Living Next Door does the business in Rathcormac

Living Next Door justified his short priced favouritism to claim the All Age Cup in Rathcormac this afternoon getting the better of Breezing Johnny in the final of the stake to move himself onto 6 Champion Stakes points and put himself right in contention for a return trip to Powerstown Park. Owned by young Ben O’Connor, Living Next Door is a son of Adios Alonso and Castlemartyr Jet and was withdrawn in the third round of the Derby having impressed in the opening two rounds.

Skellig Tulip completed a cross card double for the Skellig team, as the daughter of Skellig Wish and Skellig Babe, became the third member of the litter to win an All Age Stake this season (At All Times and Skellig Mint the other two). This brindle bitch is owned by Rose O’Driscoll and this was her first outing this season.

In the Derby Trial Stake Glenbowen Junior overcame Burgess Prince to take the honours. Owned by Chloe Bowen, Junior was making his first outing of the season for connections. He is a son of Newinn Wonder and Chance Me Betty.

The Oaks Trial Stake saw Rushview Emma, a daughter of Oaks runner-up Emmas Goldrush, take the silverware. The March pup is a daughter of Thomas The Tank, and is owned by Paul Willis. Making her first outing of the season she got the better of Millridge Daisy.

All Age Cup

Living Next Door (Adios Alonso x Castlemartyr Jet) beat Breezing Johnny (Johnny Casanova x Knockrour Breeze)

All Age Bitch Stake

Skellig Tulip (Skellig Wish x Skellig Babe) beat Noirs Maggie (Blueview Sam x Fiery Ruby)

Derby Trial Stake

Glenbowen Junior (Newinn Wonder x Chance Me Betty) beat Burgess Prince (Adios Alonso x Aslee Annie)

Oaks Trial Stake

Rushview Emma (Thomas The Tank x Emmas Goldrush) beat Millridge Daisy (Adios Alonso x Mount Ruby Sammy)


Hard ‘Work’ expected for Needham at Desmond Cup?

The Desmond Cup at Glin is always one of the highlights of the early part of the season and this year will be no different with a number of contenders for top awards among those taking part. The meeting also provides a great insight into the top pups for the season ahead and it’ll be worth keeping a close eye on the Trial Stakes.

There’s quality scattered throughout the field for the 2015 Desmond Cup with Needham Work clearly the most noteworthy of the entries based on last season’s Irish Cup winning exploits. There are a number of other big names Floating Patriot, Kyle Fionn, Living Next Door and Crafty Who amongst them. On top of that there are another couple who may have slipped under the radar and offer decent value at big prices.

Desmond Cup– Draw and Best Betting

Carlsbush Mafi- 16/1
Sturdyandstaunch- 10/1

Moonveen King- 16/1
Breezing Johnny- 7/1

Northland Rebel- 10/1
Spalpin Fanach- 14/1

Cooga Hero- 10/1
Needham Crystal- 4/1
Glin Syn Eile- 12/1
Doomore Dave- 8/1

Time James- 8/1
Marshals Adio – 16/1

Ashmore Phantom- 8/1
Mulboy King- 16/1

Bricklane Bobby- 12/1
Brookwood Tom- 12/1
Bigbadleroybrown- 10/1
Crafty Who- 5/1

Swinging Light- 12/1
Rory For Glory- 8/1

Barrack Bolt- 6/1
Macbrides Blonde- 16/1

Living Next Door- 5/1
Missouri Spruce- 20/1
Cash Call- 10/1
Kyle Fionn- 6/1

Arcade Maximus- 12/1
Floating Patriot- 6/1

Needham Work- 6/4
Neverland Pirate- 20/1

Tarmons Alonso- 7/1
Roxboro Castle- 25/1

Front Runners

We’ll start in the bottom quarter with the current 6-4 favourite Needham Work might have hoped for a more straight forward draw. While he’ll be expected to advance past Neverland Pirate, he’s set to meet the dangerous Tarmons Alonso in round two. He was clocking among the fastest pups in Carlow last year when withdrawn in the fourth round, though that wasn’t the strongest Trial Stake of the seaon. He might just give the Irish Cup winner a worry or two.

