Alder team to click again with Sword Fern
With the exception of a gala meeting at Lifford next Sunday afternoon, the greyhound season will come to an end tonight when there are meetings scheduled for Harold's Cross, Dundalk and Tralee, with the latter undoubtedly the chief attraction.
It will be very much party night for the Track Supporters at Tralee, where the action begins at 6.58 in order to facilitate the Turf TV coverage. There will be no fewer than six finals down for decision with the highlight being the €7,000 Vulturi @ Stud Kingdom Derby.
This race affords Saturday's Comerford Cakes 525 winners Peter Comerford and Tony Moore an opportunity to land another top prize, with Black Alder's litter brother Sword Fern wearing the red jacket.
Black Alder denied the Owen McKenna-trained Farloe Joey victory in the Shelbourne final but this time McKenna will be on the same team as he is the trainer of Sword Fern, which has the perfect inside draw.
The top three should be Sword Fern (9.03), Pat Buckley's Droopys Nine and the Joanne Moriarty and Tom Regan-owned Baltovin Leo.
All three have huge prospects and Baltovin is unbeaten in the competition. Droopys Nine has the superior early pace but is inconsistent at the start and so the inside draw could well swing it for Sword Fern.
Incidentally, Peter Comerford reports that Black Alder is likely to challenge for the English Derby next year and the unconfirmed plan would be for him to travel as a member of the McKenna team.
Another final on the Tralee card is the Eddie Slattery De Laval A1 Stake and here both Donal O'Mahony and Liam Dowling are double-handed.
O'Mahony has Millridge Zephyr and Millridge Magic involved, while Dowling's representatives are Ballymac Manuela and Ballymac Belle. On her best form Ballymac Belle (8.34) is capable of reversing semi-final placings with Millridge Zephyr.
Two youngsters which starred at the December 15 meeting clash in an intriguing eighth race at Harold's Cross this evening and the Fraser Black-trained Mays Juke (9.32) is nominated to lead home Lantau Champ.
Another worth noting is Noel Walker's Faypoint Jewel (9.02) which promised plenty on his December 8 debut and is capable of winning.
Entries are still being taken for Sunday afternoon's gala McLean Bookmakers meeting at Lifford with the deadline being 12 noon today.
Top race will be the Bet McLean.com A1/2, where Peter Whyte is doubly represented by Colarhouse Peppa and Colarhouse Coco.
Peppa was fastest in the semis on Saturday but preference this time is for Siobhan Duffy's Hather Cookie, which has been on a real roll and is bidding for a fifth win on the trot.