Sunlight To Shine On Cashel
As far as coursing enthusiasts are concerned, Cashel is most definitely the place to be this weekend for those based in the south and beyond.
The main event, the Morrissey Cup, has attracted the best entry in years.
This is second year in which Cashel have used their new field outside Ardmayle under the shadow of the Rock of Cashel. I was lucky enough to be there last year and the facilities were top class, while the view for spectators is second to none.
The talking dog in the cup has to be Kingsmill Rover (2/1). He was all the rage for the Derby after winning his trial stake in Dungarvan when known as Droopys Rover. He then changed hands for a reported big sum and was transferred to Aiden and John Roche in Wexford.
Rover reached the Derby third round, clocking up joint fastest in the second round in the process, before losing out to With Grim Intent. He is drawn in the top half of the draw with last year’s talking pup Skellig Sunlight (3/1) and the Barry Lynch trained Hi Black Jack (6/1).
The bottom half looks the easier half and I think Ashwood James (4/1) will come out of this. The Declan Byrne trained runner has pace to burn and going on last years form he won’t be too far away come Sunday afternoon.
His stand out form came at Newcastlewest last year when he ran up Kyle Leigh, but there was little separating the pair. Word from West Cork is that Skellig is flying and he gets the nod to land the spoils in this classy affair.
The All Aged Bitch Stake has also attracted some big names. None more than Fota Castle (5/2) and Skellig Blues (2/1). These two bitches set tongues wagging on the run up to the Oaks last season. Both ran with credit at Clonmel with Skellig getting to the quarter final before losing out to Tynwald Jane. It would be a mouth-watering final, should these two ladies meet on Sunday afternoon. Thankfully there is little reason why they shouldn’t! Marshals Bridie (5/1) and Hetty’s Honey (6/1) are nominated as the big dangers to the two aforementioned females.
Both trial stakes have thrown up the cream of Irish coursing bloodlines. In the Derby Trial Stake those that catch my eye are
Kingsmill Snowy (Mafi Magic x Newinn Allin),
Crushers Dynamo (Kingsmill Dynamo x Skellig Mania),
Marshals Sahara (Adios Alonso x Lady Bellevue) and
Positive Timing (Musical Times x Leigh Smokey)
The Oaks Trial Stake has attracted 64 bitches with Stonepark Kate (4/1) likely to start favourite on Friday morning after giving a good account of herself at Kilflynn earlier in the year. Others of note include
Flashy Belle (Kyle James x Ougham Miss),
Skellig Tulip (Skellig Wish x Skellig Babe) and
Mollys Goldrush (Kyle James x Emma’s Goldrush)
After just a quick look at the draw for Westmeath United, it’s hard not to fancy the Brendan Matthews trained Cuban Ando (6/1) to win the Belsize Cup from Loyal Liam (5/2). In the Trial Stake I like the look of both Needham Quiff (Cross Country x Needham Green) and Phoenix Jordan (Offshore Eoin x Yorkville Stella). In the OaksTrial Stake Dale Asgard (Adios Alonso x Dale Rosin) and Jubilation (Judicial x Doctor Morrissey) stand out.
Best Bet: Skellig Sunlight @ 5/2
Best Value Outsider: Cuban Ando @ 6/1