GREYHOUND PREVIEW: The Bresbet Easter Cup Final is the main event this weekend at Shelbourne Park and down at Limerick it’s the quarter finals of the Kirby memorial. BARRY CAUL previews this action and more ….

Duke to Rule in Easter Cup Decider

Clona Duke will be looking to give his trainer Graham Holland a fifth win in the Easter Cup on Saturday night. We are down to the quarter final stage in the Kirby Memorial at Limerick. At Oxford on Friday night, it’s the Hunt Cup semifinals and on Friday night at Romford we see a match race between Bubbly Inferno and Ballymac Taylor over 925m. There is Laurels trials stake action from Perry Barr on Saturday and Hove have a high class all open card on the same night.

Easter Cup Final at Shelbourne Park

Clona Duke will be a short price to give trainer Graham Holland back-to-back victories in the event after his Swords Rex won the final last year. Duke is unbeaten in all four starts in 2024 and will be hard to beat this Saturday night. He moved off on the run to the corner last week when drawn in red but should keep a straight line from the blue jacket this weekend. He looks to have to much early pace for the improving Droopys Fidget in one and Boylesports Bob drawn on his outside in four is just not coming away in recent weeks and may find himself on the backfoot early. Undulation ran a cracker last week to chase Clona Duke home and just failed to reel him in on the run in. She needs to secure a clear run early, but none will be finishing faster, and she does rate a danger.

Glengar Martha was back to something like her best last week when winning the second semifinal and her supporters will be hoping she can start fast and make all. That leaves us with the second of the Holland runners Clonrien Treaty. Treaty is slowly but surely coming to the boil with every run and turned in another solid performance last weekend despite not getting to the front early. The runs are certainly bringing him forward and he is not without a chance out wide. For value seekers Clonbrien Treaty could be the one. Its still hard to look away from Clona Duke, with a similar start to last week he is fancied to lead up the inside runners and prove too strong. I make it between the Holland pair, but all eyes will be on Undulation as they exit the second bend.

Kirby Memorial at Limerick

There were several surprise results in the second round of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick last Saturday night, none more so than the exit of recent track record breaker Ballymac Danica. Such is the quality of the event there is little room for error no matter what level you’re running at.

The four quarterfinals this weekend look wide open with theses young greyhounds improving from week to week. Romeo Kingpin could get the better of Stonepark King in the opening heat. Kingpin carried no luck in the opening round but beat a useful field by a wide margin last time out. Ocean Tesla caused a huge shock last Saturday when winning at 50/1. She again faces a tough test in here but will be looking to land another big price victory from off the pace. Ballymac Patriot is better than his recent runs suggest but faces a tricky draw out in five.

Pat Buckleys Ower Cracker got the better of the reopposing Feshtys Mo last weekend and he can take the second quarter final at the expense of Da Bold Falcon.

Epic Chick is hard to oppose in the third quarter after her excellent victory last weekend when stopping the clock in an impressive 28:00. She won from this trap last week and has five rail runners inside her. Barefoot On Fire – a brother of Epic Chick-runs from trap two. He looked a real star early in his career, but it would be unwise to write him off just yet.

Our ante-post selection Phoenix Tyson is still there and while I am hoping he can qualify, Droopys Metaphor, looks the one to be with in the final heat due off at 22:00.

Hunt Cup Oxford

Eighteen runners contest three semifinals of the Hunt Cup from Oxford this Friday night with only the top two from each heat progressing into the final a week on Friday. Droopys Clue remains the ante post favorite at 13/8. He goes in the second semifinal where the reopposing Havana Top Note looks most likely to follow him home at the expense of Dubai Kid.

King Ezra will be popular in the opening semi of the night at 19:33. He has been expensive to follow on occasions this year but has the best of the draw and will look to make all and see off Golden Palace and Ballymac Diana. The final semi looks wide open. Tuono Bella, Savana Top Cat and Droopys Creative were all winners last time out with Top Cat the fastest on the clock. He took a flier from traps on that occasion and its doubtful he will be as slick once again. I’ll side with the inform Tuono Bella to make the most of a favorable trap draw and make it three wins on the bounce.

Match Race at Romford

TV Trophy winner Bubbly Inferno will face Ballymac Taylor in a match race over 925 meters at Romford on Friday. Taylor was runner up in the event when sent off 4/5 fav. Both have had a run since the final on March 23rd with Taylor finishing runner up at Monmore while Inferno had a trial spin around Romford over the 575m trip. Although the contest will be run over ten bends the early lead is crucial around the tight Romford circuit. It should be a good spectacle but I’ll just side with Ballymac Taylor to get her revenge.

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