Rock N Roll In Sevenhouses
How fast did the season go?! It’s the final weekend of qualifiers for the National Meeting and it feels like only last week that I sat down to write my first blog for BoyleSports. But as they say time flies when you are having fun!
Sevenhouses in Danesfort Co. Kilkenny is one of the best fields in the country, it’s an awful pity it’s on so late in the season because in my opinion it is one of only a few fields around the country to be on the same level as the stretch in Powerstown Park. The Seamus Hughes Memorial Cup takes pride of place each year in Sevenhouses and this year’s event is wide open.
There are a number of dogs in this line up who have yet to pick up last season’s form which makes it hard to nominate an outright winner. The likely winner will be on the red collar in the final as the top half of this draw looks red hot. Fleetwood Nova (4/1) has had a stop start season so far after picking up an injury in Kilflynn in October, if he turns up fully fit and ready for action he could be hard to handle on this field. He meets the Patrick O Connor trained Downton Shadow (10/1) in his opening Buckle who ran up the trial stake at this fixture last year so has form over course and distance.
Sheeraghs Lad (5/1) is on six points for the Champion Stakes at the moment so if he could get over the line here he would be guaranteed his position in the final sixteen of the Champions Stakes. Rocks Of Bawn (3/1) takes him on in his first course on Saturday morning which could turn out to be the buckle of the day. Sunfire Nova (10/1) is a tough dog to handle in his opening round he takes on Loyal Lord (5/1) the recent cup winner in South Clare over the Christmas period.
Then we have one of last season’s talking dogs Kingsmill Rover (4/1) who showed glimpses of return to form in Wexford he will have a tough job on his hands when he takes on Murty Leahy trained Jaytee Merlin who took off in the duffer stake in North Kilkenny. Looking through the bottom half of the draw Dynamic Billy (6/1) ran well before being withdrawn here last year, Hotspot (4/1) won the champion duffer here last season for Paul and Liz O Dwyer and has bagged the cup in Enniscorthy so far this year so will be hungry for more success this weekend. The last dog out of the hat is Stormont (3/1), winner of the local stake last year for the Sevenhouses team of Pat Loughlin and Brian Kennedy.
If this Barney Mooney trained runner was to win here there would be no leaving the field Sunday evening because under the stand would be hopping! I can see the winner of this cup coming out of the first round battle between Sheeraghs Lad and Rocks Of Bawn, and im going to stick my neck out and side with Rocks Of Bawn who has let me down on a few occasions this year but can dig himself back into my good books here.
Clonakilty also takes place this weekend in West Cork. A few big names from the early part of the season are running here for one more bite of the cherry. Skellig Sunlight (5/2) will be hoping to end the season the way he started it in Cashel, he is after a few disappointing runs lately but his trainer Dennis O’Driscoll has a great record in this field and rarely leaves empty handed and it will be no surprise if he pockets the four points on offer here. Eastern Shore (6/1) as it stands is in the champion stakes and looks to be safe enough but there is nothing certain when it comes to coursing and connections will be taking no chances.
Lineroad Amigo (3/1) is as tough a dog as you will find this season, he is on eight Champion stakes points at the moment but with poor prize money sees him lie just outside the top sixteen so two points here from getting to the final will seal the deal for him. He could end up meeting the pacey Breezing Johnny (4/1) on Sunday morning, Johnny has form over course and distance after he bagged his Derby ticket here last year. Gurteen Vince (4/1) is the Spillane’s representative in the cup this year and he could cause a few upsets down the bottom of the draw. Overall I fancy Lineroad Amigo to do the business and book his place into the national meeting and maybe Eastern Shore to follow him!
In the All Age Bitch stake there are a few ladies to catch my eye. The ones who count for me are Floating Cove (7/2), Lochbo Vicky (6/1), Skellig Kiwi (2/1) and Rossmore (3/1). Both Lochbo and Rossmore are on the hunt for points here, Rossmore has two wins but her prize money is weak which sees her nesting just outside the top eight and Lochbo is also knocking on the door with six points so a win here is vital if they meet each other which could happen as they are both in the bottom half of the draw. My vote goes to Lochbo Vicky on this occasion with Skellig Kiwi her main danger.
Last weekend I really enjoyed myself at the coursing in Templetouhy, with top class facilities and top class stock we were treated to a fantastic weekend of coursing. I was delighted for the Egan family after their win in the Premier Cup with Inch Hothead. I might be wrong but i think this could of been the first time they managed to win it I can remember them getting to the final with Inch Hilltown IN 2008, it defiantly got the biggest cheer of the weekend, the family truly deserved it as they play a huge role in the success of the coursing club.
Fergus Flynn is having a season to remember and is building up a nice little breeding empire for himself in clonmel after his bitch Coffey In Spirit was a runaway winner of the Oaks Trial stake, Fergus owns this bitch with Larry Mallon and is the third qualifier he has bred this season out of his bitch Coffee In Currow so he is obviously doing something right! She is trained by the husband and wife team of David Flanagan and Margret Barrett-Flanagan, this happy couple will be very busy in Clonmel with their five qualifers. She has been quoted at 25/1 for Oaks glory.
The BoyleSports.com derby trial stake winner here was Micks Victory who is owned by the one and only Darren Byrnes from Golden Co Tipperary and is trained by Tim O Donavan. I’d say it was a late one in the Bridge House when Darren and Fairy McCormack got into action! Micks Victory has been put in at 33/1 for Derby honours. In Millstreet last weekend Crafty Tornado (33/1) came in as a reserve to book his ticket for the National meeting in the Derby trial stake. The Oaks trial stake winner here Bathed Breath has come in for substantial support she was originally put in at 25/1 for Oaks glory but that is long gone she is now as low as 12/1.