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Borrisoleigh – Hitchin Post Cup
Another favourite of mine on St Stephens’s day is the coursing in Borrisoleigh. Set in a picturesque part of the country between the villages of Inch and Borrisoleigh and underneath the famous Devils Bit landmark, this meeting is a favourite of many in surrounding areas. The cup itself seems to my eyes as being one of the most competitive 16 runner event during this period.
Blue Beruki was the first name picked out of the hat. He has shown good form in the 2 outings he ran, losing in the second round in Regional and the semi final in Crohane. He probably picked up an injury there as that was over 2 months ago. His first round opponent has a cup to his name this year, beating the hotly fancied Carrowkeal Jonjo in the final in Mallow. He reached the semi final in Bandon losing to Carrowkeal Gavin by a couple of lengths. If Beruki runs like he can, I feel he may just squeeze through. Wallers Lot Matt won a Reserve Derby trial stake last year and his best performance this year was losing to Geordie Casanova in the final in Crohane. He had 2 outings since but was beat in the first round in both. His opponent is a very fast dog but has been very unlucky this year. He was well in control in Thurles before going offline in the second and was withdrawn from the second round in Kilsheelan after an impressive opening course. If he returns to himself, he is my vote to make the final 4.
Santro Flash was beat in a duffer event last year and will probably be the total outsider in the cup. His opponent is bred in the purple but has failed to match his sires and dams reputation with a runner up birth in Freshford his best piece of form. He will probably win his opening round but will fall short Sunday morning. Kyle Prince hails from the all powering Field team who have enjoyed much success this season. This dog seems to have gone off the boil since last year and unless returning to puppy form, will find Chubbys Charmer too good. This is a very fast dog who got hurt early in the current season after winning his opening round in Edenderry (clocking up well). He won his TS in Mooncoin and 2 rounds of the Derby. He has a excellent opportunity to reach the semi finals here.
The bottom half is more competitive than the first with the first dog out, Power Game, likely to start favourite. This dog looked a surefire winner of a TS last year but got hurt after Miltown Malbay. He was beat Just up by Wizard Matthew in Listowel and even returning to that form should be enough to go close in this cup. He has had only 2 outings and is sure to improve throughout the stake. He should get the better of Freshford Cup winner Sudden Cas who was beat well by Crafty Tornado in the second round in Borris n Ossiry last week. Bower King will be highly fancied to win his opening round against heffos clan. Bower started the season well accumulating 6 champion stakes points after victory In Liscannor and runner up in Abbeydorney. 3 further outings have yielded no points so connections will be anxious to get more here. I think Power Game will be much too strong in the second round however.
Maker of Rules is a very fast dog who reached the ¼ finals of the Irish cup last year. He has had 3 outings this year losing to 3 very good performers in Portane All in, Cooga Jonjo and At all times. He is well drawn in the bottom quarter and is my fancy to progress to the semi final. The only dog that may trouble him is Willowwood Lane. This dog was money on in his TS last year before getting hurt in the final against District Twelve. He ran away with the local stake in Cashel beforehand and these are his only 2 outings. Reports are he is back galloping very well but I feel he may need the outing and will probably find Maker too hot in the second.
Overall I think Power Game will go very close. Priced at 2/1 with Boylesports, he is my bet of the festive season with the MJOD team in excellent form. Sky Star may meet him in the final.