A much more blustery day at Greenmount Park for Day 2 of the Dublin Coach Irish Cup meeting but thankfully the rain kept away for the most part. We now have our Final Eight for the Irish Cup and whilst many of the pre-event fancies are gone it would be very true to say that there were no hard luck stories today and all our quarter finalists are there on merit.
BANBA THE BOSS: Third season greyhound, bred, owned, trained and nominated by various members of the well known Mangan & Goff families, from nearby Crecora, Co Limerick & also Waterford. A first ever nomination for Fiona Goff (nee Mangan). A dual Cup winner already this season at Clonakilty and Enniscorthy. His third round success this afternoon over Foxhunter in joint best time of the round suggests he has plenty more to give.
BARRACK CRUZ: Second season greyhound bred, owned and trained by various members of the Curtin family from Tournafulla and of course hugely involved with Abbeyfeale CC. A first Irish Cup nomination for Liam & Noreen Liddy. The ‘Barrack’ greyhounds had a brilliant season up to Clonmel where this fellow lost a just up decision in RD2 of Derby. Has blistering early and could be hard to peg back.
BERLIN STATION: This pup is owned by Bahamas based Paul Horig, trained by Michael Murphy in Sallins, Kildare and bred by Paul Reid, Kilmacow. Nominated by Pat Burke. Lost nothing in defeat to Terminator in third round of Derby at Clonmel. After taking the scalp of Tree Top Danno this afternoon he is the new Irish Cup favourite (hopefully not a poisoned chalice) and a worthy one.
THE OTHER OLLIE: This pup is owned, trained & bred by Jennifer O’Donnell, Killenaule, Tipperary. Nominated by Mary Scallon who took over the nomination of her late husband Oliver, a great supporter of the Irish Cup meeting. Interestingly he bowed out to Terminator in the second round at Clonmel. A big outsider at 50/1 coming into this competition but from the very first round he has shown a liking for the venue. Huge early pace and don’t forget he added the Walsh Cup at North Kilkenny to his trial stake before Powerstown.
CATUNDA NIALL: Second season dog. Owned by the Kilmardinny Syndicate led by Imelda Byrne and her family from Beaumont, Dublin. Trained by Owen McKenna and bred by the Maher-Holian-O’Sullivan syndicate. Nominated by Luke Kilcoyne who has a long association with the McKenna family. Won two rounds of the Derby earlier this month but defeated the Derby runner-up in a thrilling buckle this afternoon when he came from well behind. Most likely will have to do the same again in quarter-final.
BUSY MAN: A pup, owned by Seamus Neary, Troyswood, Kilkenny. Also bred & trained in Kilkenny by Denis Lennon & family. Nominated by Eamonn Kiely. Just touched off by Black As Gold in the Derby RD2. Before that he ran exceptionally well in the Walsh Cup before losing to The Other Ollie in the final. His blistering early left both his opponents languishing in his wake today and his clock this afternoon gives him a real shout at outright success.
WALLACE BEST: This second season dog is owned & trained by Brendan Matthews in Newry. Bred from a bitch that Marie Roche, Clonmel leased from Brendan and nominated by Mike O’Donovan (Curly). More North Kilkenny form here because he won his trial stake there before a very decent showing at Clonmel, losing to Carrowkeal Shane in the quarter final. A handful for any slipper but so far it hasn’t come against him at Greenmount Park and he has put in three polished runs. Would be no surprise to see him win another Classic for the maestro.
UPPER HAND: Third season dog. Owned by the Part Of A Dream Syndicate led by Teresa Cahill in Kent UK. Trained by Matt Harte, bred by Liam Farrell and nominated by Waterford based James Cunningham & Maurice Jackson. Needs no introduction as he won the 2020 Boylesports Derby. Unfortunately we got to see very little of him during the curtailed 2020/21 season and it looked as though a heavy hunt at Kilmallock in November last had taken its toll. However we were very wrong as he is showing all his old spark this weekend. Hopefully his tumble and argument with the escape this afternoon won’t stop his journey towards a remarkable Derby/Irish Cup double
In the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stakes the defeat of Shes Invincible was one of the shocks of the day but it was great to see Touch Of Rosie show no effects of her extra work in RD1. Aldanite is still the one to beat and surely deserves a purse like this. Dangers lurk everywhere though and she will need to be at her best in every course.
Sir Mark Prescott has a great record at the Irish Cup meeting and his Missing Pounds could have a big say in the Dick Fitzgerald Memorial Irish Purse. Dresden Dingo could be the one he meets in the final.
The Ryco prefix had a great season and could round it off with a win for Ryco Town in the Bill Chawke Irish Plate. Partys On Willy might prove best of those remaining in the top half. .
Finals Day will get underway at 11.30am tomorrow morning with the second round of the Kyle Invitational Champion Working Members Stake. Our photo shows Josephine Denihan, Fiona O’Flaherty and Laura Scanlon enjoying the Irish Cup meeting.
Finally on a sad note we extend our sincerest sympathy to the Gallery family, Ennis on the death of Fiona Howard (nee Gallery). Our thoughts are with her sons Tommy & Adam, brothers George & David, sisters Bernadette & Patricia and extended members of the Gallery family. Funeral arrangements on www.rip.ie . May she Rest In Peace.