Can Man Of War seal a Champion Stakes spot in East Donegal?

Man Of War seeks to gaurantee his place in the Champion Stakes with a victory in East Donegal at the weekend but he faces some stiff opposition particular in getting out of his half of the draw if he’s  to progress. There may some some relief for connections though as both Yippee Kiyay and reserve Broadwell James are pencilled in to line up in Old Kilcullen tomorrow.

James Magee Memorial Cup– Draw and Betting

Yippee Kiyay- 4/1
Man Of War- 2/1

Skellig Sunrise- 4/1
In Contempt- 7/1

Drumcrow View- 4/1
Ashgrove Marty- 8/1

Clough Mills- 10/1
Ardmore Diamond- 8/1

Fingal Raptor- 5/1
Bang Bang Bang- 10/1

Ardnasool Jester- 6/1
Belfast Boy- 3/1

Skelmet- 8/1
China Special- 10/1

Lotus Paddy- 10/1
Drumna Dargle- 8/1

Front Runners

Man Of War is a worthy favourite at the Lifford venue given his performances this season and last. The Patrick and Emmett McGhee owned hound has been a great servant to them, winning all but one of his courses to date, in the opening round of the Derby narrowly to Kyle Leigh.  He got his season off to the best possible start winning the Horgan Cup in Abbeydorney beat Offshore Town, a dual winner since, in the process.

In the opening round he’s scheduled to meet Yippee Kiyay however his participation may be in some doubt depending on his success or otherwise in Old Kilcullen. Indeed first reserve Broadwell James is also scheduled to run at the Kildare meeting so there’s a real likelihood that Man Of War could possibly have a bye course in his opening round.

The meeting of Skellig Sunrise and In Contempt could pit the dogs together for their third meeting in the last two seasons. Both previous meetings were in the final of the All Age Cup in Ballinagar in 2012 and October. Skellig got the better of the buckle on both occasions and there’s no reason to believe that In Contempt may reverse that form.

In the second quarter Drumcrow View is the standout name. An Irish Cup quarter finalist in 2012 he was an Ulster Cup winner in the January of that year. He was narrowly beaten by Killimor Matey in the Dungannon All Age Cup last season before beating Bridewell Kieran in the opening round in Johnstown and Urlingford, going down narrowly to Belated Birthday. He was last scheduled to have been seen here last year but if he returns in the form of 2012 he’ll be a likely semi-finalist.

In the bottom half, Fingal Raptor and Belfast Boy are the most likely finalists. Belfast Boy, the Cup winner in Trim finally got some silverware having gone close on occasions last season. Ardnastool Jester could be a dangerous opponent having saved his best performances for the Lifford stretch. Fingal Raptor has proven himself to be a fairly consistent performer over the last year or so and a return to his form at this time last year will make him a live contender.

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