Graham can do Holland proud in Comerford Open
Published 19/12/2015 | 02:30
The Comerford Cakes Open has become the established end-of-season classic trial and, while this year's event doesn't include the name Puppy, it is still very much an indicator of the strength of the new tracking stars as they establish the pecking order for 2016.
Unfortunately, Jaytee Dutch didn't survive the preliminaries but he will be back among the elite next year, and he will be joined in the front ranks by most of tonight's finalists in the Shelbourne feature.
There is a tremendous mixture of early pace and stamina in tonight's field and, while the battle for favouritism is likely to concern Farloe Joey and Proud Graham, strong cases can also be made for Creamery Bale, Anopheles, Black Alder and Toolmaker Scot.
Owen McKenna's Farloe Joey was impressive last week when winning in 28.11. This fella is maturing rapidly into a high-class tracker, but the run to the bend is not his forte and he may struggle to get a clear run from an early stage.
With Creamery Bale and Anopheles on his inside, he needs to make a flying start and the early dash may prove his undoing.
Market rival Proud Graham (10.12) has been a revelation in this stake and has the ideal mix of flying early pace and stamina. He went around in 28.10 last week and is my idea of the winner. His draw in five is not a worry given his habit of moving to the middle in the early yards. A bigger worry is the bug which is affecting many kennels and has already caused a few Graham Holland runners to be withdrawn.
My idea of the final is that Proud Graham will lead all the way and Farloe Joey will be finishing fast to challenge Anopheles and Toolmaker Scot for the lesser money.
Ballydoyle Honey cannot be opposed in the Gain Christmas Oaks, with Yahoo Perlena and Follys View likely to battle it our for the minor placings.
In the last meeting of the year at Curraheen Park, a powerful performance is anticipated from Edel Twomey's Witches Belle in the final of the Macroom Motor Services Open 575 (9.46).
Meanwhile, Frank Nyhan and Pat Creed have been appointed to the Irish Greyhound Board.