Surprises continue unabated

Eshwary Leader (foreground)

The surprises continued unabated at the National Coursing meeting at Clonmel yesterday, another host of them to add to the first day tally.

On Saturday, three of the most fancied dogs in the Derby, the favourite Eshwary Leader (5-1), Needham Simple (7-1) and Needham Danger (9-1) all bit the dust and yesterday Kingsmill Rover, the favourite before coursing yesterday morning, also came a cropper when going under to the Gerry Holian trained With Grim Intent.Noreen McManus had purchased the dog for a substantial sum after winning his trial stake in Newcastlewest. With Grim Intent is now joint favourite with Kyle Calvin to win out.

There were also a few upsets in the Greyhound & Pet World Oaks on the opening day, the biggest being Ocean Hannalora (10-1) going out to Atlantic Diva (25-1), who is still standing, and La Venti (10-1) being eliminated by 25-1 chance Bower Lucy.

Needham Pine was installed favourite yesterday morning but she found the lightning fast Heart Light in fine fettle in the third round.

In the opening quarter final in the Derby this morning, Fingal Master faces Droopys Newman in a course that is very hard to call. However, I give Fingal Master a cautious vote. Vale View Flyer had an undecided course in the third round and this could tell this morning so With Grim Intent should have his measure.

Timmeys Bin will have a difficult task against Kyle Calvin, who is running well, and I cannot see him getting the better of Marie Field’s contender. Kyle Calvin can go on to meet the last Northern hope in the stake, Light Duty, who may just about get the better of Rocks of Bawn.

It could come down to an all-Limerick final with Grim Intent–Kyle Calvin and that’s also a hard one to call.

In the Oaks, Somelittlething comes up against Skellig Rose, one of two runners Rose O’Driscoll has left the stake, and I give Skellig Rose the vote to advance to the semi-final. Heart Light, owned and trained by Gerry Holian, and bred by the O’Driscolls, should is likely to have a bye as Sand Sea Model was very hard run in the third round and will probably be withdrawn.

Tynwald Jane surprised the much fancied Fota Castle when getting the verdict at the top of the field, coming from behind in the third round. However I feel the free-flowing Skellig Blues, who is now joint favourite with Heart Light, could have too much power for her. In the final quarter final Atlantic Diva, improving with every outing, is given the vote to end the chances of Upup And Away.

I plump for a Heart Light-Skellig Blues final with Gerry Holian hoping to make it a double as he owns and trains Heart Light and also handles With Grim Intent.


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