GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Round three of the Irish Greyhound Derby on Saturday and BARRY CAUL marks your BETDAQ card for all eight heats. The Shelbourne Park action will also be broadcast live via RPGTV.
The opening heat of the night contains a raft of strong runners. Sober Glory has the perfect drawn in trap one and seems to be going up better to the corner. He overcame a slow start last weekend and should be able to hold the inside runners to the bend, if doing so he would be hard to peg back. Bobsleigh Dream is incredibly fast and will be on the premises at some stage. Storys Cashout and Sporty Bigman will also be flying from halfway but will struggle to give the inside duo a start and a beating. Tommys Hewick looks the likely leader out wide and has a real chance to make the last twenty-four. Music Glideaway has forgot how to trap recently but has a chance if rediscovering his early pace. Preference is for Sober Glory to make full use of his good draw with Bobsleigh Dream and Tommys Hewick to follow him home.
A cracking contest this with each of the runners having won at least one round so far, with Clonroosk Sydney and Undisputed both unbeaten. Undisputed has once again been handed a poor draw in four and will need to come away in similar style to last weekend. Another Holiday is another who would have preferred a rails pitch, but he has stunning early pace and ran well behind Undisputed last weekend. Clonroosk Sydney is very lightly raced. This will be only his seventh career start and there is obviously much more to come. De Lahdedah is back in his favorite box and will look to make all from red. If he starts as well as he can he is the one to beat. He missed the break badly last week and needs to put that behind him. Newinn Port posted a career best effort last week and is arguably the best drawn dog on the card with five inside runners on his left. That leaves us with Bens Teddy. Teddy was mighty impressive last weekend and is so strong from halfway. If he can secure a decent pitch into the back straight, he will have every chance. None will finish faster. As you can see, a case can be made for all six runners and I can see this being at least 5/2 or 3/1 the field come race night. On the draw I’ll just side with De Lahdedah who will likely go off favorite, but it’s a tricky contest.
Immediately your eye is drawn to Hawkfield Blue in trap two who looks certain to lead up the inside runners. He was caught close home by Raha Mofo in round one and just failed behind Halo last week. He will have to much early for Garfiney Blaze and Freeway Charlie. Peter Cronin wouldn’t have enjoyed this trap draw as both his inside seeded runners have been drawn traps four and five respectively. Trinity Junior is a smart enough dog and has won from trap five in the past while Mr Chelm (formerly Kildare) has shown much better form since his switch back to Ireland. Ballymac Walt has a cracking draw out in six but has run a shade below his best in recent weeks. The safest option for me looks to be Hawkfield Blue. Still relatively lightly raced he can get to the front and prove hard to catch.
The excellent Coolavanny Hoffa lines up in heat four and will once again be long odds on to win. Over the past two weeks I have been lucky enough to watch him run from the infield. He simply floats around the opening turns and is a pleasure to watch up close. Barring accidents he looks sure to take heat four. Capitian Garfio has moved well in recent weeks and is likely to go up strongly while Bockos Crystal who won her opening round heat can step forward again following her seasonal rest.
Murt Leahy sees his big two clash in heat five. Droopys Bro is a much-improved performer in recent weeks and is getting better with each run. Bro has a perfect draw in red and will surely feature. Of course, Murt’s Kennel star is bitch of the year Raha Mofo, the recent international winner, she had no luck last weekend but is always capable at the highest level. Glengar Martha caused a real shock last time out when winning at 28/1. Pat Buckleys youngster won’t be two until October and has a bright future. Burj Khalifa ran so well in this years English Derby and will improve on what he has done so far in this competition while McNeill will be doing his best work late. Millridge Levi will need to lead to pose a threat. Droopys Bro for me is the one to side with. He moved well in a trial session prior to the derby and looks to be coming forward all the time.
Scaglietti and Jetara are both two from two in the competition and the pair have their ideal traps this weekend. Scaglietti is running at the very top of his game, clocking a PB in round one of 29:26 he posted an identical time when winning last weekend. If he were to post that sort of time once more, he wouldn’t be beaten. Jetara is a half brother of Susie Sapphire who won the derby back in 2021 for the same owner/trainer combination. He is very lightly raced and will come on for last weeks 29:69 win. Undulation was available at 10/1 to win her heat last Saturday, eventually going off at 6s she ran a blinder to come from behind some useful greyhounds and score. She could play a part late on and I fancy her to at least qualify. Ballymac Marino and Halo both made all to win last time out and are both best when able to dictate. Drombeg Ten needs to get back to his best form from an unfavorable draw. Once again, I feel the trap draw is crucial and I fancy Scaglietti to make all from the red jacket.
Dramana Dano is the only one of these to have not won a heat so far and he will go off as the outsider in this. Dano has posted 29:63 and 29:64 in the two opening rounds and that shows you the quality of this contest is. Well Met and The Other Kobe will most likely set the early. Well Met has been in top form in the opening two rounds and ran a massive race in defeat behind Bobsleigh Dream last weekend. The Other Kobe had no luck last week and done remarkably well to qualify. Ryhope Beach was one of the stars or the opening round but if the truth be told he was lucky to qualify last weekend. There is no doubting his pace, but his trapping can be hit and miss. Clona Duke is another dog who has really impressed me from the infield, Duke runs the opening bends so well but needs to track clever early from an unfavorable draw. Ballyhimikin Rex seems to go under the radar, but the Champion Puppy 550 winner has good form around here and is put forward to cause a mild surprise in heat seven.
Well, I’ve been with him since round one and I won’t desert him now. Droopys Got It. He has yet to really fire in the event thus far, but this is his biggest chance to date to get to the front. I still think once he does get to the front it will result in a much better performance. Threesixfive and Hannover Phantom are better over further. In fairness to Threesixfive she has run so well on her last two starts and I know her preparation has been far from ideal due to a niggly foot issue. Trainer Scott Phelan has worked wonders to have her where she is. Last year’s finalist Droopys Nice One is so consistent around here and will always give you a run for your money. Clonbrien Treaty put a couple of below par runs behind him when back to something like his best last time and if starting in similar fashion would take all the beating. That leaves us with his kennel companion Romeo Magico or Badger as he is known at home. The 2022 English Derby winner doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He loves it around here and should turn in a better position than usual. You certainly wouldn’t rule him out.