Kevin Smith Champion Stakes Preview

Meet the contenders for the Kevin Smith Champion Stakes.

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Click here to read Damien’s prices and tips for the BoyleSports Irish Coursing Derby 2016.

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At All Times 6/1 – (Skellig Wish-Skellig Babe) March 13
The surprise package in this year’s Champion Stakes. His best efforts in his first season were semi-finals in both Rathdowney and Kilcreevin/Ballymote. Started off the 2015/16 with a bang in Kilflynn taking the ultra-competitive Fuller Cup. Had two outings without success in Mitchelstown and Listowel before reaching the final in Newcastlewest losing out to Serene Angel (he was an unlucky loser). Booked his place In the Champion Stakes line up with a win in Mooncoin over the Christmas. He wants the white collar badly and is an extremely fast individual. Trainer Pat O’Connor

Blackpool Kyle 10/1 – (Kyle James-Dusty Track) Jan 13
Another making his debut in Powerstown Park, best outing as a pup was a semi-final in Clonakilty. Safely qualified for this year’s Champion Stakes in second place on 12 points. Blackpool started his season off in a three-course duffer in Kilflynn where he was beat in the third round by fellow Champion Stakes qualifier Cloudy Dawn. Next on the agenda was the Cup in Ballyheigue where he reversed the form with Cloudy Dawn in the final. Then it was on to Listowel where he picked up two more vital points reaching the semi-final (beat by winner Time James). Sealed his place in the final sixteen line up with a win in the O’Carroll Cup at Lixnaw. Trainer TJ Maher

Blueview Charlie 7/1 (Blueview Sam-Moon Becky) May 12
Toughest dog in training at the moment and defending Champion. Has four outings this year winning three! What he achieved last season was amazing. Started off his third season with a win in Trim, struck gold again after in Enniscorthy and was surprisingly beat in Gorey. Then it was on to North Kilkenny where he got back to winning ways. Charlie showed a real liking for the stretch in Clonmel last year, I know he is twelve months older but age hasn’t affected him so far. Wont be giving up his title easily. Trainer Jim ‘Maxi’ Collins

Cloudy Dawn 16/1 (Kyle James-Omera) April 13
Hit the crossbar no less than three times this season (Ballyheigue, Freshford and Bandon), I would say connections thought they would never get a win out of the dog. His best effort as a pup was a semi-finalist in Newcastlewest. He has a nice bit of mileage on the clock for a dog his age, which suggest connections always thought highly of this son of Kyle James. Their patience paid off in the end, his day in the sun came in Galbally. He will head into this as one of the outsiders but he is very deserving of his place in the line up. Second runner in the stake from the Saleen kennels. Trainer Pat O’Connor

Judiligence 12/1 (Adios Alonso-Notindispute) May 13
Trial Stake winner in Westmeath last season, beat in first round of both the Derby and T.A Morris Stakes. Collected the first of his Champion Stakes points in Edenderry this year, two defeats followed in Dungannon and Old Kilcullen before he claimed a very popular success at his local meeting in Dundalk. This fellow wouldn’t have been in many fantasy coursing lists on last year’s running but must have improved leaps and bounds over the summer. Rumour was this dog was actually for sale over the summer months! Connections were lucky they didn’t sell. Trainer Gerry Callan

Serene Angel 6/1 (Adios Alonso-Uptown Angel) May 12
One of the form dogs of last season. Trial stake winner in Listowel, Corn Na Feile winner in Abbeyfeale, third round of the Derby and finished off his season beaten semi-finalist in the Irish Cup. For a May pup he got a nice bit or running! He started off his 2015/16 campaign with a win in Abbeydorney, then went to Kilsheelen coming up short to fellow qualifier Arcade Maximus (running below par in my opinion). Newcastlewest was his next appearance beating At All Times in the final. He spear headed most of my teams in the Fantasy Coursing this year so is doing me no harm. MJOD only took back a select few to train from last year, that in itself tells you something! Trainer Michael J O’Donovan

Mulboy Branan 8/1 (Adios Alonso-Mulboy Girl) May 13
Trial Stake winner in Old Kilcullen last season, beaten in second round of the Derby (by Game Mikey). Winner first time out this year in New Ross (declared winner, kennel mate Mulboy King withdrawn), ran up to current Champion Blueview Charlie in Enniscorty then kicked four points over the bar in Borris In Ossory to put his name in the mix. Another bit of an unknown quantity from last season who wouldn’t have been a house hold name. Will be a bit of a price for this stake. Trainer Patrick Mccall

