While Phoenix Frankel returns in the Pete Delaney Cup, the All Age Bitch Stake in Rathdowney looks like the main attraction. The number of Bitch Stakes is fast running out and for most bitches their chances of winning a stake this season are now down to the final meeting or two. With a number of ladies entered here already on the Champion Bitch Stake leaderboard, this meeting could prove crucial.
All Age Bitch Stake – Draw and Betting
An Solas Gile- 4/1
Hi There Annie- 10/1
Queen Ulva- 10/1
Abbey Katie- 6/1
Mayor Roberta- 8/1
Southest Brindy- 10/1
Yukon Glory- 6/1
Loyal Lyric- 4/1
Jumeirah Gaisce- 8/1
Crafty Diviso- 2/1
Boynepark Maggie- 10/1
Rocky Hill- 3/1
Shanavulin Diva- 5/1
Crafty Diviso is a deserving favourite here, currently priced at 2-1 with the Derby sponsors Boylesports. Her results have improved with every outing, losing out in the semi-final in Kilflynn to Skellig Tivoli, losing to Duchess in the final in Galway and Oranmore and then running out victorious in Balbriggan. She got the better of one of her most likely opponents in the quarter, Loyal Lyric, in the opening round in Balbriggan.
The meeting of Lyric and Yukon Glory is another fascinating encounter. Loyal Lyric is making her second outing of the season having had a delayed start to the season having picked up an injury prior to her expected reappearance in Loughrea. At her best she was able to mix it with the best ladies last season and if returned to that form she could well threaten both Yukon Glory and Crafty.
Yukon Glory, like Loyal Lyric lost out in the opening round in Balbriggan. On her first outing of the year she proved victorious in the final of the Bitch Stake in Ballinagar. She won the Oaks Trial Stake here last year and her form on the field shouldn’t be overlooked.
Rocky Hill showed real guts to reach the final of the Dungannon All Age Bitch Stake on her last outing. She should certainly be competitive in the bottom quarter however she’d need to show improvement on her performance in Cavan to be competitive here.
In the top half An Solas Gile and Rossmore meet in the opening round. An Solas Gile only made one outing in her puppy season reaching the final of the Reserve Trial Stake in Gorey. She’s really begun to come into her own in her last two outings, reaching a semi-final in Carlow and then a final last time out in Enniscorthy. She’s currently priced at 4-1. She meets Rossmore, the Dungannon Trial Stake winner in the opening round.
Quick scan of the Cup
Phoenix Frankel and Lochbo Bob look the pick of the dogs in the Cup if at their best. Phoenix Frankel didn’t really fire as expected in Powerstown last year but showed a real turn of pace to win the Corn Cuchullain in Dundalk. Given that it’s his first outing of the season the 6-4 on offer may appear a little short but you’d certainly have to fancy him to be in the shake up.