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North Kilkenny AAD

All Age Previews 2015-16

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North Kilkenny – Walsh Cup

With the busy Christmas period fast approaching, owners and trainers are trying to qualify and get that elusive Clonmel ticket before things really start hotting up and clubs are inundated with entries. The Walsh cup offers all age greyhounds a chance to get 4 points and all going well, will get another chance early in the new-year to win another 4. The Walsh cup is such an event and because of its ideal timing, has attracted a whole host of top greyhounds looking for that elusive first win and others looking to cement their place in Powerstown. First glance of the draw highlights how hot the top half of the draw is, with Blueview Charlie getting the dream draw in the bottom of the card.

The opening course should see a win for Leg it fast. He was an impressive winner of his TS in Rathkeale last year but has since received quite a few setbacks. He returned to action in Freshford losing in the second round and showed marked improvement in Rathkeale where an extremely short slip ruined all chances and was subsequently withdrawn from meeting Blades of Hope in the semi-final. He beat Crafty Resino in that course highlighting the strong form as Crafty recently won in Gorey. The second course should see last years Irish cup winner Needham Work advance. He reappeared this season in Ballyduff but didn’t return to form, however, he showed he still has not lost any of his ability with a commanding victory in Johnstown. He likes a nice stretch so this field should suit. His opponent Tower King has no form that would seem to trouble Work so I expect a convincing first round win for the Brendan Mathhews trained runner.

The first course in the second quarter should be a cracker with 2 of last years star pups meeting. Timmie Trickiebow was entered in Tradaree last week so should be well ready for this assignment. He won a top quality TS in Miltown last year and won 2 rounds of the Boylesports Derby. His opponent Game Mikey was well liked after Powerstown when beat by Blades of Hope in the 4 th round. He reappeared in Edenderry in October and his absence since may indicate a setback. If back to his best he may just get the better of Timmie but it is a very hard course to call. The last course in the half should also be a belter with Rory for Glory meeting Defacto. Rory is owned by John Boyle who has upped the  prize money for this year’s Derby winner. He is a fantastic supporter of the game and I’m sure nobody begrudges him any victory in this game. (I also want to commend Damian Lonergan and Boylesports for their betting every week which adds a spice on the run up to every weekend.) Rory has ran three times this year with one flag raised in each meeting. He will need to step up his game and may find Defacto too sharp in the first. This dog won his TS here last year after 3 attempts previous. He really improved as the season progressed and clocked up superbly well throughout the Derby before being withdrawn in the 4 th round. He was due to open his all age campaign in Miltown Malbay but again was withdrawn. This may indicate he has had his niggles and he really failed to shine when running over a month later in Kilcullen. If the run has brought him on and he continues to progress like last season he will trouble any dog in the field but his well-being has to be taken on trust.

The opening course in the second half will see Marshalls Adio hot favourite. He has had a busy season so far with 5 outings. He was beaten finalist in Thurles and ran creditably in Kilsheelan and Knockgraffon. His opponent won a duffer stake in Knockgraffon recently but this competition is a different ball game. Inch Hothead has failed to relive the form which saw him win the cup in Templetuohy last year. He was beat 1 ½ length in Rathkeale to Neverland Pirate but may have the measure of Carlbush Mafi in the opener. This dog had no form before reaching the semi-final of a 3 course duffer in Kilcullen 2 weeks ago. Inch may just squeeze through but find Marshalls too good in the second.
Viva Media ran three times last year with a single flag raised in Tradaree his best achievement. Bar he has improved considerably he won’t trouble the top dogs here. He may get over the first with his opponent having little or no form either. The final course will see Blueview Charlie as hot favourite. This teak tough dog won last year’s Champion stakes after a couple of impressive displays in Edenderry and Kilcullen. He hasn’t hit the same heights performance wise this year but still has managed to win two cups. He seems to be sluggish in the early rounds and this was highlighted in Gorey where Stephens Owen seemed to be well in control before Charlie went offline. Blueview has the dream draw and as the competition goes on, he will not be easily beat. He gets my vote to reach the final, where Needham Work, Defacto, Game Mikey or Timmie Trickiebow will likely meet him. My overall vote goes to Needham Work who will appreciate conditions and love the long stretch in Ballyragget.

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