Champion Stake & Champion Bitch Stake Preview

A look at the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes and Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stake ahead of the action in Clonmel.

Champion Stakes
Skellig Shane will start the 7/4 favorite following the high profile withdrawal of Blades Of Fire prior to the draw. This will be his third visit to Powerstown Park. He disappointed somewhat the first year in the Derby but he had a lot of running done before he reached the main stage.

Last year he came up against the mighty Howdododo in the first round of the Champion Stakes and was well beaten in the fastest clock of the meeting. I know a lot of people have him down as a flat field specialist after his displays in both Tralee and Limerick but I wouldn’t rule him out at all.

Ballygerard Buzz was one of the unlucky runners in last season’s Derby and after a rough start to the season Buzz looks to be really coming to the boil nicely. His runs in Templetuohy were his best all season and if the same Buzz shows up in Powerstown Park well then I think he wins the Champion Stakes.

Kyle Mozart can give him a run in the semi-final. Floating Victor will be Skellig’s biggest worry at the bottom of the draw.

Selection: Ballygerald Buzz
Danger: Skellig Shane

Champion Bitch Stake
Bexhill Anna is a very short priced favourite to land the Grace Bruton Champion Bitch Stake which is mainly because of the draw she has been handed. Barring an accident I can’t see her not wearing the red collar in the final.

Straight legs can be her opponent in the semi-final but I can’t see her troubling the jolly too much. Dicks Bimbo returns to Clonmel for the second year in a row and will be hoping to put the record straight after going unsighted in the quarter-final of the Oaks last year when well in front of the eventual winner, Knockout Glory.

She meets the well fancied Tree Top Kerry in round one. Bimbo will have to bring her best form to the party early because anything less won’t be good enough. Touch Of Class should lead Kingsmill Ariel in the first round and go on to meet Bimbo.

What a humdinger we could be in for if these two meet!

Bimbo just gets the vote and can go on to make up the final we have been dreaming of all year. Dicks Bimbo v Bexhill Anna round two. The last time these clashed Bimbo lead Anna by just over a length. If everything is level going into the final I can’t see Anna over turning the deficit.

Selection: Dicks Bimbo
Danger: Bexhill Anna