Skywalker Can Put Manners On Them
The final of the Gain Select Stakes in Waterford is the main event on the track scene over the weekend carrying a juicy €13,000 winner’s prize! Here is a quick run through the six finalists.
1. Skywalker Manner
This year’s Laurels hero trained by the man of the moment Graham Holland. Went off a huge 4/1 for his heat, even after a 28.15 trial over course and distance. After a level break last week, Manner was able to show his usual burst of early pace to just get the rails over his kennel mate Riverside Oscar at the opening corner. This proved the winning move of the race as he led all to score in a time of 28.26. He is without doubt the best drawn runner in the final.
2. Riverside Oscar
The second of the Graham Holland trained runners in the final. The biggest loser in our antepost book! Has finished second in both rounds so far but remains the one to beat. Oscar has been placed in his last 12 races with 9 wins, all of which have been in top class company. Has a 28.06 trial on his card before the competition started. The key to this lad is getting on the rails early. He could have a job on his hands to clear Trap 1.
3. Ela Alecko
Got into the competition at the semi-final stage as the Derby invite. Winner of the consolation Derby in 29.76 and has a 28.11 win on his card around Cork during this seasons Laurels. You could say he is a local runner as he is trained by Peter Cronin in Mooncoin. Would prefer a draw closer to the fence, finished third behind Burgess Popeye in his semi-final. A fast start in needed.
4. Burgess Popeye
Winner of four of his last five starts, and is two from two around Kilcohan Park. Fastest semi-final winner in 28.19 coming from behind Quietly to take the lead up the home straight. He was well drawn in 1 last week but has a horrid draw this week with all the early pace around him. Without doubt the strongest runner in the final, hard to see him get a run from here. His connections Sheila Spillane and JJ Fennelly are in red hot form lately.
The 2014 Puppy Derby champion trained in Navan by Ian Reilly. One of the best early paced runners in Ireland and has three track records on his card, two of which are over the sprint distance in Cork and Limerick. He is returning after a bit of an injury and appears to be staying stronger with every run. The draw hasn’t been kind to him here in 5. He will be edging in on the run to the bend, if he is to win he will have to lead a long way. He will have to produce another 3.12 sectional to lead up from here.
6. Alien Jet
With six inside seeds in the final this fellow was the unlucky one to draw the stripes. With only ten races on his card Jet is the least experienced in the line up. He will have to produce a career best effort to get involved in the shake up. He does boast a 28.41 win at the track but has never ran against a field of this class. Trainer Pa Gordon is the man for the big occasion but has an up hill battle on his hands here!
Skywalker Manner gets the confident vote here to land the winner’s prize on the basis of the draw.
The amount of early pace in the line-up is frightening. Everything will be moving in on the run to the corner so if Manner can break level he should hold his pitch on the fence and take the shortest route around. Burgess Popeye is his biggest danger if he gets a good run at him down the far side!
Corn Ros Mhic Treoin
The Corn Ros Mhic Treoin is the big one this weekend on the Coursing front. Last season’s Champion Stakes winner Mulboy King makes his third season debut here. He meets the well thought of Needham Frankel in his opening round buckle. This could be a mouth watering course. Mulboy is going to have to bring his A game to the table if he is going to overturn Needham first pop.
Jet Stream down the bottom of the draw is looking for his second win of the season after bagging 8 Champion Stakes points in the Regional only two weeks ago. He has a liking for the field in New Ross after picking up his Derby ticket here last season first time of asking. He can renew his rivalry with Turbo Ashmore in the second round after the pair clashed in the semi-final at the Regional.
I see no reason why Jet Stream shouldn’t make it two nil over his opponent.
With his form over course and distance, Jet Stream gets the nod to land this prestigious event and will enhance his chances of qualifying for this season’s Champion Stakes. His likely opponent in the final could be Needham Frankel as he has the outing under his belt which gives him the slight upper hand over Mulboy in the opening course.
The All Age Bitch Stake looks between Ballyverry Baby and Corbraighe Holly. Ballyverry Baby is a third season campaigner and has already a win under her belt at Ballyheigue this season. This Dennis O’Driscoll trained lady has a liking for this field after winning this event last year.
She looks every bit as good this season. Corbraighe Holly was a beaten finalist in Glin on her first outing, she put in a game performance in the final after getting a few unwanted turns in her semi-final. The Baby gets the call however to create her own bit of history on Sunday afternoon!
Nine Can Do The Business In Limerick City
The value bet this weekend looks to be in Limerick City where the highly thought of Droopys Nine makes his debut on the coursing field. This lad has serious gears on the track (28.06 in tralee) and is all about early speed.
He could put in a bold show for connections and looks to be on the right side of the draw.
Betting on the aforementioned competitions as well as updated betting on this year’s Derby and Oaks in now available online and in any one of our shops nationwide. Both the English St Leger and Puppy Derby are at their semi-final stages in Wimbledon at the moment. There is a strong Irish challenge in both competitions with runners from the Buckley and Hennessy stables. Ante-post betting is also available on both of these competitions as well as betting on the heats. #BetOnBoyle
*Prices correct at time of publication.