Probably the standout cup this weekend is in Edenderry where 2013 Derby semi-finalist Kilkeale Hero makes his return but he’ll have a stiff task if he wants to retain the Cup he claimed 12 months ago with Central Investor his most notable challenger. Having won the Trial Stake here as a pup Hero is seeking a three-timer at the Offaly venue.
All Age Cup– Draw and betting (updated)
General Wallace- 16/1
Kilkeale Hero- 5/2
Coshair Bosco- 5/1
Blueview Charlie- 6/1
World At War- 8/1
Eire Loose One- 12/1
Rosskeen Chief- 10/1
Game Miller- 6/1
Hes Smart- 10/1
Aloha Mat- 10/1
Avenue Ranger- 10/1
Newry Awake- 6/1
Crafty Boohoo- 3/1
Central Investor- 6/4
Boynepark Maggie- 16/1
While betting isn’t available at the time of writing I’d expect Kilkeale Hero and Central Investor to head up the market. Kilkeale Hero’s record is outstanding and he hasn’t received the kind of acclaim that a more hyped dog might. To briefly look at his record he won a Derby Trial Stake in Edenderry in 2012, won the Troy Electrical Puppy Cup in Old Kilcullen, reached the semi-final of the 2013 Derby and won All Age Cups in Edenderry and Rathkeale last season. Or to put it another way, Kilkeale Hero has only lost once to Thomas The Tank in the Derby semi-final.
The son of Musical Time and Blades Of Glory would be expected to overcome General Wallace in the opening round but he’ll get a real buckle in the second round against either Coshair Bosco or Blueview Charlie. Charlie was fancied to win the Trial Stake at Galway and Oranmore last season when reaching the final but lost out to Wheres Cranny. He was the fastest dog in the opening round of the Trial Stake in Rathdowney last season but was beaten in the second round, before missing two meetings late in the season presumably injured. He’ll be one worth keeping an eye on here and could conceivably win.
He meets Coshair Bosco in the opening round a dog who ran well in Rathdowney reaching the semi-final, before coming alive in the longer field in Templetuohy where he reached the final losing out to Rocks Of Bawn. He’ll enjoy the longer field in Edenderry and this could prove to be one of the better opening round buckles of the weekend.
The bottom quarter of the top half is not as strong as the top half with Game Miller, a winner in Cappoquin last season the dog to beat on paper at least. Both Eire Loose One and Rosskeen Chief have similar profiles with the latter perhaps having more room for improvement given that he was a late June pup last season.
In the bottom half it’s difficult to see any dog from the third quarter challenging the winner of the bottom quarter where Central Investor makes his reappearance. An impressive winner here last season he was expected to go well in the Derby and everything was going to plan until he and Vale View Flyer where sent back to slips in the third round of the Derby with Investor eventually losing out.
Should he get the better of Boynepark Maggie he will meet the winner of Newry Awake and Crafty Boohoo. Boohoo will be expected to do well here having impressed when winning his Trial Stake in Trim and having reached the last 16 of the Irish Cup. Newry Awake was lightly coursed last season having won the Ballymena Trial Stake as a pup. He clocked fastest in the opening round of the Cup in Enniscorthy last season before losing out to winner Droopys Bestie in the next round. He’s a decent dog on his day and more than capable of causing an upset here.