GREYHOUND PREVIEW: We preview the final of the (Bresbet) Easter Cup from Shelbourne Park as well as the best of the supporting action. Also previewed the quarter-finals of the Kirby Memorial from Limerick and the pick of the UK action.
Sydney To Gallop to Victory
Leading trainer Graham Holland has guided four of his very best trackers to the final of this years Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park. The multiple classic winning trainer is responsible for the top four in the market but its his outsider Galloping Sydney that makes most appeal to me. Unbeaten heading into last weekend’s semi-finals Sydney was slowly away and suffered first bend traffic problems, it’s fair to say he didn’t finish the race off great, but the track was running on the heavy side and he’s much better when able to dictate from the front. With a level start Sydney can race to the bend in front and is always a tough nut to crack.
The opposition is incredibly strong, race favourite Swords Rex has a perfect draw on the fence, Rex showed huge determination to force his way to the front around the opening bends at the expense of his kennel companion Romeo Magico in their semi-final. Last year’s Kirby Memorial winner will be looking to lead up on the fence. The afore mentioned Romeo Magico has been a star for quite a while now, his biggest success coming when he landed the 2022 English Derby at Towcester last summer, he faces a tricky draw in five but can’t be ruled out. The remaining Holland runner is Bockos Crystal, the only bitch in the line up who will need to be alert early but she can do it from the front or from behind. Trinity Junior runs from trap two for Peter Cronin and has yet to get his starting right in this event. We have seen him display fine early pace in the past, but he needs to bring his trapping boots. Completing the line up is Toolmaker Wild for Rob Gleeson, not expected to trouble the leaders in the early part of the contest but none will finish faster, and he will be looking to pounce on any trouble late on. It’s a fabulous final and the break is crucial, but at 10/1 Galloping Sydney is the one for me. Good luck to all connections.
Racing Post Greyhound TV will be at Shelbourne Park on Saturday, the 2023 Puppy Oaks will precede the main event but it’s towards the end of the card where some real classy performers will strut their stuff. Race ten on the card sees the unbeaten Ballymac Marino (5/5) take on the powerful duo of Jacktavern Bella and Allforthebest. Allforthebest was just denied a place in the Easter Cup final when flying home from off the pace, the extra yardage will suit. Jacktavern Bella will be thundering home but would prefer further so I’ll side will Ballymac Marino to maintain his unbeaten run and make it six wins from six starts. In the lucky last I feel that Disco Pants takes a slight drop in class. He ran well in the Easter Cup and should be suited by the long run up in the concluding race on the card over 600 yards.
The Con and Annie Kirby Memorial reaches the quarter final stage at Limerick on Saturday night. Clona Duke looks impossible to oppose in the third quarter after his track record equaling run last time out for the red-hot Graham Holland. Bens Teddy was an impressive scorer last time out when coming from off the pace to beat Boylesports Gift. He should get the better of his kennel companion Terezas Mendoza and provide Pat Buckley with a good result. In the second quarter Romeo Hanzo faces a tricky draw out in six but should have the pace to qualify. Whyaye Man will be looking to make all here for Robert Gleeson, but keep an eye on Clonbrien Treaty in four, yet to win a race he remains a dog of real potential. In the final heat Ryhope Beach can track around early speedster Boylesports Gift and prove too strong in the latter stages for Michael O Donovan.
The UK Scene
A busy weekend in store in the UK. On Saturday morning at Crayford the TV Trophy gets underway along with the semi-finals of the Champion Hurdle. In the first heat of the TV Trophy Ower Smasher just gets the nod to see off Bubbly Cristal and Beach Babe. Smasher was a wide margin winner of a good quality contest over 714m here last time out and will be tough to pass if getting to the front early over this 874m stamina sapping trip. Roll On Sydney and Queen Pink are the two to focus on in heat two. Slight preference is for Queen Pink. She should get the better of Roll On Sydney early and Crayford is a front runners track. In the final heat its impossible to oppose Bellmore Sally, already the winner of the RPGTV Golden Jacket around here earlier in the year having previously taken the same event in 2022, she has a fine record at Crayford and should prove too good for the fast-finishing Droopys Jungle.
The two semi-finals of the Champion Hurdle will be run among the TV Trophy heats. The ultra consistent Borna Rhythm is fancied to take the first semi from an ace draw in six although Ritzy Spirit will give him plenty to think about from trap five. With five runners in the second semi-final its safe to say Ricky Holloway should take this. His Lenson Doolin has been one of the best hurdlers around in the past year or so and will be well fancied to score here. Bobbing Gnavatar is the only runner not trained by Holloway and he may give Doolin a run for his money. Again, all the action will be available on RPGTV on Saturday morning and its well worth tuning in.
ARC At Sunderland.
The Arena Racing Company staying event at Sunderland is one of the highlights on Friday nights cards. The four heats contain some real staying stars and Darbys Delight catches the eye. He came from an impossible position to win the Queens Mother Memorial Cup at Sheffield when last seen. Available at 8/1 in the ante-post lists, his running style suggests he will be impossible to keep out of the frame. He previously won his only start around here and his recent trial effort was encouraging.
Weekend’s Best Bets
Shelbourne Park Saturday
Ballymac Marino One unit win
Queen Pink One unit win