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Raz to Razzle Opposition
The Murphy and Ryan memorial cup in Ennis/Clarecastle is a prestigious event in the coursing calendar and has attracted no fewer than 8 TS winners from last year along with a couple of runner ups. Call here Alonso is owned by Noreen Mc Manus and has got a favourable draw in the red collar here. He won his TS last year after running well in Old Kilcullen and Borris on Ossory. He won his first round in Kilflynn last week but found the Matthews trained Whatdoyoufancy too hot in the second. He will need to step up from this effort to play a part in the cup but should survive the first round against Tromora Master. A trial sake winner in Lixnaw, master only rose one more flag in 4 runs after. The locally owned and trained Cillowen Bolt is a bit of dark horse here reaching two semi finals in his puppy year. He will need to improve to beat Quasimodo Raz. Raz was beat in a thrilling buckle in the Limerick city DTS last year and was rushed back by connection to qualify for Clonmel after receiving a setback in Tradaree. He subsequently got into Clonmel after the withdrawal of Cooga Jonjo and really done himself justice in there. He showed terrific early pace and lost a great buckle with Defacto in the 3 rd round. He should have too much and should qualify for the final 4. The 2 nd quarter sees a really interesting dog compete. Wicked monk is a full brother to Derby winner Feel my Pulse and ran well in his early outings last year; getting to the 4 th round in Castleisland and running up in Lixnaw. Also in the quarter is Alfie Alone, the reserve DTS winner here last year. He tried to claim his full ticket afterwards but fell at the final hurdle in Castletowngeoghan. He is not devoid of pace and should set up an interesting course with Monk Sunday morning. Others to note in the quarter include Knockgraffon runner up Duarigle Darwin who ran up to Feel my Pulse.
The bottom half looks as competitive as the top. Ardmore rusty won 3 stakes for connections last year, claiming the Reserve DTS in Cavan, the full ticket in Westport and the T.A. Morris stakes in Clonmel. He will be fancied to get the better of Derrylough Henry in the first round. Henry won a TS last year in Tradaree and his early pace could cause Rusty to pull out all the stops. Echo Johnny only ran twice last year highlighting he has had problems but a win and semi final berth indicate his ability. He romped to victory in Loughrea last year and will surely give it his best shot providing he is back to his best. He is a June pup so being a 3 rd season dog should not hinder him. He gets my vote to beat That’s the Man in the opening buckle. The ex Michael o Donovan trained runner disappointed in Clonmel and was bought by Pakistan owners. That’s the man will have a couple of outings before joining his new owners abroad in November. Funny Alonso looks the pick of the runners in the bottom quarter. Also owned by Noreen Mc Manus, he won his trial stake at the Roscommon Christmas meeting beating Foot Solution in the final. Foot solution franked the form when storming away with the puppy stake in the Irish cup. Alonso was beat by Blazing music in Kilflynn last week and granted natural improvement should make the semi final. Others to note in this quarter include the Kilrush reserve TS winner Bunch of Fools. He failed marginally to claim his full ticket when beaten by the top dog here, Call here Alonso in Kilcreevin.
All in all coursing supporters in Ennis and surrounding areas are in for a treat this weekend. Many of these dogs will be hoping for Champion Stake qualification such is the quality. My overall vote goes to Quasimodo Raz for the O Mahony family in Loughrea. He will love the flat field and his early pace will be difficult to peg back.