Christmas round-up

It’s been a hectic week or so in the coursing world with a little more light having been cast on who may be picking up the silverware come Clonmel in just over a months time. The countdown is well and truly on.

Northern Form

Perhaps the most illuminating result of the week was the victory for Phoenix Frankel in Dundalk on Thursday in the Corn Cuchulainn. The Dungannon Trial Stake winner was a fairly comprehensive victor for the Keogh- Senyk- Reilly Syndicate. His price for the Derby has been cut from 20/1 to 14/1 with BetBrowne and at the minute he may be difficult to oppose.

It was a very good day for Ian Reilly and his family as Phoenix Bruno also collected the Derby TS at the Dundalk meeting. Bruno had to work hard in the semi final to account for Cavan finalist Loyal Liam before comfortably accounting for Grayacre Star in the final. He’s been installed as a 16/1 chance with BetBrowne for the Derby.

It was also good week or two for greyhounds that ran at the joint Dugnannon- Cavan meeting. Yippe Kiyay the Reserve DTS winner for Cavan picked up his ticket in Roscommon while the Dungannon Cup winner Killimor Matey took the honours in North Kilkenny the week before Christmas.

The week previously, Bringmesunshine beaten in the final of the Dungannon OTS won her ticket at the Galway and Oranmore meeting in Castletowngeoghegan. Fingal Developer, beaten by Bringmesunshine in the Dungannon semi final also won her ticket in Dundalk.

Given that Dale Roisin and Blueview Sam where both present at the Cavan and Dungannon meeting last year- Roisin running up the Dungannon TS and Sam emerging with the Cup- this form may be worth paying some attention to.

COLLECTing their ticket

There was a bit of excitement caused by the victory of Collect Me Now in Tralee as the daughter of Adios Alonso and Moat Belle joined her litter sister Moat Ali at Powerstown.

Indeed the bitch was Collect Me Now’s fourth Trial Stake winner of the season from two separate litters, one to Alonso and the other to Bar Time. BetBrowne have installed her as a 12/1 shot for the Oaks and rumour has it that she has also changed hands in the day or two since her victory.

Another bitch installed at a reasonably short 16/1 was the Borrisoleigh OTS winner Catunda Magic. She was a real eye catcher in Ballinagar earlier in the season and I for one wasn’t at all surprised that she managed to pick up her ticket on Thursday afternoon. The daughter of Mafi Magic and Miss Solitaire is certainly one to keep an eye on in Clonmel.

10- the magic number

With 10 points looking to be magic mark that guarantees a place in the Champions Stakes, 9 dogs look to have their places in the new look stake well sown up.

Points scorers at Tralee, Hunters Glory and Smart Touch lead the way with 12 points each, while Latest Trick has had place secured for almost 2 months. Cherrygrove Bolt‘s Kingdom Cup victory has also catapulted him into the Champion Stake’s picture with the prizemoney meaning he now looks assured of a place in Clonmel.

 Race for Grace Bruton Stake

In the Champion Bitch Stakes there’s a 3 way tie for the final spot with Bossa Nova Babe, Tailteann Rua and Moat Lady all sharing 8 points and €2,500 prize money.

Master Delight sealed her place with the North Kilkenny Bitch Stake just before Christmas while Magical Sophie’s victory over the Christmas period means she’s almost assured her Powerstown place.

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Happy Christmas to all those who have been following the blog

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has logged and to the blog over the last month or two.

The blog is still taking shape but hopefully it will go from strength to strength over the next few months.

Happy Christmas to all those visiting the site and best of luck to everyone with runners over the next few days. (Especially to my own fella! He’ll need it)

All I want for Christmas is…. a runner in Clonmel!

There will be plenty at stake over the next 10 days are so as Dogs and Bitches from across the country begin their final push for a place at Clonmel in February.  For All Age Dogs and Bitches in particular the Christmas period will determine whether or not they will represent their owners and trainers at the National Meeting.

With 8 extra spaces for All Age Dogs available this year there will be plenty of dogs heading to meetings if not in hope then in expectation of success.

