From: news

Day 2 at Irish Cup

There is plenty of dual representation in the last eight of the 2024 Una O’Sullivan Memorial Irish Cup. Owners Paul Horig and Gavin Johns have two runners each as does trainer Liam Dowling (owns/trains Ballymac Zena & trains Boylesports Team for Derby sponsor John Boyle). The field is completed by owner/trainer Brendan Matthews (Glencarwaterfall) & Con Guiney (Ballymac General). Maurice McCarthy & Michael Murphy are the men in charge of training Paul Horig’s two, Happenstance & Gigantor, whilst Paudie Lyons and Thomas O’Donovan have charge of Aristotle & Capablanca respectively for Gavin Johns. Bridget Byrne is joint owner with Paul in Gigantor and Brian Duffy is joint owner with Gavin in Capablanca.

It wasn’t looking too good for the pups but they bounced back today and now make up 3/8 of the field as we head into Finals Day. Indeed Aristotle is almost certain to be the new favourite and like the last two Irish Cup winners Berlin Station & Cool Spirit he too reached the third round of the Derby before heading to Patrickswell. Aristotle had a third round bye as he was due to meet another of Gavin’s runners and it is very possible that he will meet Gavin’s other runner Capablanca (pup) in the semi-final because both Ballymac General & Ballymac Zena got more than enough to do today and looked tired coming off this afternoon. It was a pity to see Zena so hard worked because the 2023 Oaks winner was thrilling all present with her early pace.

In the top half of the draw Boylesports Team is back where he was 12 months ago and running better than ever but needs to beat his quarter-final hoodoo (bowed out in Derby & Irish Cup at this stage last season). Back in December the All Age Cup at Old Kilcullen’s lovely new field at Moorhill was run in memory of the late Una O’Sullivan and was won by none other than Gigantor. It could be written in the stars that his third silverware of the season (also won at Balbriggan) will be the Una O’Sullivan Memorial Irish Cup.

One of the stories so far has been the performance of the bitch Happenstance which is chasing a first career win. She came in from the reserves yesterday and has outrun her fancy odds every time. She did get a nice few turns this afternoon but so too did the Matthews pup Glencarwaterfall so it will be a case of which comes off the bench the best in the morning. Indeed it will be difficult for the bookmakers to price up the Irish Cup until they actually know if all eight runners are going to slips.

In the Patsy Byrne Select Bitch Stakes Zauberflute gives Gavin Johns & Paudie Lyons a big chance of a double here tomorrow. It is all pups in the top half and the draw has paired the two John Flynn runners Up Tempo & Marvelous Mover in the first quarter-final. Both of them were at the business end of the Oaks a few weeks ago. The half is completed by Crafty Magello which also reached the Oaks quarter final. Honest Attempt and Mon Petit make it six pups in total and they are joined in the bottom half by Boherlode Zoey (an Oaks quarter finalist last season) and Ill Do It which won the All Age at East Donegal on New Year’s Day. Mon Petit is the only one of the eight that has no stake success to her name but connections have a great record at this meeting.