'Duke' special but must improve early speed
Despite a disappointing first round performance Dolores Ruth's Boylesports Duke is favourite with the firms for the Gain 600 in advance of Saturday's semi-finals at Shelbourne Park.
On first round running this is a very open competition and the case can be made that Boylesports Duke can improve with the experience of running against open-class greyhounds. He needs to step up on his running in the first half of the race as he is running on very strongly at the business end.
Duke is a best price 5/1 with Paddy Power who go 6/1 about Ballyhooly Henry. Tom O'Neill's dog is the one they all have to beat with his early pace and one suspects that he will be staying stronger with each run. The leading available prices with Power and Boylesports are: 5 Boylesports Duke, 6 Ballyhooly Henry, Notorious Ben, 7 Slippery Snowy, 8 Newlawn Simon, 10 Hovex Blaze, 12 Mustang Noplan, 14/1 bar.
There was a monster session of pre-Derby trials at Wimbledon yesterday when reigning Irish Derby champion Ballymac Matt was fastest as he ran the track pretty well when returning 28.36 for the 480 metres.
Peter Cronin will be reasonably happy with the runs done by some of his runners. Must Be Jack was fastest of his when clocking 28.82, while Imperial Express went around in 28.87 and Tynwald Baz in 28.88.
Quite a number of dogs had trials over the 273 metres sprint trip and fastest was Robert Gleeson's Droopys Latina in 16.04, while kennel companion Toolmaker Scot clocked 16.11. Owen McKenna's duo of Black Alder and Farloe Joey clocked 16.16 and 16.38.
'Dazzler' set to shine
Northern runners have been faring very well at Shelbourne recently, particularly at the midweek meetings. Last week Stefans Dazzler (8.28) did us a turn when winning a sprint in 18.97. He was clipped from behind on the bend then but for which he would have gone a length or two faster and he should be capable of going in again in the S1/2 third contest. Lord Kilgraney could again be his closest rival.
Pat and Pauline Quinn have also been enjoying a steady stream of winners and their Drumsna Star (9.13) can put his inside draw to good effect in the A6 sixth contest where Slippery Amigo and Redstar Pilot look the likely dangers. PJ Fahy's Tyrur Johnson (10.13) opened his account last week and gave the impression that he would relish a longer trip which he has this time.