I’ve compiled a list of the dogs in contention for the Champion Stakes and Grace Burton Champion Bitch Stake and where they can be seen in action over the next few days

Borrisoleigh

  1. Plough and Stars- 6 points       (Bitch Stake)
  2. Inch Harmony- 4 points
  3. Eoin Kirt- 4 points

Co. Kerry

With 6 points on offer in Tralee the winner of the Kingdom Cup will be almost assured of their place in Clonmel, should the winner be one of the following dogs.

  1. Hunters Glory- 10 points
  2. Catrionas Joy- 10 points
  3. Smart Touch- 8 points
  4. Undulating Green- 6 points
  5. Highland Hawk- 4 points
  6. Tilford Dream- 4 points
  7. Ardfert Peter- 4 points
  8. Bythewindsailor- 4 points
  9. Kyle Tanyard- 4 points
  1. Laughing Lady- 6 points
  2. Magical Sophie- 6 points
  3. Lineroad Babe- 4 points
  4. Oilean Smile- 4 points
  5. Barrack Becky- 4 points

Co. Cork

  1. Belated Birthday- 8 points
  2. Kierans Sam- 6 points
  3. Cuddly Man- 4 points

Dundalk

There’s 6 points on offer for the winner of the Corn Cuchullain at Dromiskin on Thursday. Three dogs could really do with the points as they attempt to force their way into the Powerstown reckoning.

  1. Hather for Da- 4 points
  2. Blueview Ben- 4 points
  3. Moorstown Master- 4 points

Mooncoin

  1. Kingsmill Larch- 4 points
  2. Moat Lady- 8 points
  3. Gillogue Jess- 6 points
  4. Moat Michelle- 4 points

South Clare

  1. Sound Pistol- 6 points

Wexford

  1. Lixnaw Eoin- 6 points
  2. Bond Street Boy- 4 points
  3. Something Quick- 6 points

Roscommon

  1. Skellig Sunrise- 8 points
  2. Bossa Nova Babe- 8 points
  3. Awe and Wonder- 6 points
  4. Ardmore Butch- 4 points
  5. Call Him Now- 4 points

Who are the top brood bitches of the 2012-13 season?

There has been a lot of attention to the top sires this season given the emergence of Adios Alonso and Mafi Magic. It is time that some of the ladies who do more than their fair share get some of the attention.

I’ve taken a look at the number of Trial Stake and Reserve Trial Stake winners each bitch has thrown. For the record where a dog has won both a RTS and a TS, I’ve only included each dog once. This affects Yukon Glory (Cois Luna), Mister Music (Belated Legacy) and Ballyverry John (Mountain Guest).

There are a number of established and proven brood bitches on the list and a number of new broods as well. Interestingly, Moat Belle as has been noted before produced her three winners from two separate litters, one to Bar Time and one to Adios Alonso.

With plenty of action over the next week, we could well see new additions to this leaderboard and perhaps even a bitch move into a clear lead. Watch this space!

Blades of Glory 3
Moat Belle 3
Belated Legacy 2
Mountain Guest 2
Angelical Girl 2
Beyond Tivoli 2
Call Up 2
Chubbys Excel 2
Eastwell Blonde 2
Funny Honey 2
Gallant Pride 2
Moonlit Harbour 2
Needham Time 2
Newinn All In 2
Newinn Droopy 2
Uptown Dilemma 2

A festive period to look forward to

I don’t know about you but I’m not a big fan of Christmas. It only gets in the  way of the St Stephen’s Day fixtures which I can not wait for!

The festive period will give us plenty of pointers as to how the respective form of Trial Stakes stacks up with 10 Trial Stake winners set to mix in All Age company between the 26th and 28th December.  And with the Corn na Feile down for decision in Abbeyfeale a few days later we’ll certainly have a much better idea of what qualifiers might be worth a few of your hard earned euro/ pounds come February.

Before we can get to Christmas though there’s the small matter of the North Kilkenny meeting this coming weekend. And what a meeting it looks like it’s going to be.

Killimor Matey and Offshore Eoin are among those who will be going in search of Champion Stakes points, while the Derby Trial Stake  looks like it could well be one of the strongest meetings of the year.

