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Borris In Ossory – Laois Cup
Borris In Ossory has always been a top class fixture every year but has been hit with ‘frost’ issues in the last couple of years. This should not be the case this year with recent downpours making the ground very safe and in turn has attracted the cream of all age runners to compete. Going through the draw, it appears the top half is more competitive with last years Derby runner up and double cup winner Call up Pal both aiming to bolster their Champion Stake points
Call up Pal has the better of the draw with a set red collar in each course, should he keep progressing. He ran twice this year with 2 victorious but connections must feel they need more prize money to ensure Champion Stake qualification. He meets Alfie Alone who ran 4 times this season with 2 flags to his name. Call up Pal should prove much too good and set up a titanic clash with Mulboy Brannan. This dog has progressed nicely through the year and was declared winner in New Ross at the end of October. He ran in Enniscorthy recently where the teak tough Blueview Charlie beat him in the final. On known form I fancy him to lead Glin Syn Eile who was beat in the semi final in Rathkeale 2 weeks ago. A thrilling second round buckle looks in store with the Gerry Holian trained Call up Pal my fancy to progress to the semi final.
Less said in the 2nd quarter has no form with 2 first round exits to his name and will probably have 3 after meeting Portane All In. He was a top pup winning his TS in Newcastlewest and withdrawn in the final of the Derby. 2 outings this season have seen 2 semi final appearances and seemed very unfortunate with the short slip in Knockgraffon. He was money on to win that cup and if back to his best will be short priced favourite to win. He should progress to the semi final after getting the better of Kingcormac Fairy in the second. This is a very fast pup but hasn’t recaptured last years form from Cashel after getting a few set backs before the Derby. He ran creditably in Knockgraffon and was favourite after one round in Rathdowney last week but left a good opportunity behind. He should win his first but Portane will be a different kettle of fish altogether in the 2nd.
The second half of the cup provides a good opportunity for several runners to claim 2 if not 4 champion stake points. Cooga Hero was an impressive winner in Thurles and was unlucky in Ardpatrick 2 weeks ago. He seems certain to appreciate this test and will be a top fancy in this side of the draw. Crafty Tornado looked disappointing in Thurles but has since ran with credit in Johnstown and Rathdowney in the past couple of weeks. He must come out of his courses well as this will be his 3rd consecutive outing in as many weeks. I feel Cooga may have a bit too much here and set up a second round clash with Freshford winner Sudden Cas. This dog was well liked in Glin as a puppy last year and returned to form in the Kilkenny outing. He found District Twelve too good in Kilcullen and will need to be on his toes against recent TS winner Cranorchard. He ran well in Regional but failed to build on his Derby credentials in Johnstown. The all age dog may prove too sharp here but I think Cooga Hero will be the one to progress from the quartet.
The bottom quarter is wide open. Call here Alonso badly needed the outing in Newcastlewest last week losing to At all times in the second. He was a fast dog last year but his opponent Tarmons Alonso seems to fly in the early rounds and may have his measure. Slight preference is for Tarmons here but it will be an interesting buckle. I saw Bigbadleroybrown in Templetuohy last year and felt he was a dog to watch. He ran well in Fermoy clocking similar to the cup winner but was beat in the semi final. His next outing in Carlow saw a first round elimination so a big improvement is needed to trouble the principals. He may be too good for Pandemonium who was beat in the first round in Rathdowney last week after reaching the semi final in Dungannon. Another close buckle here with Leroy just oreferred.
Overall I think the final 4 will be Call up pal, Portane All in, Cooga Hero and Tarmons Alonso. On form Call up pal looks the one but I think Portane will that bit too good and claim his first points of the season. Cooga Hero might meet him in the final