Can the Derby semi-finalists make their mark this season?

The third installment of the fantasy preview takes a look at some off the stronger performers in Clonmel this season.

Fingal Master
(Mafi Magic x Fingal Swagger)

The Derby semi-finalist, was unheralded heading to Clonmel but proved his worth losing out in the semi-final to With Grim Intent. He started his season at the Galway and Oranmore meeting but it wasn’t until the Reserve Trial Stake in Balbriggan that he really started to make an impact reaching the final.

Master captured his Trial Stake in Lifford at the second East Donegal meeting but was a big price prior to the National Meeting. He defied those odds reaching the semi-final beating some good dogs along the way, losing to With Grim Intent. He raised 13 flags in 16 courses last season and one worth considering this season.


Light Duty
(Tynwald Smokey x Beautys Outlaw)

The other semi-finalist in last season’s Derby, Light Duty, showed his potential for this season’s All Age stakes in the Ulster Cup even prior to running in Clonmel. A winner first time out at the first Lifford meeting he made his second appearance in the Ulster Cup run at Tubbercurry. He performed well here, catching the eye as he reached the semi-final, losing out to Make Peace in the semi-final.

At Clonmel he was one of the more consistent contenders, surprising Needham Simple in the opening round, before clocking well beating Crafty Yahoo, Figaro and Rocks of Bawn on his way to defeat by Kyle Calvin in a controversial Derby semi-final.

There’s a chance with both semi-finalists that their exertions in Clonmel will have taken it’s toll but on last year’s form they’re certainly worth considering.


Breezing Johnny
(Johnny Casanova x Knockrour Breeze)

There was probably no more consistent dog last season than Breezing Johnny. He reached the semi-final of his first Trial Stake in Fermoy, before reaching the final of the reserve Trial Stake in Cappoquin and the final in Dungarvan, getting the better of Kyle Roger along the way. He eventually claimed his Trial Stake near the end of the season at Clonakilty in what was a very competitive Trial Stake. He then reached the third round of the Derby clocking fastest in both the first and second rounds before falling to Timmey’s Bin in the third round. Definitely worth considering.


Journey Of Life
(Kingsmill Dynamo x Polar Lights)

Journey of Life proved himself to be one of the better pups in training last season with solid performances across the season. Having won his Trial Stake at the first time of asking in Listowel in early November, Journey of Life appeared again in Abbeyfeale, beaten there by Call Him Bale.

It was Journey of Life’s performances in Clonmel and Limerick that made him stand out as a solid all age prospect reaching the last 16 in Powerstown and the last 8 in Limerick, beating Intacta Banba, Game Miller and Sturdyandstaunch in the Irish Cup.


Kingsmill Rover
(Kingsmill Dynamo x Bower Sign)

Kingsmill Rover was the real ‘talking dog’ of the 2013-2014 season. Beaten by the winner Sunfire Nova in Enniscorthy, Rover made his next appearance in Dungarvan where he swept all before him beating Breezing Johnny in the final to claim his Clonmel ticket. His performance in Clonmel was solid, reaching the last 16, clocking joint fastest in the second round before losing out to With Grim Intent. He didn’t perform up to his best in Limerick at the Irish Cup but if he can return to his Dungarvan form he could have a real say this year.


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