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Abbeydorney – Horgan Cup
With heavy rain all week, ground conditions should be ideal in Abbeydorney this weekend where the Horgan Cup is the feature event in a 3 day card. Quickly looking through the draw it appears all the fancied dogs have favourable draws and should all be standing Sunday morning. Nemos Django is a dog who surprised many in Powerstown last year showing devastating early pace in his courses. He disappointed in Glin but the outing will have done him good. He should have the beating of Waymore Class who won 2 rounds in Ballyduff last year. Tory Hill Denzel beat Turbo Ashmore in the final of the TS in Cappoquin and this brother of Grace and Glamour won 2 rounds of the Derby after. He is now trained in Tarbert by John Flynn and will have a strong case for success. Joans Harper looked a nice prospect last year winning 2 rounds in Castleisland and withdrawn from the semi final in Ballyduff. He picked up a slight knock there but still returned at Xmas to win 2 rounds in Kerry and Templetuohy. A recent outing in Kilflynn will have him spot on but might find Denzel a length or 2 too sprightly.
Parlour Games is a tough consistent dog who won the Corn na Feile last year. He has good early pace and is excellent at lining up his hare. He won 1 round of the Boylesports Derby and didn’t reappear after. He meets Bodens Rocket who has had his problems last year. He was a good winner in Ardpatrick but failed to run again during the season. He has excellent early pace so this buckle should be decided early on. DerryLough Henry is another early pace dog who is now in his 3rd season. He won a TS in Tradaree but failed to match that form last year. His opponent is probably the one of the fastest dogs in training if he gets his favourite white collar. He took a lot of scalps last year winning cups in Kilflynn and Mooncoin and looked set for victory in Kerry again this year but for a switch to the red collar scuppering his chances. He looks ideally drawn in the 1st half where he will have the white collar until the final if getting there. One would have to worry about the ground conditions in Kilflynn and the effect it will have on dogs that went up 4 or 5 times.
The second half of the cup is as competitive with many fancying their chances of success. Chubbys Charmer has been kept busy this campaign with 3 straight outings. He doesn’t appear to be back to the sort of form that saw him collect the cup in Templetuohy and faces a tricky opposition in Time James. He won a competitive cup in Listowel last year and had a pipe opener in Ballyheigue last week to have him spot on. Nemos Balto won a Reserve TS in Kilimer Kilrush last year and then showed devastating pace in the Derby when clocking up near the best in the first round. He ran to the same level in the second but was collared late by Wallace Banner near the top of the hill. That form will make him hard to beat if back to that form. He should get the better of Scattery Alonso who put up one round in Glin. The most interesting dog in the second half is Black Barrracuda. He was very disappointing in Ennis but showed glimpses of his form from last year in Ballyheigue winning a round. Connections will be hoping that outings will bring back some his old sparkle. Redzer Green showed good pace in Kilflynn and when beating Willing and Able in the opening round. The form took a significant boost last weekend when Willing ran away with the 3 course duffer in Ballyheigue.
Overall the top half looks to be between 3 or 4 dogs. Nemos Django, Tory Hill Denzel, Parlour Games and At All Times. As the latter will have his collar I fancy him to reach the final. The bottom half should be Barracudas for the taking but recent form puts me off him. Nemos Balto and Redzer Green are the two I feel will battle it out for a place in the final.