The top half of the bottom quarter looks like a bit of a minefield with four decent dogs all drawn to meet each other. Kyle Fionn won a decent Trial Stake in Thurles last season before being beaten by Feel My Pulse in the second round of the Derby. He meets Cash Call the Trial Stake winner in Abbeyfeale in the opening round. Cash Call made his seasonal bow in Kilflynn where he lost to Stephens Owen. He’ll need an improved performance to advance here. Arcade Maximus and last year’s Stephen Fuller Memorial Cup winner Floating Patriot also meet here. I get the impression Floating Patriot might just be better fresh and should advance here against Maximus who lost out in Kilflynn last week.

The third quarter looks fairly strong but I’d expect it to come down to three to four dogs. I’m on record as having said that to me Living Next Door’s first round run was one of the most impressive from Clonmel last season. Depsite stumbling coming out of slips he put in one of the quickest first round times up there with Timber House, Tullamoy Master and Portane All In. If he brings that kind of form then the 5-1 on offer looks decent value.

Bigbadleroybrown (that’s the best name in coursing at the minute, by the way!) and Crafty Who should have cracking buckle at the top of the quarter. Crafty was a little disappointing at time last season and should really have been pushing for a Champion Stakes place, instead of just missing out. He’ll take a bit of beating if he’s at his best. Bigbadleroybrown was one of those unlucky dogs not to win a Trial Stake last season despite raising 12 flags. A little bit older now, the 10-1 about him definitely represents value, if he has matured. He’s worth keeping an eye on this season.

In the top quarter Needham Crystal looks the standout dog. The Tubbercurry Trial Stake winner missed Clonmel and connections will be eager to make up for lost time with him. Northland Rebel could be an interesting runner, he was a June pup and performed well on most of his outings without claiming silverware. A year older, he could cause an upset or two. The son of Emmas Goldrush is certainly bred to run well. Breezing Johnny though might just be the best bet to come out of  this quarter. His record is impressive with his results on the ICC website reading  SF, BFA, BF, **, 3P, SF, BF, SF. He’s a hound with serious pace and no one will want to meet him.

The second quarter has no real standout star but there are some interesting dogs here. Glin Syn Eile reached two semi-finals in two outings as a pup. Doomore Dave was kept busy last season and won the Glin Derby here 12 months ago. Time James was beat in the final of the Trial Stake 12 months ago, while Ashmore Phantom won the Trial Stake in Wexford last Christmas. Mulboy King is a better dog than his record shows. He was on the receiving end of gruels in New Ross and Dundalk, and was the closest dog on the clock to Blades of Hope in Castletowngeoghegan before bumping into him in the third round. Marshals Aido and Brookwood Tom both reached Trial Stake finals and can’t be taken lightly. It’s a wide open quarter and I wouldn’t be in any rush to predict it.

The All Age Bitch Stake is also wide open with three or four of last season’s top bitches in the field. Blue Abella was very impressive in winning the Kitty Butler last season, while Churchill Queen, Bated Breath and Crossbound all won courses at Powerstown. The most interesting runner in the field for me is Skellig Mint. She wasn’t seen to mid-December last season and looked sharp. She was favourite to win Trial Stakes on more than one occasion before losing out. Her litter brother At All Times showed similar characteristics last season before winning in Kilflynn. I wouldn’t put anyone off a small bet at 4-1 on her, though she’ll have to beat some cracking bitches to win here.

Best of the action from Monday in Kilflynn

It’s great to have Micheal McNamara back doing the business again this season with his camera. He was in Kilflynn at the weekend and he’s done a great job recording the various stakes. Here’s the best of Monday’s action.