Among those taking their place in the field are Drama Lad (BF- Clonmel and Kilsheelan), Marshals Mercury (BF- Crohane), Copper Nick (BF- Waterford), Flynntown Fuzz (BF- Thurles), Piercestown Jack (SF 64- Enniscorthy) and Wiseguy Bobby (SF 64- Listowel). The first round clash of Marshals Mercury and Drama Lad should be a buckle to savour.

Among the other Trial Stakes to keep an eye out for over the next week or two are the Derby and Oaks Trial Stake in Borrisoleigh and the Oaks Trial  Stake at the County Cork meeting in Blarney.

Borrisoleigh will  see 3 Reserve Derby Trial Stake winners, What A Rumour (Cappoquin), Morning Major (Doon) and Pumpkin Pines (Johnstown and Urlingford) do battle for the honours. Two more to pay close attention to are dual runners-up Make Peace (Castleisland and Borris-in-Ossory) and Coyote (Castletowngeoghan and Abbeydorney). It’ll certainly take a good dog to win the ticket here.

The  Oaks Trial Stake here is  just as  competitive with Homestead Diva (BF Doon), Catunda Magic (BF Ballinagar), Byerley Babe (BF Clonmel and Kilsheelan), Miss Bohola (BF- Ardpatrick), Magical Willow (BF- Thurles) and Bosca Ceoil (BF Johnstown and Urlingford) among the bitches that line up trying to capture their place in Clonmel.

The County Cork meeting in Blarney has an exceptional looking Oaks Trial Stake with 7 beaten finalists hopeful of securing their place in Powerstown. Kierans Choice and Summerville Zoe have run up two Trial Stakes each and they are in the field as are Way Back When (BF Glanworth), Timely Legacy (BF Newcastlewest), Sminky Short (BF Rathcormac), Katelyns Bumble (BF Kilflynn) and Annieamber (BF Charleville).

Cup of the weekend- Castletowngeoghegan All Age Bitch Stake

There is some top class action in Castletowngeoghegan this weekend not least in the All Age Bitch Stake where Bossa Nova Babe and Yorkville Stella are just two of the runners expected to be in action.

Lotus Storm- 12/1
Carolina Crystal- 12/1

Noirs Norsa- 6/1
Mulboy Girl- 8/1

Bossa Nova Babe- 7/4
Cushie Victoria- 6/1

Central Ambition- 10/1
Coolalough Aine- 8/1

Yorkville Stella- 5/2
Mayor Roberta- 12/1

Pretty Stranger- 4/1
Volga Daisy- 10/1

Master Delight- 4/1
Coffee In Currow- 6/1

Colina Punto- 12/1
Winter Wishes- 8/1

Front Runners

Bossa Nova Babe has been one of the stand out bitches of this season setting down an early marker for the season ahead with a convincing victory on the opening weekend as she captured the Kilflynn All Age Bitch Stake.

She demonstrated her class again as she won the bitch stake in Carlow in her last outing beating the well fancied Fives Treasure in the final. Gerry Holian’s bitch will take plenty of beating here and has already attracted support backed from 2/1 into 7/4 with Boylesports.

Yorkville Stella scored a hard fought Stake win in Balbriggan as she just got up in the final to beat subsequent winner Something Quick. Beaten by Moat Michelle in the final in Gorey this is Stella’s third outing of the season. She’s currently priced at 5/2 with the Derby sponsors Boylesports.

Chasing hard

There are plenty of other top bitches in action with Master Delight another double cup winner going for her hat trick of victories having secured impressive victories in Trim and Enniscorthy.

Noirs Norsa was the winner of the All Age Cup in Crohane beating Loose Chippings in the final. She hasn’t had an outing since but if she repeats that form here she could well be generously priced at 6/1.

Perhaps the most interesting of all the runners in the final is the Edenderry Trial Stake winner Pretty Stranger. The daughter of Adios Alonso and Funny Honey has been cut by Boylesports for the Oaks and a good performance in top class company here could see her Oaks price further cut.