It’s good to be back. I’m right in the deep end this week with one of the best opening weekend’s coursing in a number of years with the weather conditions over the summer being appreciated by coursing supporters and their dogs if not the general populus. There’s a cracking Cup in prospect in Kilflynn that’ll need a little extra work, but the McDonagh Cup in Liscannor won’t be easy won with a number of very interesting entries.
McDonagh Cup– Draw
The softer ground this season has attracted the strongest field to the McDonagh Cup in Liscannor in a number of years with some useful pups and a number of exciting third season dogs among the competitors. The great unknown of course is how dogs will train on and it’ll take up to a month for the season to start to develop a patten. But just what can we expect?
Probably the pick of the first round buckles is the top clash, which sees Avenue Ranger, twice a Cup winner and a Cup runner-up last season meet Maxi Collins’ Blueview Sanual, twice a beaten Trial Stake finalist. It’ll be interesting to see how both have trained on this season. Avenue Ranger claimed some big scalps last year including Floating Patriot and he could be a useful runner early in the season. Maxi of course knows how to prepare a dog right and Sanual has the potential to cause an upset here. He ran up Trial Stakes in Ballinagar and Gorey last season. Galbally Trial Stake winner Beef Budget and the ATM Syndicates’ Murtys Away are both interesting runners with the latter the sort of dog well capable of winning a cup this year should things fall right for him. He reached both a final and a semi-final last season.
In the second quarter Summerfield King and Shyan Jonboy could be challengers if they up their game from last seaon. Jonboy reached the final of the Trial Stake here last season and reached the TA Morris final. Jonboy performed at his best early in the season and might be at his best early this year.
The third quarter has a couple of interesting dogs including Drumcrow Rab and Wood Dynamo. Drumcrow Rab only ran on three occasions last season losing out to Kyle Bruce and Fingal Billy as they collected Trial Stakes. He could represent a bit of value and I’d give him a great chance of reaching the final at his best. He’s a litter brother of Blue Abella the Kitty Butler winner. Wood Dynamo is a dog I had plenty of time for but I’m not sure he got over running and reaching the final in Westmeath last season. If he’s back at his best he’s also an interesting runner.
In the bottom quarter the two interesting runners are Advantage and Whiskey Galore. Advantage hasn’t been sighted since winning the Trial Stake here last season and it’ll be fascinating to see how he goes. Whiskey Galore, the track bred double cup winner last season missed out on his trip to Clonmel last term but he’s fairly lightly coursed and could give this Cup a rattle if he can rediscover his form from the Waterford meeting.