The early yards are absolutely crucial in tonight’s final of the Macroom Motor Services Stake and favourite Cashen Mafuma will need to be on his toes to avoid trouble if North Bound repeats his antics of the semi-finals.
The latter has been desperately unfortunate to draw the inside trap on consecutive occasions and it’s arguable that he was only beaten last week because of the ground forfeited moving right across the track on the run-up.
He has the raw speed to win tonight’s final but it’s difficult to concede ground so cheaply and beat a classy field such as he faces here.
Cashen Mafuma also had a terrible draw last weekend but he ran a super race to run up behind Riverside Cashen.
Chris Houlihan’s dog missed the kick from trap six on that occasion but he should break better from three. Once he can avoid the early move of North Bound, he should be able to fend off all challengers to claim the €3,000 prize. The value in the race could be Riverside Cashen, who has shown real promise in his short career to date, though the wide draw is an unknown.
The best bet of the night is Incitatus, who contests the fourth heat of the first round of the Barry’s Tea Open 750.
Pat Buckley’s Munster Puppy Cup champ has posted some terrific efforts over this trip and he can lay down a marker for the remainder of the stake. Stamina-laden Dogwithacollar can fill the runner-up spot.
In the opening heats, Matt O’Donnell has real claims of a double. Veteran Skywalker Cindy set new figures for the 790 yards trip at Clonmel recently and is hard to oppose in the opening heat, while kennel companion Mountaylor Ace looks drawn to complete the double in the second.
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