GREYHOUND PREVIEW: With the English Derby finishing up at the weekend the Classic action continues this Saturday as the RPGTV cameras move to Shelbourne Park. The card features the final of the Boylesports Champion Stakes and The Boylesports Champion Plate as well as the semi finals of the RPGTV Corn Cuchulainn. The Irish Derby gets under way later this month and there are a couple of Trial Stakes on the same card.
Classic Action Continues as RPGTV Cameras Move to Shelbourne Park
As the dust settles on what was a terrific English Greyhound Derby, the top-class action continues live on RPGTV. Shelbourne Park will provide the main action on the channel this Saturday night when the final of the Champion Stakes will be supported by the semi-finals of the RPGTV Corn Cuchulainn.
The valuable Champion Stakes looks wide open, and we could see a couple of different runners shading favoritism before the off. At the time of writing The Other Kobe is just leading the market at around 5/2, closely followed by Trinity Junior at 3/1. It’s 4/1 about Scaglietti and Hawkfield Blue and 8/1 bar these.
Trainer Jennifer O Donnell has once again been unlucky with the trap draw. Her Scooby Duchess was handed a trap six draw in the recent Irish Oaks Final despite being an inside seed and The Other Kobe has been handed the worst possible draw in trap five in a field containing five inside seeds. Undoubtedly, the best drawn runner in the race is the sole lady, Droopys Nice One. A finalist in last year’s Irish Derby, she is slowly coming back to her best form and looks to have a real chance in this weekend’s decider. She will have acres of room to operate early with Kobe highly likely to move inwards. She moves well throughout and stays strongly, her achilles heel will be her wide running antics off the last bend but at 8/1 she represents real value.
The Other Kobe is classy on his day and will have a massive say if he can clear the inside runners on the run to the corner. Hawkfield Blue is an improving young tracker and ran well on his first start over the trip last week. He is a possible pace setter and like Kobe would be tough to peg back if leading. The other early paced runner in the final is Trinity Junior, the fastest of the semi-final’s winners last week. If he can trap in similar fashion, he holds all the aces from his inside pitch. Scaglietti looks to have a tough draw with Trinity Junior likely to edge off on the run to the corner while Boylesports Gift was a big eyecatcher last time but is another who faces a tricky draw. I think it could pay to side with Droopys Nice One in six while Hawkfield Blue rates the main danger for me.
RPGTV Corn Cuchulainn
Trainer Graham Holland had a Saturday night to remember last weekend when his Gaytime Nemo landed the Final of The English Derby Final in fine style. While at Shelbourne Park the Tipperary based trainer had a fine treble, including Garfiney Blaze who took his quarter final of the RPGTV Corn Cuchulainn in the fastest of the round 41:15. Well away from trap one Garfiney Blaze tracked McNeill before proving too strong in the second half of the contest. The pair meet again in the first semi-final of the Corn Cuchulainn where McNeill may get a little closer to Garfiney Blaze now he wears the red jacket. Once headed by Garfiney Blaze last weekend McNeill stuck well to the task and can reverse the form if leading past the stands first time. Ballymac Katie is the biggest finisher left in the competition and should safely qualify at the expense of the improving Prince Lucius.
Kinturk Road and Threesixfive will dominate the betting in the second semi-final and the early yards will be crucial. The pair have similar running styles, flash out and make all. It’s impossible to call, but one at a bigger price is Hannover Phantom. A track record holder over 550 yards Hannover Phantom produced a personal best over the trip last weekend and seems to be returning to his best. Although he faces a tricky draw in this heat, he does look likely to qualify and at 16/1 for outright glory he is certainly worth a small investment.
There is also a thrilling supporting card on offer. With the Irish Derby due to start in a matter of weeks we have a couple of Derby trial stakes on the card. Two-time Derby semi-finalist Gortkelly Nestor is back for another tilt. Despite heading for his fifth birthday next month, he remains as game as ever and is a real credit to owner/trainer Andrew Murray.
Born Warrior goes later on the card where he once again faces Another Holiday and Deadly Showtime in a battle of the early pacers. Kirby Memorial winner Clonbrien Treaty and the hugely fast Ryhope Beach are the standout performers in a red hot open 550 on the card, throw in Magical Kuba, promising puppy Droopys One Stop and the hugely fast duo of Boylesports Vic and Ballymac Bronze and it really is a cracking contest.
Ballymac Walt goes in the Champion Plate final and looks to have an ideal draw out in six, his main dangers look to be Optic Chico and the improving Beepers Lariat. The action gets underway at 19:20 and it’s live on RPGTV.