18 Oct 2018
Another tightly graded programme for the Thursday SIS meeting at Limerick this week but it may pay to side with John Rainsford’s Adamant Page who can warrant the Nap selection as the consistent sprinter benefits from an ease in grade in her S3 350 yard contest.
Finding traffic in an S1 event last time, she was in fact contesting above her grading but the dual S2 winner now enjoys an ease to S3 which offers a very plausible opportunity to return to winning ways.
A winner when last housed in Trap 4, she now has a brace of wide seeded runners to her right and should be afforded ample racing room on the run to the bend where a forward pitch can see the strong finisher convert if securing clear passage.
RACE 2 - TRAP 1 ELLDAN ACT The Tim Keane charge has now reached veteran status but retains a solid level of form, especially within the context of this A6 525 yard event.
Forward efforts in A5 the last twice offer encouragement with an ease in grade and there should not be too many surprises to come from his rivals now. Historically, Trap 1 suits well and now offers him the chance to command the inside following decent early sectionals of late and in doing so, he should convert.
RACE 5 - TRAP 5 SHOOT TWICE The Declan Beary & Tim Ryan youngster faces quite a competitive A3 525 yard contest here and will need the imminent progression that her latest outing suggested was coming.
It remains to be seen whether she can handle Trap 5 and in punting terms, we would want to see her continue to develop an adeptness at trap rise, which in fairness, she did last time. Should she come away well to secure clear passage however, she has hinted at a future above A3.
RACE 8 - TRAP 4 ADAMANT PAGE
MURT LOOKS THE LEGER BANKER AT ENNISCORTHY
These are busy times at Enniscorthy where the Future Champion Unraced commenced on Monday and now the second round of the BoyleSports Enniscorthy Leger will be run at the Showgrounds tonight.
One which really impressed in the first round of the Leger was Murt Leahy’s Ballybough Murt and this heavyweight will take the world of beating again this evening if he can get a reasonable start from his ideal outside draw in the final heat. Main danger could be George Roche’s Black Tango which ran well in defeat in the first round.
Karol Ramsbottom, who will have a finalist in the Juvenile Derby at Shelbourne tomorrow, has a real prospect in Heat 1 with Garryglass Rover getting the nod to win from Forest Rival and Haliska Frankie. Karol also has big chances with Deadly Viking in the third heat.
Johnny Kavanagh’s Brightside Vim has the ideal inside draw in Heat 2 where BoyleSports Boom will be a major danger.
The action really begins to heat up in the 2018 Barking Buzz App Irish St Leger this coming Saturday as the field will be reduced to just twelve aspiring champions in chase of a €25,000 winner’s prize at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
While Lenson Blinder has gone fastest in each round thus far, the event remains wide open I’d suggest and we can expect to get a feel for just how much freshness that many of the leading fancies retain at the end of a competitive Open race season, by how they perform this week.
Many of those at the top of the market face difficult assignments, some of which from complicated draws and nowhere is that more evident than in the concluding quarter-final with three of the top five in the market occupying the inside traps.
There has been requests for the sectional analysis which I would usually feature at this stage of the major events at Limerick but our third bend sectional clock was not in operation last week so hopefully I can return that feature next week with splits for two of the three rounds for our semi-finalists.
Trap 1 WICHITA
Trap 2 BUDGIE MARBH
Trap 3 DELAHUNTY
Trap 4 KILBRIDE WARRIOR
Trap 5 LENSON BLINDER
Trap 6 URBAN JET (W)
Plenty of form between these runners in the heats thus far with three from the same second round clash a week ago but it is difficult to overlook the Leger’s fastest runner as LENSON BLINDER appears in the form to overcome yet another tricky draw.
He got the better of a real ding-dong with Kilbride Warrior in Round One and although that rival definitely progressed for that opening clash, Blinder was himself in sparkling form a week ago and if breaking on terms, will be difficult to contain.
The run to the bend will be hugely important with five inside seeds and Kilbride Warrior is trapping well so remains a big threat and it must be pointed out that he stays the 550 yard trip much stronger than he did versus Lenson Blinder when they were locked in battle before a three length first round defeat.
Kilbride Warrior would have needed that outing with just a solitary race in the three months prior and he confirmed that assertion when powering from halfway last time. A repeat of that first round duel would be hugely interesting now but it may not materialise unless both trap well, for those on the inside can make this a tight run to the corner.
Game as you like in victory last week, Wichita had Urban Jet and Budgie Marbh behind then, and, there would be little to choose between that trio when offered clear passage. The plumb draw on the fence can be an aid to Wichita now if trapping well enough to contain what is certain to be an early paced challenge from evergreen veteran Budgie Marbh, while Delahunty is capable of going up faster than he did last time.
Ideally drawn on the outer, Urban Jet will nonetheless need to break well to take advantage of his position but if so, a qualifying place should be in the offing. Not straightforward and it could get scary to the bend but Lenson Blinder gets the call in his current mood.
Trap 1 COSARD JET
Trap 2 URBAN FASHION
Trap 3 NICE CHARMER
Trap 4 DROOPYS NEYMAR
Trap 5 BLASTOFF JET (M)
Trap 6 RALLYING JET (W)
A fascinating heat, made all the more intriguing by the smart progression displayed by Blastoff Jet last week but a draw on the inside of his main rivals can swing the verdict in favour of Produce Stakes runner-up, NICE CHARMER.
Not so well away last week, he displayed his wonderful battling qualities to remain unbeaten in the Leger and expected to prove too sharp for the duo on his inside, a rails pitch at the corner can prove a vital aid to his win claims.
