Tynwald the dog to beat in Tubbercurry?

There are plenty with chances in this season’s Ulster Cup which gets underway in Tubbercurry on Friday, run by the Ballymena club. There are four Cup winners in the field eager to try and secure enough points to make the cut for the Champion Stakes.

Ulster Cup– Draw and Betting

Needham Simple- 2/1
Macbrides Blonde- 5/1

Dealbhna Mor- 5/1
Skelp Lad- 6/1

Border Fox- 8/1
Make Peace- 3/1

Garlyn Flash- 6/1
Bernish Jet- 5/1
Amys Ace- 10/1
Fernisky Bobby- 8/1

Cloonturk Bex- 10/1
Tynwald Ash- 2/1

Central Curator- 4/1
Ashmore King- 5/1

Down From Tyrone- 8/1
Munie Gang- 8/1

Front Runners

At the head of the betting sit Needham Simple and Tynwald Ash respectively, two dogs who have aspirations of climbing onto 8 Champion Stakes points with victory. Tynwald however probably has the better of the draw and connections will certainly fancy their charges chances of reaching the last four. A recent Cup winner at North Kilkenny, Tynwald had made a couple of quick first round exits prior to that effort. If he’s on his game a semi-final appearance is the least that can be expected for Tynwald.

In the bottom quarter Ashmore King and Central Curator could well have a very tight buckle. Both dogs have ability and a recovery of that form could see them give this stake a real rattle. Central returned to action at the recent East Donegal meeting bowing out in the opening round but his form from last season would give him a shot. Ashmore King on the otherhand run well to start the season but he didn’t look quite right when going down well to Skellig Sunlight in Nenagh. He hasn’t run since that but if he’s back to his best here he’ll not be without a chance.

At the top of the draw Needham Simple seems to have found some form of consistency and he’s the 2-1 joint favourite with Boyles, though 3-1 with Brownes. He’s reached Cup finals in Lixnaw and Abbeyfeale on his last two outings and that sort of form will be needed here. Macbrides Blonde was unlucky in Dundalk when running onsighted when well in control of the course. A beaten finalist in Lifford on his only other outing this year he’s not without hope. Dealbhna Mor or Skelp Lad await the winner, Dealbhna Mor taking silverware on two of his four starts could be the most under-rated here. He beat Fingal Master on his way to winning a Reserve Trial Stake in Balbriggan last year and hasn’t run from winning the Cup in Ballinagar in October. Skelp has made a couple of semi-finals this season but might find his opponent here too strong.

In the second quarter Make Peace and Bernish Jet could well be on course for a second round meeting. Make Peace is blessed with plenty of pace but keeping him in one piece seems to be a little tricky. Beat in the final here last year by Bridewell Kieran he’s shown that he takes to what can be a somewhat quirky field. On his day he’d have every chance. Bernish Jet has run well on his couple of outings this season, reaching a final in Wexford most recently. He meets Belsize Cup winner Garlyn Flash in the opening course, Flash’s first appearance since October.

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