Following an opening day of very few shocks (perhaps just Kyle Steel in Irish Cup and Share The Dream in Select Bitch Stake) those holding betting dockets on the Watchman – Silent Wonder double will be very pleased. Defending champion Watchman gave a faultless display in the first round of the Irish Cup and not only was he the only greyhound to break 11 seconds today but he did so by 14 spots. To this observer Silent Wonder was unsighted for much of her course in the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake but her clock of 11.01 was only bettered today by Watchman. Coincidentally that time of 11.01 was matched by Clondoty Tom running in the Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake and 45 minutes later he did 11.14 in the second round.
Back to the Irish Cup and besides Watchman the other stand-out performances came today from Part Exchange (11.04), Smokey Harvey (11.12), Ballygerald Buzz (11.18), Never A Lie (11.11) and Oaks heroine Ballymac Enya (11.16). Unfortunately for the first three named they are in the same second quarter as Watchman. Enya’s success was welcomed by all neutrals in attendance and her participation has added great excitement to the event. In her fourth quarter also is Kevin Smith Champion Stakes winner Ahamore Wonder and after a tardy start he showed a terrific burst of pace to get up in a short slip. Never A Lie does indeed appear to be a very decent pup and has narrowed to 5/1 second favourite. His biggest danger in the third quarter could be last season’s runner-up Always Inthe Run which showed all of his old sparkle today. With Kyle Steel eliminated the first quarter has really opened up and connections of all eight remaining will fancy their chances of a quarter-final appearance. Ballinveala Toro v Long John Silver should be a thriller in the morning.
It will be interesting to see how Silent Wonder handles the early pace of Catch Kazuri tomorrow morning but otherwise the top half is probably at her mercy. Central Maid had a tougher first round than anticipated and Deja Vu could now be the one to progress to the semi-final. The second round course between Cobra Angel & Lakeside Pearl could decide the bottom half but with Share The Dream gone it really is all to play for. Her nemesis Heart Over Mind may even cause a few more upsets between now and Sunday afternoon.
Coursing was of a very high standard today, especially after the interval, so the message is to get to Patrickswell tomorrow and Sunday because greyhounds like Watchman, Ballymac Enya & Silent Wonder don’t come around very often.
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