GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Busy weekend upcoming with the final of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick on Saturday the main event. Our greyhound expert BARRY CAUL put up finalist Phoenix Tyson at 150/1 – will the bet be landed?


Wide Open Kirby Decider at Limerick

Six remain in the hunt to be crowned 2024 Kirby Memorial Champion at Limerick on Saturday night in a wide open final. At Towester it is the sem-finals of the KAB Maiden Derby on Sunday, and we also have three semi-finals of the Brighton Belle from Hove on Saturday night.


Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Final from Limerick

1️⃣ Romeo Kingpin
2️⃣ Scooby Pacemaker
3️⃣ Merits Inclusion
4️⃣ Epic Chic
5️⃣ Phoenix Tyson
6️⃣ Knockeen Dazzler

Verdict: The layers are struggling to settle on a clear favorite for the prestigious event with several firms varying in their opinion. The consensus is that there is little to separate the inside trio of Romeo Kingpin (1) Scooby Pacemaker (2) and Merits Inclusion (3). All three can be backed at around 3/1 with Knockeen Dazzler (6) next in at 7/2. Its 11/2 Epic Chick in trap four with Phoenix Tyson the outsider at 14/1. I put up Phoenix Tyson at 150/1 before the start of the competition and he is not without a chance for trainer Ian Reilly. He can flash from boxes and is probably the most reliable starter in the field. What ever leads in the final will have a big say in the outcome and Phoenix Tyson is certainly not without his chance.

There is very little between last week’s heat winners on the clock with Knockeen Dazzler (28.23) just marginally quicker than Merits inclusion who clocked 28:24. Both will be looking to get to the front early and make all but the margin for error is minimal. Just over a half-length separates the half dozen on their best sectionals with Romeo KingPin and Phoenix Tyson both clocking 1.25 in previous weeks, a repeat of those figures would aid the chances of that duo. Epic Chic has clocked 28:00 in the earlier rounds but has not been coming away as well in recent weeks and may struggle if the trend continues.

Romeo Kingpin has the best of the draw but must come away racing if he is to make full use of his rails pitch. Jennifer O’Donnell has enjoyed tremendous success on the track in recent years and Scooby Pacemaker is no back number. He will be motoring from halfway and will be hoping to secure a clear run early.

For me it is a race to savor, as a punter you will find easier betting opportunities as this race could be won or lost in the opening yards. Hopefully, Phoenix Tyson can give us a run for our money at huge odds. Brendan Matthews will be looking for a third win in the race having won it in 2014 and 2015, and Graham Holland is looking to win the race for the third year on the spin after Swords Rex (2022) and Clonbrien Treaty (2023).

I wish all connections the very best of luck and hopefully all six go on to brighter things in the future.


KAB Maiden Derby at Towcester

Plenty of Derby clues are on offer at Towcester this month with the informative KAB Maiden Derby. But we must mention Droopys Clue who was a most impressive winner last weekend when setting new figures for the derby trip. The powerful son of Out Of Range was slowly away but took command at the opening bend before powering clear for a comprehensive victory stopping the clock in a blistering 28:58.

The Other Donny was the fastest of the heat winners in the KAB Maiden Derby and he goes in the second semifinal where he will once again look to get the better of Jaytee Craze. Craze was sent off favorite when the pair met last week but was slowly away before meeting trouble in running. His trainer Paul Hennessy does well with his runners around here and Jaytee Craze is selected to turn the form around. Miami Bullet in trap four should also have a say. The first semifinal is due off at 15:18. Paul Hennessy will be represented by Barefoot Awesome in here, a strong running sort, he will have a say if securing a clear run early but needs to brush up on his starting. Junctionfourteen has recently joined Nathan Hunt from the Brendan Matthews kennels and he made a winning start in the UK when coming from off the pace to score. He can go up much better and must have a say.

The selection will be Ivy Hill Thunder in six. A most impressive winner last time out when making all in 29:17. He showed big promise around Tralee early on in his career and made a stunning winning UK debut last time out. There should be much more to come, and he looks an exciting prospect. The remaining two places will be up for grabs at 16:38 in the last of the three semifinals. Jaytee Etienne will be my selection here at a bit of a price. He had no luck on the run to the bend last week but still had the pace to turn second entering the back straight. He has an eye-catching win around Dundalk over the 400-yard trip when winning in 21:09. That run is up there with the best around and if he can come on a little for his first race at the track last week, he could go well at a decent price. He remains 33/1 for outright honors and that is certainly worth a small each way bet.


Brighton Belle at Hove

Three semifinals of the Brighton Belle will be run at Hove this Saturday night with the first two from each progressing into next weekend’s decider. Queen Shakira will be all the rage in the opening semi despite her defeat at long odds-on last week. She has some cracking form against some of the country’s top performers and will be hard to beat. The superbly bred Coppice Ella is improving with each run and could chase Shakira home. All eyes will be on the star that is Crafty Shivoo in the second semi at 19:56. She has now won nine of her twelve UK starts since moving to Mark Wallis after winning the Irish Oaks at Shelbourne Park last year. She produced a huge run last week when making all in 29:60 and she looks a banker. Queen Joni has a plum draw to work from in the last of the semifinals and this looks a match between herself and Havana Bale Out in five. On the draw I will just side with Queen Joni.

Good luck

BARRY.

 


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