Having come out the right side of a thrilling RD1 course in which Judge Paul Horan could have flagged for either dog, Skellig Shane now looks to have an outstanding chance of back to back victories in the Irish Cup. To be fair if there had been a turn, last year’s Champion would almost certainly have had his neck out for it but even as it was the majority of those in the stand agreed with the decision. With Domain King defeated and You Amaze Me not setting the clock alight it is difficult to see the Skellig runner not making it out of the fourth quarter with any bit of luck in running. Eoin Abu might join him in the last eight.
The biggest upset today came with the emphatic defeat of Reikers Island by the unconsidered Business Yankee. Full credit to the winner which recorded the joint fastest clock of the day 11.33 but this was certainly not the dog we all enjoyed watching in the Derby 12 months ago. Even without him though the second quarter remains the hottest of the four and the RD2 buckle between Wheres Mr Wilks & Kyle Mozart promises to be one of tomorrow’s highlights. The winner will have a big say in the outcome of Q2 together possibly with Watchman. All eyes were on the latter today after what happened at Clonmel and sure enough he lost sight temporarily just as victory looked sealed. However he did show devastating pace to get back into the course again and he is a serious contender if he does things right.
The first quarter is also full of potential winners, not least Barefoot Marine which skipped the Champion Stakes for this and is one of the freshest in the field. It is expected that he will meet Jamess Treasure in the third round and that could decide Q1. Having said that there was much to like about both Ham And Inch & Ashmore Rocket today and neither can be ruled out.
Roquefort Teddy recorded the other 11.33 but suffered a nasty looking tumble. For a dog nursing an injury all season it is the last thing he needed and hopefully he will be ok to run tomorrow. That section of four in which he finds himself in Q3 is quite competitive and whichever of them makes it into Day 3 will have earned their place. However at the top of the quarter we have four greyhounds which were 33/1 or better before coursing today and one of them is going to be pleasantly surprised to be coming back on Sunday.
In the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stake the unluckiest loser was probably the fancied Finn Dancer which covered much more ground in pursuit of a wayward hare only to lose out when all three closed in near the escape. Misfortune too for the pup Nothing Fancy which impressed but was brought back towards slips and Win Or Else which got plenty of work from a short slip. However these were the only blips on a very enjoyable Day 1 which was much improved on the corresponding day last year and augurs well for the remainder of the weekend. The Select Bitch Stake will take plenty winning but at a guess Jamaica Judy, Skellig Honey, Mad Decision and Killucan Rose could be your semi-finalists.
Coursing resumes tomorrow morning at 11.00am and with fancied runners in action straight away make sure to get there early. All of the Irish Cup clocks & latest betting can now be found in Quick Results.