GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Oxford and Hove are the main focus venues for this weekend. On Friday at Oxford its the final of the Bet365 Challenge Cup. Hove have a cracking card on Saturday featuring the finals of the George Curtis & Ballyregan Bob Memorial Trophy as well as the eagerly anticipated Coral) Olympic final. Both events are live on RPGTV. We also briefly touch on the big upcoming races in Ireland.


Year Set to End on a High with Finals at Hove and Oxford

As the end of year approaches there is no let up in the quality of action with some intriguing finals set to be decided on a fabulous weekend of racing to end 2023. At Oxford on Friday, it’s the final of the Challenge Cup while at Hove on Saturday evening they host the finals of the George Curtis & Ballyregan Bob Memorial, as well as the keenly anticipated Olympic Final over 515m.

Challenge Cup Oxford: Lively Lauren has been exceptional since her return to action last month. She is unbeaten in her last four starts and again put in another thoroughly professional display to win a hot contest last Friday night. She once again posted a slick 15:00 sectional and if she were to repeat that in the final, she is highly likely to turn in front. Lauren has won seven of her last nine when wearing red and she looks sure to give you a run for your money. Havana Top Note is likely to go off favourite. Just like Lauren, Havana Top Note is also unbeaten in her last four starts and has a perfect draw out in six. She holds a slight advantage on the clock over her rivals on last weeks running when making all in 39.48. As the sole wide seed, she should have plenty of room to operate on the all-important run to the corner and there is a lack of early pace on her immediate inside. Its hard to see any of the others getting seriously involved in a clean run race although Mad For Sterling did catch the eye in defeat last weekend. I’ll just side with Lively Lauren to make all. She has been ultra consistent at traps in recent weeks and looks sure to go well.

Hove: Finals night at Hove this Saturday with top class racing from start to finish over a variety of distances. The feature events on the evening will be the George Curtis & Ballyregan Bob Memorial and then the eagerly anticipated Olympic final. The stayers are up first and if the betting is to be believed then this should be a formality for the excellent Droopys Clue. As short as 1/6 with some firms Droopys Clue looks impossible to oppose. He simply oozes’ class and should have far too much firepower for his rivals. Ower Mystery followed his home in last week’s semi-final, and she looks most likely to do the same this weekend with her huge finishing kick. A level break should suffice for Droopys Clue, and he would be a most deserving winner.

What a race we have in the 2023 Olympic Final. English Puppy Derby winner, Nottingham Eclipse Winner and the Romford Champion stakes winners all go head-to-head in a terrific end of year finale. Puppy Derby winner and Towcester Track record holder King Memphis has been installed as the 6/4 favourite. Perfectly housed on the rails the strong running son of Droopys Sydney will be looking to turn hardy before showing all his pace and power from the halfway mark. He got the better of Newinn Syd last weekend eventually running out a comfortable winner. Newinn Syd is likely to go up strongly and despite his trap four draw he still holds every chance of setting the pace and any trouble in behind would certainly aid his cause. Syd has won from trap four in the past and there is no early pace on his immediate inside in King Combs. At 5/1 Syd make real appeal in the decider. Hollow man looks likely to go off second favourite. The Romford Champion Stakes winner has returned from a short break as good as ever. He has won his last fourteen starts and is as professional as they come, he starts and stays and its hard to see him being picked up if he were to lead. Of the others King Coms looks to have a bright future over slightly further while Wasted Monday looks to have a poor draw with pace either side. Never Say No is another who will be doing her best work late but does need a little luck. I’ll side with Newinn Syd to start fast from the middle and make all. He was excellent when beating a good field in the Eclipse final at Nottingham last month and I’m hoping he can do the same again here. It’s a brilliant final and well worth the entrance fee alone. Good luck to all connections.

Irish Scene Pat Buckley and Liam Dowling are responsible for three runners a piece in the final of the Eric Browne Memorial Kingdom Derby at Tralee on Friday night. De Lahdedah can go well in that if starting well, while at Shelbourne Park this Friday it’s the semi-finals of the Christmas Oaks. Betting will be available on the Betdaq exchange on all races from Shelbourne this Friday.

🎄 Happy Christmas
Barry.


THE STRIKER Sat: FA CUP MANCHESTER CITY v CHELSEA
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DAQSTATS Thurs: Newmarket NAP
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THE ULTRA Fri: Serie A & La Liga Preview
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