Lodge Hill The One To Beat In Tipperary
Champion Puppy Stake
The Tipperary and District Coursing Club hold their annual meeting this weekend in Galbally.
Champion Puppy Stake
Every year it throws up a few dogs and bitches to look forward to next season. The highlight on the card for me, on paper anyway, has to be the Champion Puppy Stake. This is a classy 16 runner event with plenty of trial stake winners and runners up throughout.
Lodge Hill is the stand-out runner for me.
He won his trial stake in Killimer/Kilrush and went on to run up the Corn Na Feile in Abbeyfeale. This fellow had plenty of support in the Derby but went out in round two to Needham Eoin (which was not a bad line of form).
The only problem is that I think he is at the wrong side of the draw, which looks the toughest on paper. He meets Private Pulse (runner-up in both Johnstown and Borrisoleigh Derby Trial Stakes) in his first buckle.
If he gets over this, he has the likes of Kyle Davy, Boynepark Josh, Amcas Magic and Fleetwood Douvan to deal with. Above at the top of the draw I think Not Caught Paul is a force to be reckoned with. He caught my eye in the Puppy Stake in Mooncoin behind Wheres Mr Wilks. I don’t think he showed that form in Clonmel, but I have a feeling he will take to the surroundings in Galbally. The buckle of the first round could be the rematch between Galevally Hero and Coolavanny Daz.
These two clashed in the final of the Trial Stake in Doon earlier this year with Hero coming out on top. I have a feeling the result could be reversed. Daz looked to be going better in the earlier rounds in Doon so he should gain revenge. I’m just going to side with Lodge Hill overall for the win. We will be keeping him on side as much as we can with Not Caught Paul being his main rival.
Champion Bitch Stake
The Champion Bitch Stake looks to be wide open. City Spirit is an interesting runner from the Matthews kennel. She is a second season runner (she actually didn’t run at all in her first season) and was thrown into the deep end all this year so far. If you look at her lines of form she has ran at some of the top meetings of the year and put in some tasty performances.
The draw has worked out extremely well for her in the top half of this 32 runner event. The bottom of the draw looks harder to call. If Delightful Babe can return to her best form she would beat any of these, we just haven’t seen that form yet this season. Write her off at your peril!
Storming Nellie has a nice bit of form this season. On her two best outings of the year she wasn’t beaten too far by Astana Rubie in Knockgraffon and Kingsmill Ariel in Kilcullen. Isnt She Magic always gives her all and she won’t be put away too easy in the early rounds. She gave Newinn Rose a small bit of a scare early in her course in the semi-final of the Bitch Stake in Ballymena.
That form puts her bang in the mix. She is April 13 but her mother got better as she got older! After all is said however, I’m going to side with City Spirit at a price on the basis of the draw. While the others are battling away at the bottom, she can make a smooth passage to the final.
Lattin & Emly Puppy Stake
Every time you look at the draw for the Lattin & Emly Puppy Stake you could pick a different winner. Shanballa Joe gets a slight preference for me! He has form over course and distance. Joe seemed to going as well as anything in the Derby Trial Stake in Galbally earlier in the season but had to be withdrawn out of the third round.
Maughera Lodger put in a few fine performances throughout the season, particularly in Mooncoin where he was actually in front of the eventual winner but went unsighted. Bedford Sam ran very well in both Abbeyfeale and Newcastlewest but disappointed a small bit in his final outing in Clonakilty. If he can recapture his early season form he can put in a bold show at the top of the draw. Shanballa Joe gets my vote however, should he be 100% fit and ready, I expect him to put in a big run.
Betting is available for the aforementioned stakes at the Tipperary meeting as well as antepost betting on the Best Car Parks Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park, the Golden Jacket at Crayford where we have two Irish representatives in the shape of Jaytee Patriot and BoyleSports Star and both the English and Irish Derbies.