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North Kilkenny

All Age Previews 2016-17

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Walsh Cup – North Kilkenny

The Walsh Cup is the feature event this weekend for coursing enthusiasts in Leinster and has attracted a high quality field. Plenty of rainfall over the past week has ensured ground conditions will be ideal and reports of excellent trials has Ballyragget all set for 2 days of top class action.

The opening course will see Carlingford hotly fancied to survive. He has very little running to his name and is still open to any amount of improvement. He found Octane Wonder too hot to handle in Newcastlewest last weekend but was far from disgraced in the quickest time of the round. His handler produced a top class pup at the same venue last week so they are a team in form. He meets Ballymore Ryan whose form has taken a dip since running up to Arcade Maximus in the Derby TS in Kilsheelan two years ago. Alcar will be the hot favourite in the next course after showing some of his own form in Cavan. He was one of the fastest up the Powerstown hill last year but finds it difficult to keep the clocks up after. He disappointed in Kilcullen 2 weeks ago where the 4 th season Maker of Rules beat him in the 2 nd round. That form won’t be good enough for victory and will have to recapture last year’s form to have any chance. Judiligence has run well in both outings this year after reaching the Champion Stakes last year. He is a very consistent runner who fails to sparkle on the clocks but seems to get better as the event unfolds. He currently lies on 6 points and a victory here will put him in a strong position when the 8 champion stake places are handed out in January.

The bottom of the card seems to be a bit more competitive with the opening course in the half looking a good tussle. Needham Ashmore produced his best performance in Nenagh but a lacklustre run in Knockgraffon is a concern. He meets Tory Hill Denzel, a consistent dog who has run to the same level this year. He ran Half the Odds to a length in Castleisland and again met the winner in the second round in Lixnaw. He should get over his opening course and set up a possible clash with Champion Times. This dog ran well in Thurles losing a very close call to Capetown Evan before running up to Highland Hunter in Nenagh. He should get the better of Blueview Huggle, who has failed to rise a flag this season. Longway Home surprised many with his win in Cavan. He had one previous run this season winning 2 rounds in Glin before losing a good course to Seamus Alainn in the quarter final. He beat Wazowski in the semi final in Cavan and collected 5 champion stakes points when storming to victory in the final. He has a difficult first round opponent in Killeagh Sunny. This Gerry Holian trained runner had a slight setback after winning 2 rounds of the cup in Kilflynn and returned last week where Kyle Bruce led him just over 2 lengths in the opening round. That form will surely be good enough to be competitive in this field and I expect him to narrowly win his opening course. Coshair Oggie is a dog who likes a long field so this venue may play to his strengths. He ran Baleen Voyager to under a length in Loughrea and clocked up well in the opening round in Kilrush. He seems to lack that bit of early pace but would be a hard dog to beat if getting over a round or two. Killeagh Sunny might just have enough in round 2.

Patrons can look forward to a fantastic 2 days coursing. The winner of this event can come from a number of the aforementioned dogs but slight preference is for Killeagh Sunny. Last week’s run will have blown away any of the cobwebs and he gets a tentative vote. Carlingford looks the one in the top of the card. Best of luck to all runners.

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