Looking back, looking forward: Week 3

With three days of coursing and four meetings over the weekend there’s plenty to reflect upon and read over this week and with 6 meetings scheduled over the next week there’s plenty of previews to be written!

Reflecting on last weekend’s action the standout performance has to be Skellig Sunlight winning the Morrissey Cup in Cashel. Expectations were high for the regally bred Sunlight in spite of his failure to win a Trial Stake last season but he made no mistake posting the fastest clocks in every round beating some very good dogs, Hi Black Jack, Central Adviser and Kingsmill Rover, before taking care of business against Cooga Darlan in the final. He could well be a real player in Champion Stakes and Irish Cup terms if last weekend’s performances are any representation of his future form.

There was a great day for the Dundalk club at the Westmeath United meeting yesterday as members claimed both the Derby and Oaks Trial Stakes. Judiligence, a son of Adios Alonso and Notindispute, a Champion Bitch Stake semi-finalist, got the better of Fingal Kal for the Callans. In the Oaks Trial Stake, the Heeney’s were successful as Bakers Cailin got the better of the Farrelly’s bitch Dale Asgard in the final. That’s two less dogs to worry about for anyone thinking of heading to the Trial Stakes in Dundalk at Christmas!

Lochbo Vicky rounded off a fantastic week for the Spillanes as she claimed the All Age Bitch Stake in Regional getting  the better of Magical Amber in the final. If the clocks on the ICC website are to be believed (there’s some times I have my doubts!) then she was the fastest bitch throughout beating both ante-post favourites en-route to  claiming the honours. This is the third stake success for the litter with Lochbo Charlie proving the ‘top dog’ in Glin last weekend and Gurteen Vince, a TS winner in Mallow last season, just falling short in the final of the Cup at Regional yesterday.

In Kerry, at the Ballyheigue meeting, Maggie Dan continued a good start to the season for sire March Is On posting another stake success. Maggie becomes the second member of her litter to win this season with litter sister Turning Pace also proving successful. In Liscannor on the opening weekend Believeicanfly also won All Age Bitch honours, while Gripwell Candy took the Oaks ticket. From limited matings March Is On is certainly performing well this season.

Looking ahead to this weekend and there are plenty of big name runners re-appearing. The most notable are at Edenderry with Kilkeale Hero and Central Investor both making re-appearances at the field were they claimed their Trial Stakes. Hero is attempting to win the Cup in Edenderry for the second consecutive season while Investor, so unlucky in Clonmel, will be hoping to repeat his form of 12 months ago.

In Loughrea, a competitive field has been assembled for the Connacht Cup with Mr Blonde making a quick re-appearance after reaching the semi-finals of the Desmond Cup. Hi Black Jack also re-appears just 7 days after competing in Cashel, while Crafty Yahoo completes an interesting looking top half. The bottom half sees Echo Johnny and Wheres Cranny return while Highland Heather and Barkatthemoon could make it a very interesting draw.

Crohane sees Call Her Dresden aim to pick up her first silverware of the season in the All Age Bitch Stake, with Call Him Bale and Irish Cup quarter-finalist Wyken Power set to contest the Slievenamon Cup. Also in attendance will be last year’s winner Marshals MercuryNeedham Marie and Ballarue New return next Monday in New Ross while two of last seasons most unlucky dogs Kingsmill Vibe and Ashmore King are due to take part in the Corn Ros Mhic Treoin.

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