As it turns out, Touch Of Class (pictured) did not need to run at Sevenhouses this weekend to secure her place in the line-up for the Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes at Clonmel next month. However not only will her owners The Nomads Syndicate & trainer John Kiely have derived great joy from watching their Oaks quarter-finalist win the Seamus Hughes Memorial Cup but they will also be thrilled that she now goes into the record books as the highest points scorer for the 2017/18 season, a remarkable achievement considering the quality of All Age Bitches on show. Hanging on to the eighth and final qualifying spot at the moment is Straightlegs who appears in the draw for Macroom as does 12th placed Iberostar and 16th placed Daydream Lady.
Last season’s Kevin Smith Champion Stakes runner-up Kyle Mozart will have a few familiar faces around him once again as he heads to slips for the 2018 renewal. Like twelve months ago he will be joined by his litter brother Domain King and now following his victory in the Ulster Cup his kennelmate Kyle Alex will be there too. This also means that their sire Kyle Basil will have three of the eight runners in the All Age Dog Classic as will Newinn Wonder (Kilkillogue, Ballygerald Buzz, Barefoot Marine). Incidentally Adios Alonso breeding dominates the All Age Bitch Classic with five of the current top eight by the champion sire.
A terrific battle has been going on in the Sporting Press Fantasy competition all season but this may be the first time that we have had a six way tie for the lead in the middle of January. Looking through the selections of the six leaders it is remarkable that Patrick O’Donovan has the four top points scoring bitches but only has Skellig Shane to represent him in the Champion Dog Stake. All six co-leaders look like having five runners each in Clonmel (mixture of dogs & bitches) but some of the greyhounds waiting in the wings like Floating Victor, Wi Can Riki & Trillainminella would strengthen their hand if they got in. Mary Guiney remains in the lead for the Fantasy Charity prize but the victory of Touch Of Class today brought Caoimhe Cullen & Liam McAuliffe back into contention. There is a long way to go yet before we know who will be picking up these cheques at the ICC Awards in Limerick on Saturday April 14th.
|KEVIN SMITH CHAMPION STAKES LEADERBOARD 14/01/18|
|3||Blades Of Fire||17||6,000|
|10||Wi Can Riki||12||3,750|
|Jt 12||Chicago Shuffle||11||3,500|
|Jt 12||Reikers Island||11||3,500|
|GRACE & MATT BRUTON CHAMPION BITCH STAKES LEADERBOARD 14/01/18|
|1||Touch Of Class||16||5,000|
|4||Tree Top Kerry||14||4,200|
|6||Do It Chubbys||12.5||3,450|
|SPORTING PRESS FANTASY COURSING LEADERBOARD 14/01/18|
|Jt 1||Leo Walsh & Denis Daly||Donabate||570|
|Jt 1||Conor Flynn||Tarbert||570|
|Jt 1||Patrick J O’Donovan||Dunmanway||570|
|Jt 1||Sean Doyle||Ennis||570|
|Jt 1||Sean Doyle||Ennis||570|
|Jt 1||Vincent Morrissey||Johnstown||570|
|SPORTING PRESS FANTASY FOR CHARITY LEADERBOARD 14/01/18|
|Jt 3||Shane Curtin||Tournafulla||480|
|Jt 3||Paddy McGhee||Ballindrait||480|
|Jt 3||Liam McAuliffe||Athea||480|