Eight go in search of crucial points in Millstreet

Millstreet normally host a competitive North Cork Cup and this weekend will be no different with  plenty of dogs running here with Champion Stakes aspirations. There are no fewer than eight cup winners scattered throughout the field and all will feel they have a decent shot of taking home some silverware.

North Cork Cup– Draw and Betting

Fleetwood Ger- 10/1
Duarigle Mystic- 8/1

Storming- 10/1
Knockrour Nash- 6/1

Sarasota Silver- 10/1
In The Centre- 4/1

Avenue Ranger- 3/1
Mafi Magician- 8/1
Lochbo Charlie- 3/1

Roquefort Barney- 2/1
Hazors Wood- 10/1

Droopys Bestie- 6/1
Blazing Music- 8/1

Come On Bella- 10/1
Baby Mix- 10/1

Front Runners

The third quarter is the standout in this draw. Roquefort Barney is the 2-1 favourite for the stake at the minute though he could have some stiff competition to get out of the quarter. Hazors Wood in the opening round could be a tricky proposition on the best of his puppy form. Barney was expected to perform well in South Clare over the Christmas period but ran into Skellig Sunlight in the second round. He comes here in need of Champion Stake points and with a point to prove. His potential second round opponent will be decided by the meeting of Alleyesonus, another South Clare runner who exited in the opening round and another in need of points. A Cup winner at Tradaree in early December he could yet provide another surprise here. He meets Lochbo Charlie, a dog who has only been beaten once in five lifetime appearances (he was withdrawn when due to meet Roquefort at the Galway and Oranmore meeting- and lost as a pup at Glin.) This season he’s won the Desmond Cup and the Callanan Cup at Bandon and is well primed for a big run here.

In the bottom quarter Blazing Music has made five second round appearances since winning the Cup in Ennis- Clarecastle. He’s another of these dogs to have made an appearance at the South Clare meeting on St Stephen’s Day. He’s still in the running for a Champion Stakes place with a victory here. He meets Droopys Bestie, one of the few dogs who seems to be coming here as a first choice rather than as a back-up after their Christmas plans fell apart! He reached the semi-final at Enniscorthy but lost out in the opening round of the Deise Cup to Bernish Jet. I’d struggle to pick a winner between these two. Of the two bitches in the bottom course, Baby Mix has probably had the best season to date reaching semi-finals at Ardpatrick and Mitchelstown.

There are four dogs in the top half in real need of points. Avenue Ranger has probably had the best season two date, reaching a semi-final in Edenderry before going on to win Cups at Rathkeale and Dungarvan. He has a very tricky opening round against Mafi Magician who demonstrated at Limerick City earlier this season that he should be taken seriously when reaching the final. Also in that quarter, In The Centre will be hoping to recapture the form that saw him run out an impressive winner of the Six To Five Cup in Nenagh. He reached the semi-final in Borris-in-Ossory on his last start and should be respected.

The top quarter will see both Duarigle Mystic and Knockrour Nash hope to contend for points. Mystic has struggled to register points since winning the Cup in Ballyheigue most recently losing out in South Clare on St Stephen’s Day. He’ll need a better showing to get the couple of points he needs badly here. Knockrour Nash was a surprise winner in Glanworth on his last appearance but that success has given him a real chance. He’ll get nothing straight forward against Storming, a semi-finalist at Ardpatrick on his last appearance.

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