Indeed, the rush to the bend will be crucial all round here for Cosard Jet would want to repel similar strong runner Urban Fashion early doors to enhance his qualification chances, and vice versa. But, in win terms, you could easily argue that what turns first, wins, and both Droopys Neymar and Blastoff Jet will be seeking that lead.
Both of these 550 yard early pacers stayed the trip admirably well last week and Neymar in particular gave a hint that he may yet be an outright player if able to hit the front in the early part of his races. He has a tricky draw here though with smart pace both sides and simply must come away running.
There was always the suspicion that Blastoff Jet’s career could seriously ignite during his short campaign to date and his victory last week was from the very top drawer for one so inexperienced. He could have a very suitable draw here as he will be expected to lead Rallying Jet on the outer and remains a big player in the heat while also very interesting in the context of the stake overall.
For a winner however we return to Nice Charmer who is taken to secure safe passage on the inner while further endorsing his claims to reach a second classic final of the season.
Trap 1 CROHANE RONNIE
Trap 2 AIR PILOT
Trap 3 URBAN HOFF
Trap 4 SOBER ESCAPE
Trap 5 CLONBRIEN HERO (m)
Trap 6 CASH IS KING (w)
It wouldn’t be a big stretch to assert that the defending champion Clonbrien Hero can shape this heat for although led to the corner last week, he has been displaying all of his smart early pace of late and a forward pitch while attempting to sweep the bend across rivals to his inner, could well set up another winning passage here.
However, the manner in which Lenson Blinder skipped away from him in the home-straight last week would give hope to a strong finishing rival now and the way the race is constructed might just be tailor-made for Produce Stakes hero CASH IS KING.
The Brendan Maunsell star appeared to be warming to his Leger task despite defeat in a fast heat last week and could well have the race run to suit if indeed Clonbrien Hero is front rank. Tracking that rival to the corner, a tow to the back-straight can set up his inevitable late challenge and without a heat win, he could be value to reel-in the defending champ.
It’s not a two dog heat however and the progressive Urban Hoff must be afforded huge respect following his latest defeat of Crohane Ronnie. He will need to break smartly again but could well be ready to build on his career start to reveal serious classic credentials.
Despite that defeat to Hoff last week, it would also be folly to rule out Crohane Ronnie and when he traps, especially from Trap 1, he is invariably an automatic qualifier in any company. A tough heat in qualification terms but we’ll stick with Cash Is King in the hope that he can fully ignite his campaign.
Trap 1 TOTOS PARK
Trap 2 GURTEEN FEATHER
Trap 3 CLONBRIEN PRINCE
Trap 4 DOGGY MCDOGFACE
Trap 5 CLEARLY WRITTEN (M)
Trap 6 SPORRY MAJESTIC (W)
What a vicious draw with twenty-four remaining and if David Murray’s GURTEEN FEATHER can remain unbeaten following this encounter, we could see a change in favouritism come the semi-final betting market!
There are so many variables here that could have you pondering all sorts of scenarios but one that looks set in stone, is that Gurteen Feather will trap well and display brilliant early pace. He just keeps producing! The big guns all line up, and he keeps taking scalp after scalp.
Yes, he broke better than Clonbrien Prince and forced him to check at the bend before holding on for victory last week but that is what earns him his victories. Styles make races and the beauty of Gurteen Feather’s style, is that while running his race, he prevents illustrious stars of the sport from independently executing theirs. Right now, he is the most proficient and professional racer at the top level.
So will he do it again? Well, in terms of his repeat clash with Clonbrien Prince, there is every reason to say yes, for he is drawn on his inside and having repelled him to the corner from an opposite situation last week, he of course can do the same here.
What could be a problem for Clonbrien Prince here is that when led last week, he was always going to find a path, even after checked, because that was a four runner heat. This week there is a full compliment which will mean more bodies to avoid if battling behind the lead and when considered that both Doggy Mcdogface and Clearly Written can rush to the corner, this could get scary!
The biggest factor in terms of Gurteen Feather controlling the heat however must be the performance of Totos Park on the inside. The removal of his middle seed since his Shelbourne Park campaign means this is just his second time to wear red and in fairness, we are still in the dark as to how suitable this draw is.
Back out in Trap 4 last time, he looked at home when producing his brilliant early paced victory off a fast break. Cast back to the opening round and his reactions at trap rise were sharp, however, he was not up to the same blistering full stride as quickly as he was a week ago and in reality, was seeking to move outwards. This is why Gurteen Feather has pressure on to break for if only level away with Toto, the duo could come together and any kind of contact could easily cost them dearly.
Now in that first round, Totos Park only reached the bend in fourth but did show that a rails pitch is something that he can appreciate when sneaking adeptly through on the inside around turns, so, the assertion that he will move to the right, is not one which suggests he is out of calculations, far from it. But, what he will need is to match Gurteen from boxes for while an edge to the right when shoulder to shoulder can merely ensure that the pair race in unison with maybe an odd brush, the same move while a half or three quarters of a length down, could allow the Murray charge to forced him back yet further.
Anyway, with all variables considered on the inner, I’m sticking with Gurteen Feather but that is not the whole story. Doggy Mcdogface, I’d suggest, is quite happy in Trap 4 and actually ran that line to the bend last week. His early pace is as good as anything that remains in the competition and he retains the capability to lead here. He would need to turn first to win and probably to qualify also but he is another who can complicate qualification for all rivals if he executes his race to perfection.
The previous paragraph could be copied and pasted to describe Laurels finalist Clearly Written for he and Doggy Mcdogface are near identical racers. He too must lead to either win or qualify most likely, but, remains wholly capable on his home track where he is assured of the biggest support, along with John O’Brien’s Sporry Majestic who has been staying extremely strongly thus far and has hopes to advance with a late challenge, should the leading fancies become embroiled in crowding.