PS- Glin and Ennis previews will be online tomorrow

Stephen Fuller Mermorial All Age Cup

Oaks Trial Stake

Reserve Derby Trial Stake

Can Kyle Bruce start the season in style in Kilflynn?

Sunday will see a quality field go to slips for the Stephen Fuller Memorial Cup at Kilflynn, a cup that has become one of the stand out stakes in the calendar over recent seasons. With top dogs like Floating Patriot, Skellig Way and Kyle King winning this stake in recent seasons it’s a very useful pointer to the season ahead.

Stephen Fuller Cup– Draw and Betting

Call Here Alonso- 8/1
Missouri Spruce- 12/1

Whatdoyoufancy- 6/1
Time James- 10/1

Game Eanna- 12/1
Barrack Bolt- 4/1

Cash Call- 8/1
Stephens Owen- 5/1
Galtee Boy- 8/1
Ramona Misty- 12/1

Crafty Resino- 12/1
Annual Exchange- 12/1

Bedford Banker- 4/1
Sheeraghs Lad- 12/1

Why Tanyard Cha- 16/1
At All Times- 6/1
Kyle Bruce- 2/1
Sturdyandstaunch- 10/1

Madrasa- 12/1
Central Investor- 8/1

Fleetwood Nova- 8/1
Skellig Harbour- 6/1

Go On Dessie- 6/1
Wizard Matthew- 6/1
Blazing Music- 6/1
Chubbys Charmer- 6/1

Arcade Maximus- 8/1
Funny Alonso- 5/1

Onthewagonwheel- 20/1
Barrack Nell- 20/1

Coffee In Spirit- 16/1
Blessings- 20/1

Front Runners

There’s not really the time here to look at every runner individually, but it’s fair to say that this is a high class stake. At the top of the card many will expect Call Here Alonso to make the last eight, but I’m not convinced that the Gerry Holian trained runner will progress. Whatdoyoufancy was always good to clear at least a couple of rounds in every stake he contested last season and it would be no surprise if he were to do the same again. Beaten in the Irish Cup by Kyle Bruce, he’ll take a bit of beating at the top of this card.

The bottom half of the top quarter sees a number of useful dogs from last season line up. My own choice here would be Stephens Owen, a Trial Stake winner in Gorey last season. He’ll not get it all his own way against Cash Call, the Trial Stake winner at Abbeyfeale, while Barrack Bolt showed enough on two starts last season to be considered a lively contender. Whether he deserves to be the 4-1 joint second favourite or not remains to be seen.

The top half of the second quarter contains three Trial Stake winners and a runner up from last season but my preference here is for the Clonakilty Trial Stake winner Crafty Resino. He ran well throughout last season and finally claimed silverware at one of the final Trial Stakes of the season. The others here all have chances with Ramona Misty the one I can see as the most likely competitor.

The bottom of the top half sees second favourite Bedford Banker drawn here. The son of Kyle James and Chubbys Banker was fairly unfortunate last season, clocking well but always seeming to run into one that was just a little too strong for him. He’s definitely got ability and I do expect him to win a cup this year, I’m just not sure it’ll be here. He’s got a tricky first round draw with Sheeragh Lad, a cup winner last season, always a lively contender. At All Times is a dog with serious pace when he puts it together and if he’s matured this season he could be a contender for honours. He’s not without a chance here.

The third quarter is probably the strongest on paper with outright favourite Kyle Bruce headlining it. On last year’s showing, and on his kennel’s form in this stake over  the year’s he’s a deserving favourite. However, as with most of these early meetings, there’s a degree of the unknown with them. Sturdyandstaunch won’t be a pushover in the opening round, while the meeting of Madrasa and Central Investor could be interesting. Central had a disaster of a season last year, missing most of it through injury before reappearing in Dundalk. At 8-1 he could well be the value outside bet in the field.

