No sooner are the results in on a Sunday afternoon coursing people start to look forward. The most popular questions asked on Greyhound Nuts, Twitter or Facebook aren’t usually about that days action rather they tend to focus on the draw for upcoming weekends. Sometimes though it’s good to look back and reflect.
By and large the season has gotten off to a fairly subdued start. Worries about the ground appear to be hitting entries with stakes that usually fill comfortably being reduced in number compared to previous years. Even at grounds were every effort has been made to water fields, the driest September in nearly 50 years has left owners and trainers slightly nervous about running dogs.
Yesterday saw a good start in Kilflynn for the connections of Floating Patriot who claimed the Cup from Must Name Him. Patriot’s accomplishment is made all the more impressive when you consider that he beat 4 Trial Stake winners from last season (City Leader, Gurteen Vince, Call Him Bale and Must Name Him) to win the Cup. Having claimed the 6 points he’s already very well placed for a position in the Champion Stakes and given the nature of his victory yesterday you wouldn’t want to bet against him winning again.
Also making an impressive start to the season was Kitty Butller winner, Turning Pace, who showed that the 6 times up Powerstown Park had little affect on her appetite. The daughter of March Is On will certainly be one of the leading fancies for the Champion Bitch Stake and she’ll be fancied to win wherever she goes next.
In Liscannor, Believeicanfly was well touted by Tony O’Connor in the Sporting Press during the week and she delivered the silverware getting the better of Kates Shoes in the final. She added to what was a good weekend for March Is On with his second All Age success.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Desmond Cup will undoubtedly take top billing with Mr Blonde pencilled in to make is seasonal return at the meeting where he announced himself as a genuine contender last season. He looks the class of the field but there are a number of dogs who could well spring a surprise. Lochbo Charlie makes his first appearance since winning his Trial Stake, while Glenlough Mick, High Garden and Sturdyandstaunch could all be dangerous.
The bitch stake sees a strong field compete for the points with Garrys Secret, Careful Betty and Sullane Jess among others run while Fancy Rae Baker makes her first appearance since winning the Trial Stake in Edenderry almost 12 months ago.
In Ennis-Clarecastle Grayacre Star makes his first appearance of the season having run well at the Irish Cup and in the Champion Stakes last season. India Rio appears once again for a fourth season while Toms Wizard might well be one to keep an eye on in the bottom half.