Kyle Roger the favourite to claim Kingdom Cup

The second of the two 32 dog Cups this Christmas takes place at Ballybeggan Park in Tralee where the County Kerry Coursing Club will hold their annual Kingdom Cup meeting. Over the years this meeting has seen some exceptional winners over the years with Ashmore View, Eshwary Ando and Sandy Sea just three of note over the last decade. Who will follow in their paw prints on Saturday evening?

Kingdom Cup– Draw and Betting

Rathnasare Lady- 20/1
Chicken Chaser- 20/1

Ballymac Town- 12/1
Shanavulin Eva- 16/1

Shorten The Road- 5/1
Bonanza- 12/1

Onlydecrumbliest- 20/1
Call Him Bawn- 20/1
———————————————
Sombrero Jack- 14/1
Getinaboot- 8/1

Mojito Man- 8/1
Jeffs All Star- 20/1

Space Station- 16/1
Journey Of Life- 8/1

Listellick Titan- 20/1
Ballymac Cathal- 20/1
——————————————–
Call Him Bale- 8/1
Downton Shadow- 12/1

Shanavulin Magic- 8/1
Highland Heather- 12/1

Sarasota Silver- 16/1
Kyle Roger- 6/4

Country Man- 20/1
Steeple Rd Jack- 20/1
——————————————————-
Jigsaw Man- 10/1
Call Him Bolt- 10/1

Lineroad Amigo- 4/1
Swift Escalade- 12/1

You Drodera- 12/1
Hazors Wood- 8/1

Winter Of Fun- 12/1
Blackpool Bolt- 20/1

Front Runners

What’s clear from the draw is that the bottom half, and the third quarter in particular looks a great deal strongerĀ than the top half. In fact there are four or five dogs in the third quarter who could make the semi-finals if they’d been drawn elsewhere! Kyle Roger is the 6-4 favourite but he’s a dog I’d struggle to back at that price. In fact he’s a dog that frustrates me given how often he has flattered only to deceive. In saying that he rarely loses to a bad dog, Needham Danger, Avenue Ranger and Floating Patriot have all had his number this season, but his inability to turn good starts into silverware is reminiscent of a cricketer who has no problem making 50s but can’t make 100s. On paper he could well be the best dog in the stake but I’ll not be winning (or losing) any money backing him!

He should get over the first two rounds before he’s due to meet a useful opponent in the third round. Call Him Bale gave an improved performance on his last start and his form may be on the rise. He meets Downtown Shadow who was very competitive as a pup but hasn’t translated that into the All Age ranks. Shanavulin Magic has raised one flag in three outings but is probably a better dog than that record would suggest. Highland Heather is the dog who I think can emerge from this quarter to meet Roger, provided he’s sound. His record of three semi-final and one final appearance in four outings is fairly strong and having had a break he should come to Ballybeggan with this as his target.

In the bottom quarter Lineroad Amigo, Hazors Wood and Jigsaw Man would be my choices to fight it out for a place in the semi-final. Lineroad Amigo has the strongest form this year by a distance, a Cup winner in Milltown Malbay he lost out in the final in Bandon to Lochbo Charlie. He could well be a winner. Hazors Wood hasn’t been seen this season but was useful as a pup winning the Champion Working Members in Limerick. Jigsaw Man recently returned in Cappoquin and should have improved for the two runs he got there. He shouldn’t be written off given his puppy form.

In the top half, and the odds reflect this, it’s hard to make a case for almost anything. Journey Of Life, reached the last 16 of the Derby and the quarter final of the Irish Cup last year but hasn’t hit those heights this year. He might well be the most likely to challenge if he rediscovers that form. Of the others bitch Ballymac Town would probably have the strongest form, an Oaks Trial Stake finalist in Castleisland, she reached a Bitch Stake final in Ballyheigue earlier in the season.

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