Fleetwood Nova is another interesting contender. An Irish Cup semi-finalist as a pup, he reached the semi-final here 12 months ago. He’ll go into slips against Skellig Harbour, the Abbeydorney Trial Stake winner, hoping to following in the paw prints of Skellig Way in 2013. Wizard Matthew however might well be the surprise package here, a beaten finalist in Ballyduff and at the Co. Kerry meeting he’ll be expected to appear in the winners sheet sooner rather than later. Wizard Matthew might just advance to the quarter-final if he’s on his game.

The top half of the bottom quarter sees Blazing Music located with a number of smart pups from last season. Blazing Music has got plenty of early and is always dangerous early in stakes. He faces a stiff task against Chubbys Charmer, who reached the last 16 of the Derby. It’ll be an interesting buckle and one that tells us a lot about where both dogs are entering the new season. The clash of Arcade Maximus and Funny Alonso, both Trial Stake winners last season will be an equally insightful buckle. We haven’t seen much from Funny Alonso and he may be open to the most improvement this season but on the balance of what was seen last year, he’ll be the dog to beat.

It’s hard to see any of the bitches in the bottom of this quarter troubling the dogs, but if one where to then it will probably be Coffee In Spirit, the bitch Trial Stake winner at Templetuohy.

Overview of 2014-15 All Age season

At the end of each season it’s always instructive to get a look back at the season just gone and what find out what we can learn from the season just gone. In the all age ranks it generally throws up a couple of surprises.

Some of the more noteworthy points in this seasons All Age Cups include:

  • Of the 70 All Age Cups this season, 39 were won by dogs that did not win Trial Stakes in their puppy season. Of those 39 Cups, 28 different dogs claimed silverware.
  • Of those 28 dogs, 11 won multiple Cups:- Avenue Ranger, Bango Malone, Blueview Charlie, Floating Patriot, Hotspot, Lochbo Benny, Marshals Mercury, Needham Work, Skellig Sunlight, Tynwald Ash, Whiskey Galore.
  • Six cups this season were won by track bred greyhounds most notably, Whiskey Galore and Hotspot. The other track bred winners were Garlyn Flash (Westmeath) and Barnish Panther (Balbriggan)
  • 31 Cups were won by dogs who won Trial Stakes or Reserve Trial Stakes in their puppy seasons. Of this 31 there were 24 different Cup winners.
  • Multiple Cup winners who won Trial Stakes last season included:- Eastern Shore, Fingal Master, Janeys Eoin, Lochbo Charlie, Needham Danger, Roquefort Barney and Vale View Flyer.
  • The last 8 in the 2014 Boylesports Derby won 5 Cups between them. Light Duty, Gold Cup winner in East Donegal, added to wins by Vale View Flyer and Fingal Master.
  • Just 8 Cups were won by dogs in their third season. Marshals Mercury claimed two of these earlier in the season. The others were Tilford Tom, Dale Pinocchio, Amys Lotto, Corriga Rebel, Wilton Magic and Broadwell James.
  • No bitch won a mixed gender stake this season and no pups proved successful in the All Age ranks.

Bexhill Eoin produced the most Cup winners this season with 11 winners among his off-spring. Kingsmill Dynamo saw his progeny claim 8 Cups while Mafi Magic and Murtys Blaze saw their sons win 6 Cup each. The breakdown by Sire is as follows:

Sire Cup Wins
Bexhill Eoin 11
Kingsmill Dynamo 8
Mafi Magic 6
Murtys Blaze 6
Adios Alonso 4
Kyle James 4
Jingles 3
Johnny Casanova 3
Wallace Green 3
Blueview Sam 2
Droopys Scolari 2
Lochbo Blake 2
Murtys Gang 2
Musical Time 2
Razor Ashmore 2
Trajectory 2
Tubbertelly Dubh 2
Castle Pines 1
Head Bound 1
Janey MacAroo 1
Mildean Panther 1
Sheeraghs Mocara 1
Tynwald Smokey 1

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.