The weather was idyllic at Greenmount, Patrickswell today for the opening round of the 111th Irish Cup, this year very kindly sponsored by Dublin Coach. It was a very satisfactory first day and it is a top class renewal of Ireland’s oldest coursing Classic, first staged in 1905. It is hard to believe that it is three years since we were last in Greenmount and it is good to be back.
There were not too many surprises today but the six runs up Powerstown when winning the Derby (2019 whelps) certainly took their toll on On My Terms and dual Cup winner Get Lost Now did not run up to expectations. Age also caught up on Wi Can There and Mad Mans Game. The hard luck story was Senior Service who looked to be heading for victory only to lose sight when the hare moved right. This afternoon in the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stakes it was a pity to see Touch Of Rosie getting a bit too much work as it looked as though she would have a big say in that stake.
Both Champion Stakes winners from Clonmel 2022, Tree Top Danno and Shes Invincible looked very good and it will take something special or hard luck to stop them from achieving unique doubles in their respective stakes. However we have a long long way to go yet.
In the first quarter Noted Rambler showed once again that he is returning to top form and of course connections won the Irish Cup six years ago with Foot Solution. Barrack Cruz and Banba The Boss might pose the biggest dangers.
The second quarter should be all about Tree Top Danno although Berlin Station could give him a battle in RD3. Derby semi-finalist Badminton Wonder has a great chance of making it to Sunday if the bump off the escape today does not come against him.
The top of the third quarter is very difficult to call and includes two runners-up from Clonmel in Carrowkeal Shane & Faha Wonder. Black As Gold made it to the last day in Clonmel and Catunda Niall recorded the joint fastest clock today. It might go the way of local hope Faha Wonder. With a bye tomorrow morning (Crafty Expo withdrawn) Coalition Wonder, subject of plenty interest in the betting before coursing, is very likely to progress from this quarter also to the final day.
Plenty in with chances in the fourth quarter and although Terminator has replaced Tree Top Danno as the new favourite he is going to have to do it the hard way. His next opponent is 2020 Derby winner Upper Hand who showed a lot of his old spark today and the winner of the Sammy Be / Partys On Willy course will be no pushover. Wallace Best caught the eye in RD1 and may have an easier passage in the top half of that quarter.
All the big names made it through from the opening round of the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stakes although the handicap will be against Touch Of Rosie after those extra turns. Shes Invincible, Poetic Justice, Aldanite and Gortmelia Sophie will be fancied to progress from their respective quarters but ante post favourite Aldanite may be the most vulnerable with Lark Lane Me and Cloncunny Wonder in her section both impressing today too.
The action begins again on Day 2 at 11.30am with the second round of the Dublin Coach Irish Cup. Our photo shows members of the Comerford family, Harry, Conor, John, Charlie, Fintan and Evan who will all be cheering on their runner and the new Irish Cup favourite, Terminator.
Co Limerick CC have arranged a link to the action each evening via https://page.inplayer.com/irishcup2022/