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Miltown Malbay – All Age Cup
Thanks to Michael Mc Namara last year we were fortunate to view the wonderful coursing in Miltown last year. The field has a nice pull from slips and with top quality hares, the cup always attracts the best of dogs. This year is no different with many fancying their chances. Roquefort Barney was the first name drawn out of the hat. This dog is trained by Pat Curtin and will have many followers over the weekend. As a pup he won his TS late in Kilcreevin Ballymote and last year qualified for the champion stakes after wins in Galway/Oranmore (run at Glin CC grounds) and Milstreet. He was beat by Lochbo Benny there but all may not have been right with him as he didn’t appear in the Irish Cup draw. He has a difficult first round opponent here in Lineroad Amigo. He ran up the Irish Purse to Blueview Charlie last year after collecting top prize in this same competition last year. Tower King looked nailed on to collect a TS last year after running up to Skellig Harbour in Abbeydorney but didn’t show the same dash after. He might have needed the Summer to freshen up but will need to return to top form to threaten the principles. Luath Ranger was a late June pup last year with a semi-
The next 4 dogs will all fancy their chances of winning their quarter. Silver Maxi ran up the TS in Balbriggan to Not Caught Yet. Mungos Rio won the Reserve TS at his local meeting in Sevenhouses and last year ran up to Fingal Master in the AA cup in Mooncoin. My friend Paddy ran up to Crafty Tornado in Milstreet and Wood Dynamo won his TS in Castletowngeoghan 2 years ago while running up the cup in Westmeath last year.
The next course will see the probable favourite pitted against Hassle Hayes. Defacto was a standout performer in the Derby last year after winning his TS in North Kilkenny. He won 3 rounds of the Derby and was withdrawn in the 4 th round. He was beat in the semi final of the TS here last year so has form on the field. He should have little trouble getting over Hassle Hayes and set up a clash with Call up Pal. This dog improved throughout last year and was beat in the semi final of the Irish Purse by the aforementioned Lineroad Amigo. Defacto will proabably have his measure in round 2.
The last quarter is ultra competitive; Bodens Rocket was well liked as a pup last year but was withdrawn this year from the first round in Regional. He was beat in the final of the TS in Galbally and the semi final in Borris N Ossory. Game Eanna qualified for the Derby last year after Time James received a set back. He ran recently in Ballyheigue and may have needed the outing. Stephens Owen is a very fast dog who was narrowly beaten in the semi-
Overall the bottom half looks tough. Defacto and Stephens will probably do battle in the semi final with the winner my choice to go on and claim victory.