With the Premier League about to start tomorrow, I’ve been inundated with requests to take part in Fantasy Football leagues. There’s only one fantasy sport I’m interested in this year though and that’s the Fantasy Coursing competition run by the Sporting Press. But how do you go about making your selection?
In truth, I’m probably the wrong man to ask. There are people at it much longer than I am who have enjoyed a great deal more success! That won’t stop me sharing my ideas or trying however.
One problem I’ve found over the past couple of seasons, is that I tend to over value form from Clonmel. While the hill in Powerstown Park may well be the acid test of a dog, it doesn’t necessarily play that form in Powerstown in February will work out the following autumn.
To elaborate, I feel somehow inclined to include dogs that have been standing on the final morning in Clonmel, ignoring dogs that failed to make it that far. Indeed, according to the record I’ve kept over the last couple of years, dogs who have failed to win Trial Stakes as Cup are more inclined to win All Age Cups than those who won Trial Stakes!
To try and counter this problem I did a little homework if only to prove to myself that I shouldn’t over-emphasize Clonmel form. The results were quite revealing. Analysing the cups worn by the last 16 of the Derby between 2009 and 2013, revealed the following:
Last 8 won– 4 Cups
Last 16 won– 11 Cups, Irish Cup
Last 8 won– 4 Cups
Last 16 won– 6 Cups
Last 8 won– 4 Cup, Champion Stakes
Last 16 won– 10 Cups, Irish Cup, Champion Stakes
Last 8 won– 12 Cups
Last 16 won– 14 Cups
Last 8 won– 1 Cup
Last 16 won– 1 Cup
Without going back any further, or drawing any definitive conclusions, it’s clear that over the last couple of years we can expect the last 8 of the Derby in Clonmel to win, around 4 Cups between them. Central City was the only Derby winner to win a Cup of any description in his second season. Kyle Ranger the only dog making the last 8 to win either the Irish Cup or the Champion Stakes.
Taking this year’s last 8 in the Derby, there’s the seriously big question mark over the four dogs suspended through the opening weeks of the season. Should a risk be taken in including these dogs in selections?
For the first few Fantasy Coursing previews though, I’m going to take a look at the runners who performed well at the Irish Cup meeting and what they could offer to potential players.