Top Dogs All Round
You would think that when the Derby finished that things would be quiet for a while. How wrong could we be?!
This is as busy a period as we have had all year with three top class competitions taking place at the moment. Mulvaney 600 is at its final stage in Shelbourne Park, the Juvenile Derby is at the semi-final stage in Harold’s Cross while the St Leger in Limerick is gearing up for the second round.
And that’s not to mention the action down South of the country on the coursing fields of Ennis and Glin! We haven’t had time to catch our breath over the last few weeks, but we love it really!
Owen McKenna enjoyed a nice double in the semi-finals of the 600 last weekend thanks to Farloe Joey and Water Fern. Joey was led to the corner in his heat but worked his way to the front by railing like a cat around bends one and two leaving him clear down the far side.
He kept up a strong gallop all the way to the line running out a three and a half length winner over early leader Karlow Billy in 32.65. Collage Paradise made it two from two over course and distance in the second semi-final.
He didn’t get away that smart from Trap 4 but he roared into the first two bends and found himself up with the leaders down the back. Like last week he showed his gears on the straights but is still struggling the last two corners, although not near as bad as last week.
He held on up to the line by half a length from the fast finishing Newlawn Simon in second in 33.11. The third and final semi-final was all one way traffic for the Owen McKenna trained Water Fern. He left the boxes like a scalded cat and had a clear advantage to the corner.
The long run to the bend is the makings of this dog as it allows him to open up huge gaps down the far side. Turning for home you could see Slippery Louise in second place closing the gap slightly on the leader but the line came in plenty of time as Fern stopped the clock in the fastest of the night 32.54.
Looking ahead to the final I think the jolly Farloe Joey will have it all to do from Trap 4. He would prefer to be closer to the fence and there is plenty of early pace inside him. The verdict goes to his kennel mate Water Fern who can blaze a trail early and free wheel up the home straight.
He is capable of doing another 32.40 run on a fast track.
So once the weather conditions are OK on Saturday evening in the Nations Capital, get on Water Fern. Newlawn Simon could be the each-way value of the race.
Bull Is Bolting In The Juvenile Derby
Bull Run Bolt is fast becoming a household name in greyhound racing with his fantastic displays around Harold’s Cross in recent weeks.
He remains unbeaten in the competition thus far and is definitely the dog you would take out of the competition so far. With his style of running you would think he is a proper Shelbourne Park dog but for the moment he is doing just fine around the Cross!
As always he had to come from off the pace to win his heat last Friday night in 28.52 but he seems to be showing a small bit more pace to the corner each week.
Drive On Razor set a scorching gallop early in the heat from Viber and Bull Run Bolt. The writing was on the wall however down the far side when the Bolt made his move. Mustang Kasco dominated the second quarter final with an all the way success in 28.59.
Not really known as a front runner, Kasco made every yard of the running for trainer Peter Cronin running out a four length winner from Droopys King in second place. Cronin enjoyed a quick fire double in the quarter finals as his Whoops Jack replicated his kennel companion’s style of victory with another quick away always led performance.
Jack was friendless in the market before the off but ran out a comfortable winner in 28.65. This fellow has nice form on his card from both Enniscorthy and Newbridge so it was no surprise to see him add another win here. The outright jolly Droopys Wilbury had to settle for second place for the third week in a row and has a tricky draw in next weeks semi-finals.
The final heat of the night went the way of Droopys Jock trained in Blarney, County Cork by John Linehan. Jock, like last week, made every inch of the running keeping a middle course through-out and stopping the clock in 28.95. The runner up here, Coolio, ran a huge race in second place after crowding at the start and the first corner. He showed incredible gears from the second bend to get as close to the leader as he did.
Droopys Wilbury remains a thorn in our side in the ante-post book so we will be keeping him onside. Coolio looks the dog to beat if he can get a clear run. He is as good as anything left in the competition. Keep an eye on Viber however, he’s a dog for the future. Be expecting a few BOOMS from the stand from the not-for-profit syndicate if he happens to qualify for the final!
Oranges All Round In Glin
Glin Coursing Club have really set the bar high as regards entries for both All Age events. The Desmond Cup looks to be one of the best runs in years with some of the best performers from last season making their debuts. Last year’s Derby favourite Portane Ash looks the star name on paper. There is no doubting this fellow’s pace but my worry with him is his tendency to lose it in slips a bit.
Kingsmill Jasper is an interesting runner in the top half of the draw. He looked decent last year at both Clonmel and Limerick and his buckle with last season’s Champion Stakes runner up Wizard Matthew could be a mouthwatering battle which could be worth the entry fee alone! The bottom half looks every bit as good as the top with class throughout.
Mr Orange was a Derby quarter finalist last season (beat by True North). It did take a while for the penny to drop for this fellow but when it did he really took off. If he improved another bit over the summer he will be a force to be reckoned with in this Cup. He will be on the white collar in an eagerly anticipated course with Irish Cup quarter finalist Crafty Gonzalo. Mr Orange just gets the nod!
I took a shine to Glenbowen Junior after watching him win the Irish Plate at the back end of last season. He could run well at a big price and he looks to have it every where and the going could suit him. If I was to put my head on the chopping block I would side with Mr Orange as he is on the right side of the draw.
You will struggle to find a better bitch stake for the rest of the year. The class is oozing from every angle here. Banba Be Lucky is without doubt the fastest lady in the line up. She has a tendency to run off to the right a bit though. The wire goes up a bit of the way in Glin so this might help her. She meets a decent one in the shape of Corbraighe Holly in round one so she cant afford to give away any ground. Smokey Zara can be her biggest danger up the top of the draw.
While down at the bottom the stand out lady looks to be last season’s Oaks runner up Killacolla Kiwi. She will have to bring her A game to the table here if she is going to do the business as she will have the like of Vim And Vigour and Tory Ellie to contend with. Tory is an interesting runner, she won her trial stake at Newcastewest last year but never made it to Clonmel through injury.
There was shrewd money on her to win the Oaks after she collected her ticket, she could be anything. Killacolla looks the one to beat going on last year’s running. She met Vim And Vigour in the 3rd round of the Oaks last season so should have the upper hand again. We are going to side with Banba for outright glory!
Over at Ennis, Con Guiney can bring off a double with Black Barracoda in the HJ Murphy and Ryan Cup (Needham Frankle is one to keep an eye on here) and Manly Girl in the All Age Bitch Stake.