Qualification for the Champion Stakes will be on the minds of plenty of owners and trainers over the next fortnight or so. While all might seem lost for many they could well take inspiration from Cracking Lord who at this point last season hadn’t registered a point. By the final meeting of the ‘regular’ season in Macroom he’d booked an unlikely place in Champion Stakes with 10 points.
Speaking of remaining meetings, here’s what we’re left with:
Abbeyfeale– Tuesday and Wednesday
Galbally– Tuesday and Wednesday
Millstreet– Friday and Saturday
Templetuohy– Saturday and Sunday
Ballymena– 9th- 11th January
Tubbercurry– 9th- 11th January
Kilcreevin/ Ballymote– 9th- 11th January
Sevenhouses– 10th- 11th January
Clonakilty– 10th- 11th January
Macroom– 14th- 15th January
Of these meetings only 3 All Age Bitch Stakes remain, at Templetuohy, Ballymena and Clonakilty. There is of course the option for ladies to enter in All Age Cups and two took points from Cups yesterday, Murphys Vote runner up in the Corn Cuchullain took 4 points and €1,400 while Camarillo Blonde ran up the Cork Cup to claim two Champion Bitch Stake points. 12 months ago Loyal Lyric won the Premier Cup in Templetuohy propelling her in the Champion Bitch Stake, so it’s certainly a possibility.
There was a good day on Saturday for two of this season’s nearly ladies as Isabelles Charm and Kingtone Jessie both won their tickets to Clonmel. Isabelles Charm has won 12 of her 15 courses this season, reaching finals in Loughrea and Killimer Kilrush before her success in Roscommon yesterday. Her only other defeat, at Ennis- Clarecastle saw her beaten in the opening round by Clontuohy who also won yesterday in Wexford.
That Ennis- Clarecastle Trial Stake won by Miss Buttons has turned out to be a fairly strong one with Trial Stake winners including Aveia (Loughrea), Athcarne Charm (Trim), Killimor Mimi (Res- Borris in Ossory) and Skyfullofstars (Res- Regional) emerging from it.
Kingtone Jessie, has won 13 of her 16 courses this season, losing out to Vienna Calling in Thurles and then to Magical Saorla at Clonmel and Kilsheelan. She ran out a convincing winner in Mooncoin yesterday and now takes her place in the Oaks.