'Joey' can land the race of champions
Leading greyhound sponsor John Boyle will be chasing his own money tonight! His dog Boylesports Duke is a finalist in the Boylesports Race of Champions at Tralee.
Duke is trained by Dolores Ruth and he was a fast-finishing second to Leave At Dawn in the semi-final. But tonight he faces a tougher task and is quoted at 5/1 by the firms.
The favourites for the race are defending champion Rural Hawaii, Leave At Dawn and Farloe Joey and the latter will carry my vote. Farloe Joey (9.50) was prepared for the English Derby but had no luck in the first round and was eliminated. But Owen McKenna had him spot on for last week's semi and is a dog well suited by the Tralee circuit.
Rural Hawaii can cut out the running but Farloe overhauled him last week and can do so again. But others enter the equation with Leave At Dawn in very impressive form for Brendan Matthews, while Pat Buckley's Paradise Maverik has a smashing inside draw. The line-up is completed by Ballymac Boxcar which can go up fast but may be run out of it late.
The final of the Peggy Kellys Islandbridge Sprint at Harold's Cross promises to produce one of the best sprint contests of the year with the big two of Ballymac Bigmike (8.55) and Hee Haws Sheriff set to go head to head. These are two of the best two-benders we have had here in years and, while Ballymac Bigmike has held the upper hand in recent meetings, nothing can be taken for granted.
Bigmike has a great strike rate with 18 wins from his 21 career starts and he seems to be getting better with each outing.