Skellig Shane has added the blue riband of All Age coursing, The Irish Cup, to the Jim Howard Cup (Rathcormac) and Kingdom Cup (Co Kerry) won earlier in the season. It was a great day for owners Tim & Rose O’Driscoll, Glanmire, Cork and trainer Denis O’Driscoll, Skibbereen. Like last year’s winning owners of Foot Solution they now have an Irish Cup to display beside their Coursing Oaks trophy won in 2011. Rose & Tim also bred Skellig Shane who is a son of Mafi Magic and Skellig Beag.
The final of the Irish Cup was almost an exact replica of 12 months ago with Drive On Smokey taking a flier from slips like he did on that occasion. However it was to be heartbreak once again for his connections as Skellig Shane loomed upsides him as they approached halfway. Full credit to Smokey who didn’t let the winner go past him easily but had to give in at the end to the superior stamina of a worthy victor who was third favourite at 9/1 before the event got underway on Friday morning.
When the draw was made for the Patsy Byrne All Age Bitch Stake all the talk was about the top class All Age Bitches entered for this year’s renewal. However in the end they had to give way to two super pups which had caught the eye in Clonmel a few weeks ago. On that occasion Finn Dancer had recorded the fastest clock in RD1 of the Oaks and Mother Of Pearl had put in a very fast clock in the Kitty Butler. Finn Dancer went to slips as favourite for the final but got behind early and had no answer to the Sir Mark Prescott owned and Michael O’Donovan trained Mother Of Pearl. In her previous course the winner had surprised Champion Stakes winner Killucan Rose.
There was compensation for the connections of the original Irish Cup favourite Octane Wonder when he took the Irish Purse. The winner had run brilliantly throughout this stake but Domain King made him work very hard in the final. The loser built up a nice lead in the early stages, lost it, but then came again at the very end which admittedly was almost at the escape making it difficult for the Judge. In fairness he was in the right position to make the difficult call.
There was no braver winner today than the pup For The Parish in the Irish Plate. The hare brought him & his opponent all the way back to the slippers hut in their quarter final and many thought he might be withdrawn. However he came from behind in his semi-final to gain a narrow verdict and set himself up with a final match against Alcar. When his early lead in final petered out we thought he would have no more to give but how wrong we were and he fought back much to the delight of all the neutrals in the stand.
Bexhill River, Ardmore Magic, Gadget Eoin and Pay Me Later were the winners of the supporting events and congratulations to all of their connections.
And so concludes the 2016/17 Coursing Season. Well done to everyone at Co Limerick Coursing Club who put on another very good show and made us all wish we didn’t have to wait seven months before we go to slips again.
Of course we do have the ICC Awards to look forward to in April and voting for the four Greyhound Award categories will be open to all paid up members of our web site in approx two weeks time. Make sure to cast YOUR vote.