn from the Cup in Mallow after putting up one of the faster first round clocks. A semi finalist here last year and a subsequent Trial Stake winner in Castletowngeoghan Cool Dude was extremely consistent last season also reaching the final in Mallow. If sound he should reach the semi final and then anything may be possible.

Lixnaw Eoin lost out to a litter brother of Vacume Cool Dude, Blueview Ben in the final of the Cup in Gorey. In line to meet Drumcrow View in the second round, he will be seeking retribution for his defeat in the Corn Cuchullain in Dundalk last Christmas.