All roads lead to Watergrasshill for draghunting trainers and supporters for the senior All-Ireland

All roads lead to Watergrasshill for draghunting trainers and supporters for the senior All-Ireland

Authority, owned by John O'Callaghan of Northern Harriers takes the win in the senior race at the Donal O'Mahony Memorial Draghunt at Blarney on Sunday. Tom and Tomas Singleton of sponsors Singleton's SuperValu with Denise Rall and nephew Kyle McCarthy with Veteran winner Magic's Lad. Pic: Larry Cummins

WHEN the last Sunday of September comes around on an annual basis there is always a sense of excitement and hope for the majority of draghunting trainers.

For over a century the Senior All-Ireland draghunt has been labelled the Blue Riband race and on Sunday Watergrasshill gets ready to host the big event.

What a day it could be for Northern Hunt trainer John O’Callaghan as his charge Authority will be hoping to secure a magical double on the day.

A month ago Authority trailed championship leader Slievemish Spring by 32 points that is the equivalent to winning four draghunts.

Slievemish Spring then lost his appetite for racing and Authority showed his class to win the last three draghunts and a win on Sunday would tie the title race.

If this is achieved it possibly would be the greatest comeback in draghunting history and if form goes to plan then it could very well come to fruition at 5pm on Sunday.

If there is a negative it is the bad luck that trainer John O’Callaghan has had in this race having been runner up on less than five occasions.

Awol (2), Blackholm, Is it It, Authority last year and no trainer deserves to break that hoodoo more than O’Callaghan who is in his fourth decade involved in this sport.

On recent form it’s hard to pick a hound to thwart his challenge but on All-Ireland day everything must fall into place and many hurdles overcome to be crowned champion.

Sean and John O'Sullivan of Griffin United with Sean T winner of the All-Ireland Puppy draghunt at Ballinspittle.
Sean and John O'Sullivan of Griffin United with Sean T winner of the All-Ireland Puppy draghunt at Ballinspittle.

Darren Clarke who is part of ownership of the Northern Hunt hound resides in England but will be in Cork for the big day and he will be willing Authority over the finishing tape.

Captain James was an impressive winner of the 2020 All-Ireland at Whitechurch and trainer Barry O’Keeffe is no stranger to winning on the big stage.

Blue Lad of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers showed he has the ability to win when coming good at Monard recently and if there is going to be a shock on the big day he ticks many boxes to be in the mix.

The reigning champion Mossgrove Daisy trained by Finbarr O’Sullivan has only accumulated 11 points in this campaign and it’s hard to bring her into the reckoning on current form.

Word from the Slievemish Spring camp is that he is finished for the season and will not compete but the Joe and Gary Freyne Clogheen trained Zola is sure to enjoy the extra distance.

The Aaron Freyne Clogheen duo Jamie’s Lady and Jamie’s Gem have shown reasonable form of late and they could well figure on the finish.

The Mayfield challenge will be led by the Martin Wall trained Jase Star who showed good zip when winning the Non-Winners draghunt at Ballinspittle.

The IHT challenge could come from by Guinness trained by Gerry Murphy and Sheila Cummins.

Proceeds from the gate receipts will go the Watergrasshill Old Folks Christmas Party in what should be another memorable day for the sport.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more