Browns Can Bag The Points In Galbally

The Russell Cup is the highlight at Galbally over the new year’s period. Cloudy Dawn was the first dog out of the draw and he is chasing the few Champions Stakes points on offer.

As it stands this fellow sits in 19th position on the Champion Stakes table after running up in Ballyheigue, Freshford and Bandon. If he could reach the final here the two points will be enough to cement his place at the National Meeting. He meets Less Said in his opening buckle and should come out on top.

Browns Kitchen returned to his best form in Dungarven after a few below par efforts.

He was beaten in the second round in Tralee recently but I really think the field here will suit him better.

Browns is a dog who I really took to last year after a few decent displays in the Irish Plate last season. I’d fancy him to go very close here if things go his way. It’s not the strongest renewal this year. Amazing Oscar is the other standout runner in the top half, Oscar won last time out in Cappoquin and is on the top of his game at the moment.

There are two stand out runners in the bottom half of the draw here, Blue Beruki and Glenlough Mick. Blue Beruki ran extremely well here last season as a puppy, reaching the final of this Cup but all wasn’t well after as he was withdrawn out of the National meeting. Blue has yet to recapture last season’s form. He was beaten on St. Stephen’s Day by the eventual winner Team Ike in Borrisoleigh in the first round.

If he is to get involved here he will have to step up a gear, as the saying goes “horses for courses”. His connections will be hoping it applies here. Glenlough Mick is the pensioner (Jan 2012 whelp). In his younger days Mick could go with the best of them. Mick is at his best in the first round, so if himself and Blue Beruki should meet in round two it could decide who gets to the final.

Overall I’m going to go for Browne’s Kitchen for the win here. The setup in Galbally can suit him and he does represent a bit of value. Even though it is a tricky enough field it has produced some fantastic winners over the years so I would be keeping an eye on the results of both trial stakes with some interesting runners in both stakes this year!

Full Steam Ahead In East Donegal
East Donegal finally get to stage their meeting this weekend after the weather played havoc with the intended date. City Jet has run here already this season reaching the final of the Cup at the first meeting back in November. He sits on six Champion Stakes points at the moment. A win here will put him in the mix for the Champion Stakes. He has a nice draw in the bottom, his main danger can come in the second round where he should meet Ivy Hill Time.

This course could have a big say in where the Cup goes. Ivy Hill is bred for speed and is very sharp in the early rounds of his competitions. Rory for Glory could be the value bet in the draw. He picked up his National Meeting pass here last season and does appreciate the extra few yards. He is nestled nicely in the top half of the draw, at a price he could go very close. So far this year Rory hasn’t had the rub of the green with the draws, this could be his time to shine. Looking at the prices he is the one I would go for.

It could be a family affair in the final between Rory and City Jet (Rory trained by Paul Matthews and Jet trained by his father Brendan). Windfarm Ivy looks the one in the Bitch Stake, already a winner in Galway and Oranmore she will love this long stretch and will be the one they all have to beat.

A win here for Isabelles Charm should put her right up there in the running for the Champion Stakes, she has already picked up a gold medal in Balbriggan and a sliver in Carlow. She too will really appreciate the long stretch here and will take a bit of stopping. If these two are to meet, I’d swing in the direction of Windfarm, she gets stronger and stronger as the stake goes so will be meeting Isabelle at the right time!

Christmas Oaks
The rescheduled Christmas Oaks is down for decision this coming Saturday night. Word from connections from all six finalists is that they are all fine and ready for action. There was a special trial session staged in Shelbourne last Wednesday for the connections.

Both Graham Holland and Shane O’Gorman availed of the opportunity to give their finalists a spin and Ballydoyle Honey was fastest when she flew around in a brilliant 27.99.

Ballydoyle’s litter sister and kennel companion Hovex Princess clocked 28.51 while Yahoo Perlena did an impressive trial when clocking 28.17. Betting has reopened and Honey is still our 4/9 jolly. You would have to wonder will the mishap two weeks ago effect the fast starters? This could play right into the paws of Ballydoyle Honey.

Oaks & Derby
There could be a big shake up in the betting for both the Derby and Oaks this week. As we go to print the Corn Na Feile is taking place in Abbeyfeale, so we could maybe have a new Derby/Oaks favourite on Tuesday evening. The season is really flying in this year. There are only a handful of meetings left altogether so there is going to be some scramble for places in cups and trial stakes over the next fortnight. The weather has been kind to us this year. I know we have got plenty of rain but at least the frost stayed away.

This could be the first time in a few years that the dogs will get a clean run to Clonmel, no training upsets because of the hard ground. The betting for both classics is really starting to hot up, turn over Is well up on this time last year. Don’t forget to keep an eye on all the market movers for this weekend’s action on

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