The Munster cup has once again attracted a strong line-up for Newcastlewest’s annual meeting. Facilities in NCW are superb with a stand, stalls and plenty of food vendors available. Looking at the cup, the name that stands out is last years declared Derby winner, With Grim Intent. This will be his debut run in all age company and is sure to go off a short price favourite. He has a tough opening round but Journey of peace will need to improve in his run in Listowel if he is to overturn the favourite. If winning his opening round I fancy him to meet Limerick South. He seemed something like his old self in Rathkeale where he was narrowly beaten and should have too much for duffer winner Cil Ide Riocht. The second quarter is likely to fall between In the Centre and Needham Work. In the centre won the cup in Nenagh but was beat by Make Peace in Doon last week. Needham work impressed many with his opening round win in Cashel at the start of the season and showed in Ballyduff that he will have a big say in all age honours this year with a comfortable win. With the Matthews all age team flying, I think he will make the semi-final against With Grim intent. On all known form I’m picking Needham to progress to the decider Sunday evening.
The 3 rd quarter seems to be quite winnable with all 4 dogs fancying their chances. Mungos Rio won a RTS in Sevenhouses and might be the classiest dog here but only connections know how well he has come back this year. I am giving him a tentative vote to progress to the semi-final but will not have it all his own way. The 4 th quarter is all about New Inn Glory. A seriously fast dog who I thought would rattle the derby last year after romping to victory in Ardpatrick. He got a set-back before the event and never shone. His setback must have stayed with him as he never ran in the Irish Cup either. If back to his best he should have the bottom half in his hands with a small bit of luck. Over all I can see team Matthews on the winning podium come Sunday evening. This dog has serious pace from half way and while the Derby winner is in the field, he will have to be at his absolute best to beat Needham.