Bonnie To Be Queen Of The Cross

This year’s final of the Corn Cuchulainn is a battle of the sexes; we have four bitches and two dogs in the line-up.

Two ladies dominate the top of the market after winning their respective semi-finals. Fire Height Amy (11/8) took the honours in the opening semi-final which was only a four runner affair. She really had to battle hard to grind out the win.

Karlow Master (5/1) set the pace for the majority of the race after a fast start from trap three, he led Amy to the corner. When Amy turned so close I was sure it was going to be an easy victory for the favourite, but Karlow kept digging and digging and didn’t want to give up as Amy eyeballed him between the last two bends.

It was only around the 525 boxes up the home straight when Amy got her head in front and went on for a length victory in the faster of the two semis 42.07. Shaneboy Sue (8/1) ran her usual race on the outside and was only three lengths off the pace at the finishing line, Sue is the only wide seed in the final so could be a danger to them all if there happened to be any trouble on the inside.

The second semi-final was a five dog race which went the way of the stout stayer Ballymac Bonnie (11/8) but it was the outsider of the field Uncle Paul (25/1) that was the one to hit the front early in this heat. As they passed the stands for the first time, Bonnie was all of eight lengths behind the leader and could see the whole field in front of her. She got a bit of bumping around the first two bends which had her so far off the pace, she didn’t start running until she got loose down the back straight and arrived on the scene into the penultimate turn.

From here, there was only going to be one winner as she got her pitch on the fence and was able to slip through up the inside on the run home. She pulled further and further clear with every stride running out a four and a half length winner over Whaoo Wheoo (12/1) in second and early pace setter Uncle Paul a neck back in third.

Looking at the draw for the final, I’m going to give my vote to Ballymac Bonnie. I feel she will get a nice run from trap four as the early pacers are on her inside so she should get on the fence a bit sooner.

She is the best stayer in the race and will be there to pick up the pieces up the home straight.

Fire Height Amy will be her main danger. She is a class lady and is looking for her second big win of the year over six bends after her victory in the Barry’s Tea in Cork in June. Both these ladies contested the Puppy Oaks at Harolds Cross last year coincidentally, so the experience is standing to them. I’m predicting that we’ll see a female taking the prize!

We Know About Bruno Now
Bruno You Know (7/1) set the standard in round two of the Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk with a sizzling 21.06. He didn’t set the world alight in the opening round or in his trial around the track. But trainer Liam Dowling didn’t enter this lad for the craic. It’s a long way between Ballymacelligott and Dundalk!

Bruno has a few tasty runs on his card around Tralee and Limerick but really put it together last Friday night from trap six. Next best on the clock was the confirmed sprinter and Peggy Kelly sprint winner Catherines Drico (6/1), stopping the clock in 21.11 after a fastest of the night sectional 7.09.

Drico showed the superior early toe and just held on to win this heat from Slipalong Hero (12/1) and Blenhiem Cracker (50/1) in second and third respectively, separated by just two short heads. Trinity Forest (6/1) made it three wins from four starts around Dundalk when he got the better of the early paced Dunghill Rocket (14/1).

Forest first caught our attention in the Laurels where he was showing great early against much older rivals, this 400 yards trip seems to be right down his street. Limerick trainer Dave Kennedy seems to have his charge in top shape. A runner to catch my eye was the last heat winner Ballybough Mondo (12/1). His trainer can do no wrong at the moment.

Mondo wasn’t the best away but absolutely roared into the corner along the fence. He couldn’t hold himself around the last corner and ended up running extremely wide. It looked as though he was going to let Shocked in second place get a run up the centre of the track, but once Mondo straightened up he kicked on again and won comfortably in 21.34.

Other heat winners included Blue Cafu (20/1) 21.19, Lislevane Swift (33/1) 21.36, Trewmount Blue (25/1) 21.23 and Maytown Flavour (33/1) 21.40. Two fancied dogs who qualified safely for this week’s quarter finals Tynwald Bish (8/1) and Bellmore Neymar (5/1) could still have a part to play in the outcome!

This weekend also sees the finals of the Tipperary Cup in Thurles and the Southern Oaks in Youghal. The vote in Thurles goes to the Gerry Holian trained Curious Boy (7/4) who is two out of three around the track and is pinging the boxes in his last two starts. Black Tom (4/1) can give him most to do!

The Oaks in Youghal has as strong a field in the final as we have seen in years. It is a classy race where Skywalker Pearl (2/1) heads the betting as she has done from the outset despite finishing third in the semi-final. Graham Holland can’t be beaten at the moment in finals.

Badminton Rossa (11/4) is the youngest in the field and is unbeaten in all her races, all of which are around Youghal. She ran her best race so far last weekend and looks to be improving rightly. Dromscarra Ruby (4/1) was the fastest heat winner 28.81, which is the fastest time of the year around the East Cork venue. Skywalker Pearl gets the nod here.

With less than three weeks to go to the Derby all eyes are on the trials taking place before racing at HQ. A number of big names have been put through their paces last week including Farloe Blitz 28.44, Jaytee Jet 28.29, Tyrur Van Gaal 28.33 and Sidarian TeeJay 28.26. A number of other big players are due to be trialled in the next week including Ballydoyle Honey and Laughil Blake.

All the finishing touches are being put into place for the competition itself with the last of the trial stakes taking place this weekend. Keep an eye out online on for any market movers during the week! #BetOnBoyle

*Prices correct at time of publication