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Clonmel & Kilsheelan All Age Cup
Serene to book Champion Stakes Place
The Tipperary Cup is the feature event in Tipperary and surrounding counties this weekend with the Corn na Feile winner from last year the star attraction. Owned locally in Clerihan, it was always the target of Serene Angel to follow up his Abbeydorney win here. He showed massive pace last year as a pup with wins in Listowel and Abbeyfeale and reached the semi-
The opening buckle sees the Brendan Matthews trained Whatdoyoufancy pitted against Ardmore Rusty. Whatdo youfancy was a good pup but never got his head over the line. He ran well in his opening outing in Kilflynn but didn’t progress since with early round losses in Loughrea, Castleisland and Freshford. Rusty was a convincing winner of the TA Morris stakes last year but disappointed in Ennis this season. He is now back with trainer Kevin Barry and he will have him spot on for this test after his dog Jet Stream won the TS in New Ross last week. Marshalls Adio is a fast dog who reached the final of the TS in Mooncoin. He is good away and displayed this pace in both outings this season. In Glin he found last week’s Listowel winner Time James just over a length too good in the opening round. He then ran well in Thurles where Cooga Hero beat him 2 lengths in the final of the O Meara cup. He meets Whiskey Galore, a dog who surpassed owner’s expectations last year. He won cups in Waterford and Kilsheelan last year before getting a hard course in Mooncoin. I feel that may have taken the sting out of him but could return to his best form in a field he likes. Marshalls may have his measure though.
Game Eanna got the dreaded draw this week against Michael O Donovans Serene Angel. Eanna ran well in Miltown losing to Call up Pal in the semi final. He had the fastest ICC clock in Ballyheigue in the opening round so may give Serene something to think about but will probably come up short. The final course of the half sees two dogs who have flattered to deceive this year. There was big expectation from Skellig harbour in Kilflynn and Fermoy but was beat in both instances. He has not returned to puppy form and there is no reason to suggest he will here. Gingerbread Sam has a similar profile; clocking up well as a pup but failing to shine this season. After seeing Sam in Regional, I expect Skellig to get through, however, Serene should end his chances Sunday morning.
The 2 nd half sees a lot of fancied dogs. Neptune has not set the world alight in 10 outings, with 2 successful rounds in Waterford and Kilsheelan as a pup his best showing. He meets the speedy Arcade Maximus. This dog won his TS here last year and ran with credit in the Derby clocking up well. He has good early pace (video of last years meeting available on youtube;
The final 4 dogs will all fancy their chances of progressing from this half. Sky Star is an exceptionally fast dog. He went offline in the second round in Thurles and ran Crushers Oak to under a length in Nenagh. He is a dog I would not like to meet early on as I feel he can match it with the best of them. Cuine Gift could not have asked for a harder course to open his all age campaign. He won his TS in Dundalk last year after several near misses and won 2 rounds of the Derby. He shocked Fingal Billy in the second round there and on that form would be a serious rival to Serene. However, he will need to be on his toes and I feel might need the outing. Carrowkeal Jonjo won the Champion Local stake in Limerick last year but was shocked in the Rakes of Mallow stake this season. He ran well in Listowel last week losing to Tarmans Alonso in the second round. He seems to relish a long stretch so this field should be right up his street. He meets Kincormac Fairy in the opening round and should this fella win, celebrations will last until the meeting next year. He sparked huge celebrations in Cashel last year and was a dog I felt could run well in the Derby. He got a bad sickness beforehand and never showed his true colours losing to Timber House in the second. Like Cuine Gift, they may well need the outing and I fancy both their opponents to just sneak through.
Overall my idea of the last 4 is Marshalls Adio, Serene Angel, Cooga Hero and Sky Star with Serene to beat Cooga Hero in the final.