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Thurles – O Meara Cup
The O Meara cup is the highlight event at Thurles CC this weekend and a nice field has assembled for an exciting 2 days coursing. Trials last week were excellent and hares looked very strong and knew their job. Extensive work has been done to the run up ensuring the safety of both dogs and hare while the overall setup is a credit to the committee.
Ashwood Casanova is the standout dog in the stake and meets Cerebus Magic in the first course. Casanova won a good quality all age in Cashel two weeks but had the benefit of a bye in the final from the withdrawal of hot favourite True North. He won all his courses very comfortably and showed a good change of gear from half way. His clocks were consistent and I expect him to be very hard to beat. Magic ran well in Regional after failing to show a whole pile last year. He ran Jet Stream to 3 lengths but will need to improve again to trouble to likely favourite. Champion Times could be a lively dark horse after winning the puppy stake in Tipperary last year. He was withdrawn from Kilflynn this season but should be spot on here. He meets Capetown Evan who was unlucky to get such a hard course in the semi-
The bottom 8 greyhounds are all bitches and first viewing indicates a competitive half. Smokey Zara was fancied by many for the Oaks after a comprehensive victory in Nenagh but disappointed in Clonmel. She ran in Glin this season and showed that she hasn’t lost any of her old sparkle when clocking up as well as any in the opening course. She should get the better of Lisdaleen Wonder who has failed to progress past the second round in 4 outings (2 withdrawals). Madam Megan looked a sure thing to win a full TS last year after a very easy victory in the reserve oaks here. She is bred in the purple and in good hands so she could return to form in a field she clearly likes. Ironically she meets the bitch she beat in the final that day in the opening round and on all known form will qualify to Sunday morning. The standout bitch in the bottom 4 is Happy away. This bitch was very unfortunate not to collect a TS in her puppy campaign losing 2 finals and a semi-
Overall it is hard to see past Ashwood Casanova. He had 3 nice runs in Cashel which if anything will have him spot on here. He gets a confident vote for outright success. Smokey Zara might meet him in the final.