GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Busy weekend ahead both in Ireland and the UK. The first round of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby takes place at Shelbourne Park on Friday and Saturday night. Twenty-six heats in total, We pick out the best bests from the first round plus the best of the action elsewhere.
Exceptional Weekend Ahead on Both Sides of The Irish Sea
FRIDAY The 2023 Irish Greyhound Derby kicks off this Friday evening at Shelbourne Park with thirteen heats, with an additional thirteen on Saturday after which the original field of 156 will be whittled down to 96 for the second round. Coolavanny Hoffa will start favorite for the event. He ran so well in the competition last year prior to his unlucky exit in the semi final stage. He has yet to race since that run, but his recent trial efforts have been outstanding. Hoffa clocked a stunning 27:94 for the 525 in a recent trial and seems to be returning as good as ever. For me a couple of runners in Friday’s nights session stand out as good value.
Ballymun Boy is much better than his recent form suggests and could give recent Champion Stakes winner Trinity Junior plenty to think about in heat nine. Currently a 6/1 chance Ballymun Boy has early speed in spades and is well drawn.
In heat ten Lotto Other News looks overpriced to me. A good winner at Shelbourne Park last weekend he should have plenty of room to operate on the run to the corner with the slow starting Catunda Syd on his inside. The obvious Danger is Annagh Bailey but at the prices the progressive Lotto Other News makes plenty of appeal.
Finally on Friday Droopys Got It can hopefully land the treble for us. Always held in high regards by his excellent trainer Ian Reilly, Droopys Got It can improve on his recent efforts and cause a mild surprise in heat five at the expense of Balinabola Ed. Heat three deserves a mention with the clash of Derby Champions Born Warrior and Gaytime Nemo, add in Ballymac Walt, Droopys Bro and Good Zeus it is for some, the heat of the opening round.
SATURDAY On Saturday night Another Holiday can get favorite backers off to a winning start. He should have too much early speed for Hannover Phantom and McNeill and can hopefully build up a big enough advantage by halfway. You’d imagine the petrol light will be on in the final few yards, but he may just have done enough by that stage.
Swords Rex will need to be on his toes in a tricky looking heat twenty, expected to improve on his recent trial, a level break should suffice for Graham Hollands star. Undisputed is incredibly fast on her day and could give the favorite a few headaches if breaking in her best fashion.
The clash of Ballymac Finn and Clonbrien Treaty could be the highlight of the night. Finn has already improved for the switch back to his home kennel and showed that in a recent trial around Shelbourne. Clonbrien Treaty is incredibly fast but can be a little sluggish at boxes. I’ll just give Finn the nod here, but both should qualify comfortably.
The only English challenger Brookside Richie goes in heat twenty-three. Richie ran so well in the recent Dundalk international and if starting better could surprise a few. De Lahdedah and Clona Rocko won’t make it easy. Ryehope Beach and Romeo Magico go in the final two heats, and both should oblige and should send punters home happy.
Super Saturday at Hove
The Sussex Cup, The Regency and the Sussex Cup sprint final all feature on an excellent card from Hove on Saturday live on RPGTV. The Sprint Trophy Final is first up at 18:58. Quarteira heads the market and its easy to see why. An ultra impressive winner of his semifinal he showed flying early pace after a moderate start to run out a comprehensive winner. Quarteira can start much better and if he does its hard to see him beat. Molly Maid has a perfect draw in red and should give the selection most to think about.
In the Regency Final the name on everyone’s lips is Space Jet. She came from an impossible position once again last week to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and is a real pleasure to watch. She will have to come from last to first again if she is to land the prize and the caliber of opposition gets better as we get to the final. It won’t be easy to give the excellent Lively Lauren a big start and a beaten. Lauren herself is somewhat of a star and I fancy her to make all. Space Jet will be thundering home from halfway, but Lauren may be gone beyond recall.
The Sussex Cup final is due off at 20:17. Fromposttopillar has been installed as favourite around about 6/4. Candolim Monsoon, Droopys Google and Wasted Monday are all in and around the 9/2 mark. Fromposttopilar is hugely fast but can miss the kick on occasions. Although he was a winning selection for us last week, I think at the prices he is well worth opposing this weekend. If the truth be told there’s not a lot of early pace in the contest and it may pay to side with the inside runners. Candolim Monsoon has won his last two starts around here and has the best of the draw while Droopys Google is no slouch when things go his way. The draw just swings it for me, and I’ll side with Candolim Monsoon to come out on top over Droopys Google and Fromposttopilar.
Juvenile Classic at Towcester
The final of the Juvenile Classic at Towcester will be the feature of Sunday afternoons RPGTV action. New Destiny was turned over at very skinny odds last weekend and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in the valuable decider. She just heads the market at 11/10 ahead of Droopys Clue at 5/2.
At the beginning of the competition, we tipped up Bombay Zero each way at 28/1 and I still believe there is a big run to come from this puppy. Zero is a dog with huge early pace but his trapping can sometimes be his downfall. He was much better at boxes last week and if he can repeat that sectional he can go around in front. He is yet to lead in the event, but he may cause a shock if he were to trap level. There are valid reasons for opposing the top two in the market and Bombay Zero may be the way to go.
Weekend’s Best Bets:
Shelbourne Park Saturday.
1:38 Ballymun Boy 1 unit win.
20:54 Lively Lauren 1 unit win