Kyle Fionn 12/1 (Kyle Fionn-Ocean Tolula) March 13
Trial stake winner in Thurles last season, beat by Derby winner Feel My Pules in round two in Clonmel. Struck a winning note twice this year (Regional and Limerick City) and ran up to Call Up Pal in Mitchelstown. Second qualifier for the Field family, will be the teams second string. Can fly for the early rounds. Trainer Marie Field

Crafty Resino 12/1 (Kyle James-Crafty Molino) April 13
Sneaked into the top 16 with a win in Clonakilty capping off a great year for the Divilly family. He won a trial stake last year in Clonakilty too but didn’t show much in Clonmel. Ran impressive in his win in Gorey in early December beating a nice field, he also claimed two vital points when he ran up in Loughrea to Woodpark Alonso. Trainer Divilly Family

Mulboy King 5/1 (Adios Alonso-Mulboy Girl) May 13
Second member of the litter to qualify for the Champion Stakes, was a massive price to win the Desmond Cup at the start of the season with not much form behind him. Ran out a comfortable winner in the end claiming six valuable points plus €4000 prize money. His next day out was in New Ross where he was withdrawn in the final. Qualified safely in 11th position on 8 points with great prize money. Trainer Patrick Mccall

Timber House 6/4 (Thomas The Tank-Lady Twickletoes) April 13
Fastest dog in training at the moment? Looked a Derby winner last year but was beat in semi by Feel My Pulse. His performance in Ballyduff set the standard for the year (he flew). Next time out he won in Abbeyfeale but was far from impressive, not knocking the dog or anything. If he shows up in the same form as last year he will take some beating. Trainer Michael J O’Donovan

Kyle Bruce 3/1 (Kyle James-Blades Of Glory) March 13
Was early favourite for the Derby last season and member of a fantastic litter. Reached the quarter final of the Derby losing out to Portane All In, got a nice bit of work in round one. Next it was on to Limerick to contest the Irish Cup going out in the semi-final to winner Needham Work. A win in Castleisland and a runner up spot in Kilflynn booked his place in the line-up. Is a match for any dog in round one. If he gets drawn against Timber House early expect fire works! Trainer Marie Field

Arcade Maximus 12/1 (Caesar Music-Rushing) Jan 13
This lad got a mother and father of a hunt last year in the first round of the Derby. Has shown no ill effects since! Was a beaten finalist in Glin at the start of the season (beat by Mulboy King) but picked up 4 vital points and nice prize money. Next up he returned to Kilsheelen (picked up his trial stake the year before here) and ran out a deserving winner beating fellow Champion Stakes runner Serene Angel in the final. Reached the 3rd round in Tralee on his latest outing. Trainer JimConDan Synd

Wizard Matthew 6/1 (Musical Time-Leigh Smokey) April 13
A shrewd buy by the Matthews team after his trial stake season. Ran up in both Tralee and Ballyduff (to Timber House) in his first season. Made his debut for the Newry team in Kilflynn where he was beat in round 3 by Kyle Bruce! Next time out he reached the final in Listowel (Time James winner). His best performance to date was in Knockgraffon where he beat Derby runner-up Portane Allin in the semi-final and Derby winner Feel My Pulse in the final. Trainer Brendan Matthews

Geordie Casanova 6/1 (Johnny Casanova-Loyal Leader) April 13
Will be making his debut in Powerstown Park . Has two wins this season first came in Crohane and next came East Donegal (ran up the trial stake the year before here). Without seeing this lad run you can tell he likes it long. Both his wins came on two of the stiffer tests around the Country. Was locked on 8 points and €3000 with Duarigle Darwin in the last automatic position for qualification. Trainer Martin Donnelly

Duarigle Darwin 16/1 (Adios Alonso-Woodpark Rebel) April 13
His best effort last season was beaten finalist in Knockgraffon (runner up to Derby winner Feel My Pulse). Darwin was kept busy this year with 7 outings. Both of his victories came in Co Cork, Fermoy and Blarney. He also showed up well in Newcastlewest going down in the semi-final to Serene Angel. Was locked on 8 points and €3000 with Geordie Casanove in the last automatic position for qualification. Trainer Guiney Family

*Prices correct at time of publication.