'Maxie' plays his Trump card
The puppy Blueview Trump gave Jim 'Maxie' Collins a sixth win in the Corn Cúchulainn, feature event of the annual Dundalk & Dowdallshill Coursing meeting which concluded last Wednesday.
In the final he accounted for Bingo Bonus, representing Newry trainer Brendan Matthews.
This year's fixture was much reduced, with 16 entries sought for the Cup and trial stakes, and no more than eight in each of the Duffers.
The club was fortunate, with clear, bright weather over both days, albeit cold, and the hares ran strongly.
Blueview Trump, a son of Adios Alonso and Foxhill Rio, enhanced his claims for Classic glory up the Dromiskin stretch, as he booked his ticket to Clonmel earlier in the season by winning a Derby trial stake at Trim.
In the final, the Drogheda dog was quickest away from slips but was all out to hold a determined challenge by the runner-up, with only a half-length in it at the turn.
Bingo Bonus beat the third-season campaigner Heart Strings in the semi-final, but she picked up the Paddy Carroll Trophy for Michael and Eimear Heeney, Newtownbalregan, as the last-surviving bitch in the stake.
In his semi, Blueview Trump got the better of Buster Edwards, having earlier staked his claim for outright glory by beating favourite Rosskeen Colonel in the second round.
As a result of that victory, 'Trump' was promoted to 4/6 market leader at the end of the first day's action by on-course bookmaker Gerry Rooney, Ardee.
A 4/1 chance before coursing, Blueview Trump now joins Maxie Collins' other winners on the roll of honour, Greenview Bob (1974 & '75), Central Hill ('97), Blueview Quest (2000) and Blueview Dan (2011).
Hydepark Bingo, his name a giveaway to owner Danny Kerr's Quay origins, was a popular local winner of the Derby Trial Stake.
The son of Coolavanny Bingo and Summer Skellig came from behind Comrade Cutlet to win the decider.
His litter sister, Benefit Biddy, took the Reserve Oaks Trial Stake for Newry's Raymond Heaney. In the final she outpaced Ballyoran Mora, the property of clubman Mark Callan.
The Johnny Heeney Workers' Stakes fell to David Hoey's Ah Be Happy, who saw off Niall Óg O'Donnell's Brain Freeze.
The O'Donnell family was also on the wrong end of the result in the Tommy Thornton Stakes as Niall snr's Irishtown James was eclipsed by Duleek dog Gortmelia Wonder.
Michael McAliskey won the Coffey Cup with Washingbay Star. He was able to get on a wayward hare, unlike his opponent, Fane Hye Bhoy who ran unsighted.
Corn Cúchullain (16) - Final: Jim Collins' (Drogheda) Bluewiew Trump beat Brendan Matthews and Liam Boyle's (Newry) Bingo Bonus.
Derby Trial Stake (16) - Final: Danny Kerr's (Dundalk) Hydepark Bingo bt Bryan Cunningham's (Waterford) Comrade Cutlet.
Oaks Trial Stake (16) - Final: Raymond Heaney's (Newry) Benefit Biddy bt Mark Callan's (Knockbridge) Ballyoran Mora.
Johnny Heeney Workers Stake & McArdle Cup (6) - Final: David Hoey's (Knockbridge) Ah Be Happy bt Niall Óg O'Donnell's (Dundalk) Brain Freeze.
Deceased Members Memorial Coffey Cup (8) - Final: Michael McAliskey's (Co. Tyrone) Washingbay Star bt Martin Sharkey's (Dundalk) Fane Hye Bhoy.
Tommy Thornton Stakes (8) - Final: Myles Kavanagh & Helen Murray's (Duleek) Gortmelia Wonder bt Niall O'Donnell's (Dundalk) Irishtown James.
Judge, John O'Connell; slipper, Mark Gorman.