Solid As A Rock In Cappoquin

It’s difficult to believe we are already over halfway through the 2014/15 season and it’s been quite a ride.

The ride continues at Cappoquin this weekend as they hold their annual meeting along with Dungarvan at Mount Rivers. For the last number of years Dungarvan have run their meeting Cappoquin’s grounds, but never at the same time as the hosts. This will be the first time they will run at the same time. Double meetings have proven very popular in the past and we wish both clubs the best this weekend.

The Deise Cup is the main event at the Dungarven meeting and it has attracted a top class entry. Whiskey Galore (3/1) has been a talking dog this season since his appearance in the cup in Waterford. Normally when you see a track dog in these all-aged events you automatically assume they are there to make up the numbers, but not in this case. This son of Tubbertelly Dubh ran out a most impressive winner of the cup his young owners. His name then appeared in the draw for the Tipperary Cup in Kilsheelen a few weeks later and he again showed the coursing bred dogs how to do it. Will he make it three in a row? It definitely wouldn’t be a shock if he were to continue his winning streak.

Of the dogs standing in his way are Black And White (4/1), Avenue Ranger (5/2) and Sunfire Nova (7/1). Black And White is already a winner this season at Limerick City, but he disappointed last week in Glanworth and will be out to redeem himself. Avenue Ranger won in Rathkeale where he beat the well fancied Kyle Roger in the final. Sunfire Nova won in the second week of the season at New Ross and has been out a few times since, but has yet to repeat his early form. These dogs will be hungry for Champion stakes points and won’t give in easy.

Macroney Rebel (4/1) is only a puppy, but his only outing was a winning one in the Derby trial stake at Fermoy. He faces second season warrior Go Conquer in his opening buckle. This will be a good yard stick for any pup as Go Conquer is good away and has great early pace. It will be interesting to see how this course pans out. I’m going to side with the track-bred Whiskey Galore in this one, however. I think the field will suit him and he can continue his unbeaten run.

For Cappoquin Coursing Club, the Fran Mangan Cup is the main attraction and Rocks Of Bawn (2/1) is the star of the show. He ran extremely well last weekend in Gorey, where he suffered a marginal defeat to eventual winner Crafty Who. Crafty has the beating of many a dog in the opening few courses and the fact that Rocks was only beaten by the minimum margin suggests he’s the dog to beat here. His latest run would have only brought him on and this scribe feels he is the likely winner of the event. He should have things his own way down the bottom of the draw where New Ross Derby Trial Stake winner Killeagh Silver (4/1) is nominated as his biggest danger.

This son of stud dog of the moment, Thomas The Tank, was impressive in his victory where he beat a very decent field. If the puppy does beat Rocks, he will be heading to Clonmel with a serious chance of Derby glory. The top half of the draw looks to be between the Micheal Ryan owned Eastern Shore (4/1) and Corriga Rebel (3/1). Eastern Shore has two trophies in the cabinet so far this season with wins in Freshford and Fermoy. Reports suggest he was very unlucky in his most recent outing in Knockgraffon three weeks ago. Corriga Rebel made a pleasing return in Urlingford a fortnight ago where he was beaten by the eventual winner and last season’s Derby semi finalist Fingal Master. Both the two aforementioned dogs should be well up for this contest. On the strength of the draw I really fancy the Declen Byrne trained Rocks Of Bawn to come out on top.

There is another joint meeting taking place in Castletowngeoghegan this weekend where Westport Coursing Club are holding their trial stakes in the Castletowngeoghegan field. The all-age bitch stake is a top class affair with no fewer than eight of the sixteen bitches already tasting victory this year. We also have a trial stake winner to throw into the mix. The eventual winner will certainly have to be above average to win in this company. In terms of finding a winner, I will focus my attentions on the top half of the draw. City Beauty (5/2) and Skellig Rose (5/2) are likely to meet in the second round and I foresee the winner coming from this buckle. I’m going to put my head on the block and side with a win for Tim and Rose O Driscoll with Skellig Rose.

Last weekend a number of youngsters displayed their undoubted ability as they made a case for the chances in the 2015 Boylesports Irish coursing Derby. Starting in Newcastlewest where we saw an outstanding performance by the all-conquering Michael J O’Donovan-trained Portane All In. Portane was quickest in the trial stake in each of his five winning courses and is as short as 12/1 for glory in Powerstown. Delonso was the winner of the Oaks trial stake. Her clocks may not have been the flashiest but the fact that all her clocks were in and around the same time suggests that the runs took little out of her. This is sure to be a major advantage when she tackles the Powerstown hill.

At Gorey, the McClean family claimed their first trial stake success of the season with Stephens Owen. On a personal note I would like to congratulate the winning syndicate, which includes Micheal McNamara (Lettersonapostcard) who travels the length and breadth of the country all season long, providing us with top quality video recordings of the coursing meetings on his youtube channel.

Owen is a well bred son of Tilt Your Kilt, who herself made it to Powerstown. It was Owen’s third outing after having to be withdrawn in the quarters in Cashel and going out at the same stage in Enniscorthy. He was finally able to break his duck at the third attempt and is quoted at 25/1 for the Derby.

Best bet : Rocks Of Bawn 2/1