It was a very good day for the Michael O’Donovan kennel as all his major challengers for major honours worked their way into the second round. Chief among them was Boshski who was extremely impressive when seeing off Skellig Starwars in the fastest time of the opening round. With Curley trained bitches Two Steps Closer and Mantann Maple set to meet in the morning he’s sure to have at least one bitch less in the last 16. Timber House was very impressive, flying to opening course victory in the Derby in a time of 12.24 second, just behind Tullamoy Master who showed his class with a scintillating performance in the fastest time of the day.
There were two major surprises on the day notably the defeats for Crushers Oak and Tobhar Na Molt in the Derby and Oaks respectively. Crushers defeat was flagged by the market in advance as he was absolutely friendless drifting from as short as 6-1 earlier in the week to 10-1 (if not bigger). Rumours that he was under the weather had surfaced earlier in the week and might well give some indication of why the books were happy to take him on. Tobhar Na Molt also produced an under power performance as she went down around half a length to Windfarm Ivy. It was the Blades of Glory pair, Breska Lantern and Boshski, however that stole the show.
Looking ahead to tomorrow and Somelittlelady will be fancied to make it to the last 8 from the top quarter. She could well meet the winner of Churchill Queen and Breska Lantern, the Pat Curtain trained Lantern with a length in hand on the clock. The absence of Laytown Girl before coursing put paid to my main ante-post interest and in her absence Magical Saorla looks the favourite to reach the quarter-final from this side of the draw. At the bottom of the opening half things look fairly open with Sequin leading on the clock by around a length from Dale Asgard and Annual Edition.
Litter sisters Jogon Jeanie and Jeffys Twinkle meet in the morning and could well decide who reaches the quarter-final in that part of the draw although, Tobhar Na Molt’s conquerer, Windfarm Ivy, will have something to say about that. Vienna Calling has a length and a half in hand on the clock on Coffee In Spirit and will be fancied to reach the quarter final. Boshski will be fancied to advance in the bottom quarter along with Inslips All In although Mantann Maple and Two Steps Closer might have other ideas.
In the Derby, Blades of Hope will be expected to advance to the last 8 with Crafty Tornado expected to get a bye after Arcade Maximus was on the end of a particularly independent minded hare! Tullamoy Master looks nailed on for the final 8 with three lengths in hand on most of his rivals. Portane All In and Living Next Door could fight out the third round tomorrow morning with next to nothing to separate them on the clock. Kyle Bruce and Call Up Pal were locked together on 12.35 seconds and with Timmie Trickibow on 12.40 seconds there’s little to choose in the bottom of the top half.
Feel My Pulse will take all the beating in the top of the bottom half, Chubbys Charmer probably the biggest challenger. Fingal Billy looks the likeliest quarter-final opponent with What A Legacy getting plenty of work when winning his buckle today. Timber House looked a class above anything he might meet tomorrow, but we’ve all seen enough coursing to know anything could happen in the morning! Defacto was the surprise package in the bottom half, clocking a very fast 12.32 seconds, and his meeting with Somelittlelord could decide the quarter-finalist from here.
Enjoy your Saturday night folks! I’m away to enjoy mine