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Mooncoin – Jubilee Cup
Mooncoin are renowned in coursing circles of hosting a top quality meeting and in turn have attracted many top all age performers in their attempt to reach the Holy Grail in Powerstown. The cup itself is nicely poised with a top runner in each quarter and first glimpse indicates this 4 should reach the semi-
The opening course will see the John Flynn trained Rhythm and Rhyme start as hot favourite to advance. He won a good quality trial stake in Ballyheigue and ran with credit in Newcastlewest losing a tight course to Maker of Rules. He seems to relish a nice stretch so conditions should be ideal. His opponent Rorys Monarch had little form before dividing a duffer event in Glanworth at the start of the month. Jeffys Silver is a member of the very fast Thomas the Tank – Lady Twinkletoes litter. He does not seem to possess the attributes of his comrades with a duffer win in Freshford his best achievement after 4 outings. Spailpin Fanach has much better form after reaching the semi final of the AAD stake in Rathcormac losing to the speedy Living Next Door. He seems to be improving with every course so should get through to Sunday but Rhythm will have his measure in the 2 nd.
Cooga Jonjo is a very fast performer who has run with credit this year, losing both finals in Limerick City and Lixnaw. He beat Maker of Rules and Kyle George in Lixnaw showcasing his ability and is the dog they all have to beat in this quarter. Kingcormac Fairy seemed to be back to form when getting to within 1 length of Feel my Pulse in Knockgraffon, however, he was comprehensively beaten by Portane last week and will need everything to go right to trouble Jonjo. The final course of the half should be tight with both dogs not reaching the heights of their puppy campaign yet. Mungos rio was beat by 1 length in Newcastlewest and that form should be enough to progress to Sunday morning. He will have his work cut out in the second round and Jonjo will probably end his bid for success then.
The 2 nd half seems to be more competitive with 3 or 4 dogs all fancied to run well. Needham Simple is an ever consistent performer who won the cup in Carlow already. He was turned over in the 1 st round in Kilcullen and will need to return to form here. Being a 3 rd season dog, maybe age is starting to catch up with him as the season progresses. He will be fancied to get the better of Total Smokey who wasn’t disgraced in Cappoquin 2 weeks ago. Simple may just have enough to go through. Rocks of Bawn is an interesting runner who seems to be coming back to a bit of form. He was an impressive winner of his trial stake in Templetuohy 2 years ago but failed to relive that performance in 4 outings last year. He ran in Johnstown late last month and clocked up 2 nd fastest (ICC clocks) in the opening round. He was then beat in the second but may have come on from the outing. His opponent Coshair Bosco looked unlucky as a pup and is a dog who relishes a long field. He again is a 3 rd season runner with little mileage on the clock which may indicate he has had his troubles, however, recent outings in Rathdowney and Kilkenny will have him spot on here. He may lack the pace of Rocks early on and for that reason I fancy him to go through.
Who needs proof is a dog that is progressing as the season goes on. He caught my eye in Knockgraffon losing to Maker of Rules in the first round having led for a lot of the journey. It was no surprise to see him reach the semi finals in Kilcullen after clocking faster than District Twelve and Sky Lord in the 2 nd. He should be much too good for the track bred Blue for Gold who will be aiming to win on this field for the 3 rd year in a row after 2 duffer successes. The final course will probably be the course of the round. Marshalls Adio started the season well but his form has dropped in recent weeks with early round exits in Dungarvan and Kilkenny. He was beat 1 ½ lengths by Time James in Glin and then reached the final in Thurles losing by a couple of lengths to Cooga Hero. He then ran Whatdoyoufancy to a couple of lengths in Kilsheelan and Kingcormac Fairy beat him 1 length in Knockgraffon. If he can recapture Glin and Thurles form he will serve it up to At All times who seems to be returning to the form that saw him beat Kyle Bruce in Kilflynn. Times ran up the cup in Newcastlewest 3 weeks ago and a runner up spot here will be enough to see him run in the Champion Stakes. He is trained by Pat/Tom O Connor in Tarbert and should win his opening 2 courses to set up a clash with Needham Simple.
Overall the final 4 will most likely be, Rhythm ad Rhyme, Cooga Jonjo, Needham Simple and At all Times. My overall vote goes to Cooga Jonjo who has been very consistent all year. At all times may meet him in the final.