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Castleisland All Age

Coursing Previews 2014/15

Island Cup

Castleisland CC has a strong tradition of attracting the cream of Irelands coursing dogs and this year is certainly no different. What a mouth-watering line up we have with some of the best puppies from last year taking part. To begin the preview I will go through the top half. There are 3 standout performers here with the likes of Sturdyandstaunch, Needham Simple and Tilford Tom. Sturdyandstaunch was an impressive pup last year winning his trial stake in Ballyheigue and 2 rounds of the Irish Cup in Limerick. He was well fancied in Limerick but ran flat in the 3 rd round when losing out to Journey of Life. He is owned and trained by the Flynn family in Tarbert who are no strangers to the winning enclosure in recent times. Needham simple will probably start favourite for the event. He was an incredible fast puppy last year but was somewhat unlucky. He won the TS here last year and then ran up the Troy Electrial puppy stake in December when hot favourite. He was then beat by Derby semi-finalist Light duty in the derby before exiting the Irish cup at the hands of Eshwary Leader. Simple’s clocks in Limerick were up there with the best so no one doubts his ability. He is in the best hands possible and will be surely ready to give this cup a rattle.
The next dog to concentrate on in this half is Tilford tom. Winning his TS in liscannor 2 years ago, he grew from strength to strength as the season progressed. Demolishing a hot field in Abbeyfeale to win the Corn na feile and losing to derby r-up Longmeadow raz in the 3 rd round. The following year he continued where he left off, winning the  cup in Listowel. He then got injured in Newcastlewest and didn’t return to his usual form in Limerick. If back to his best he will have a great shout come Sunday. Overall I see this matchup between 3 dogs with Needham simple my choice to progress to Monday’s decider.
The bottom half is equally a hot with many fancied runners. Garbally Sam was well liked last year after winning his TS in Mooncoin. He didn’t run as well in Clonmel but rumour had it that he had a set back before the event. He is very lightly raced and granted natural improvement he should have a good year in the All Age stakes. Newry Awake hails from the Matthews kennels and was well like 2 years ago but has failed to run up to expectations since. He was beat by Jackson lane in the 2 nd round last week and that form will probably fall short in this line up. Floating Patriot was an unlucky dog last year. Owned by the Wallaces in Glin, he put in an outstanding performance to lift the first cup of the year in Kilflynn winning all his courses well. He beat Gurteen Vince in the ¼ final who in turn was beat ½ length by power of peace in the Curran cup decider. Although sailing through the cup there, the quality of this field is a lot stronger so it will be interesting to see how he fares out. The final buckle of the cup is the one many will want to see Sunday. Dynamic Billy can be argued to be the best puppy last year not to win a TS. Trained by Pa Fitz, his clocks in all outings were impressive. He was most unlucky in Abbeyfeale and was thought so highly that he was aimed for the Irish Cup by being entered in the AAD stake in Sevenhouses in an attempt to qualify. Injury struck after the 1 st round and he didn’t run since. If back to his best he will surely be popular with punters looking for value. Kyle Roger was another fast puppy who failed to win a TS. He looked a sure-fire winner after his debut in Castleisland last year but things never went right for him after. He came in as a reserve in the Irish cup and won the Purse beating a good field in the process.
Other dogs to note in the event include, Cil Ide Riocht and In the centre. Both fast dogs but find it difficult to put it together for an entire stake.
My overall choice for success lies in the first half. Needham simple seemed green at times last year and if he has straightened up and matured as an all age dog I can see him taking this event with the winner of the final buckle to meet him in the final.

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