Can Fingal ‘Master’ the Slaney Cup this weekend?

Derby semi-finalist Fingal Master makes his seasonal re-appearance this weekend in Enniscorthy and with his kennel in good form only a fool would discount him from a charge on the Slaney Cup this weekend. But who will challenge him for the honours.

Slaney Cup– Draw and Betting

Ballinabola King- 10/1
Rattoo Casanova- 10/1

Sunfire Nova- 4/1
Glenbeg Archie- 8/1

Pickheroutfitzy- 6/1
Bango Malone- 6/1

Grayacre Star- 5/1
Hi Black Jack- 4/1
Line Of Reason- 8/1
We Have Bob- 6/1

Split The Pot- 6/1
Hotspot- 8/1

Fingal Master- 2/1
Dixie Highway- 10/1

Needham Gadget- 5/1
Droopys Bestie- 3/1

Front Runners

It’s probably best to start in the bottom quarter of the Slaney Cup  if we’re trying to identify a winner. With Droopys Bestie and Fingal Master both to be found here and on course for a second round meeting, the winner of this quarter will have a huge say on the final outcome. Droopys Bestie was one of the dogs of the 2013-2014 season, winning three All Age Cups in Waterford, Dungarvan and last year’s Slaney Cup, before being cruelly denied a chance to run in the big end of season stakes by injury. If he’s the same dog he was 12 months ago, then he could well be the dog to beat.

Fingal Master really came into his own last season on a longer field winning his Trial Stake in East Donegal before causing a few shocks enroute to the semi-final of the Derby. If he comes here in that form- and his kennel have been red hot in recent weeks- then his potential meeting with Bestie could be brilliant. Needham Gadget could well throw a spanner in the works against Bestie in the opening round but he might need an improved performance in order to do that.

In the third quarter there are a number with claims. Split The Pot has the most recent good form reaching the final in Ardpatrick last weekend. We Have Bob reached the semi-final in Ballinagar on his first and only appearance of the season having won the Borris-in-Ossory Trial Stake 12 months ago. Line Of Reason might well be overlooked but he ran well last year winning the Working Members here 12 months ago and then losing out in the semi-final of the Wexford Derby Trial Stake at Christmas.

In the top quarter Sunfire Nova looks like the dog to beat having won the Cup in New Ross already this season. He won the Trial Stake here last year and might well be the dog to beat. He meets Glenbeg Archie who ran well on his debut last season in Liscannor and would need a repeat to threaten Nova.

The second quarter looks particularly strong with dual cup winner Grayacre Star set to meet Hi Black Jack. Black Jack reached the semi-final in Loughrea on his last appearance and could take stopping. Perhaps the one I’m  most interested in here is Bango Malone. He was going well in the Derby TS last year before a back to slips put pay to his chances and went on to reach the final in Castletown Geoghegan where he’d been well fancied. This is his first appearance of the season and he’s one well worth keeping an eye on.

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