Coursing: Pines falls on day of surprises
Published 02/02/2011 | 05:00
The national Meeting really sprung to life at Powerstown Park in Clonmel yesterday as a massive second-day attendance enjoyed a day crammed with upsets, talking points and some fantastic buckles.
It was a day that the Powerstown maestro, Brendan Matthews, will want to forget as soon as possible as his powerful team was whittled down to just one survivor, Needham Skill, though he has now emerged as one of the top fancies for the Boylesports.com Derby.
But Matthews saw Needham Legend receive a grueller after an impressive spin and his two Oaks fancies, Gadget Girl and Wakey Wakey, also bit the dust.
The shock of the day was reserved for the last course of the Derby third round, where Derby Pines was knocked out after a very keen and tough buckle with the Niall and Ciara Collins-owned Aghadown Martin.
The favourite didn't get away from slips in his usual flying manner and Aghadown proved a very strong rival as he edged a thriller.
The third round had also seen the elimination of the hotly-fancied Central Creator, while the victory of the track-bred Central City is probably the story of the Classics to date.
The dog that would look to be in a position to win the Derby now is Marie Field's Kyle Ranger, a smashing dog with a lovely dash of early pace. But he got enough work in his afternoon outing against Gypsy Rover to make one worry about the three courses remaining.
The Greyhound & Petworld Oaks also had its share of upsets and none greater than the elimination of Gadget Girl in the third round. Kathleen Hogan's Tromora Darkie grabbed the early advantage and had a length and a half in hand at the turn.
Call Her Now will be the favourite to emerge from the top quarter, while Tim and Rose O'Driscoll's Skellig Mania and Skellig Babe also emerged to contest the quarter-finals. At the bottom, Lyrics is improving with each run and has real prospects.