Laughil in race against time to make Derby
The commencement of the BoyleSports Irish Derby is just two weeks away now and the most-asked question in greyhound circles is whether reigning champion Laughil Blake can do the double?
Realistically, the major question should be whether Laughil Blake will even make the start for the first round as we await the thumbs up concerning the injury which flared up in his last winning run at Shelbourne.
Trainer Michael O'Donovan is bringing a few dogs for trials tomorrow night to Shelbourne but Blake will not be among them. "To be honest," he says. "It is a race against time to have him right in time for the first round of the classic."
The Tipperary trainer added: "We are working away on him but he certainly won't be having a trial this week and hopefully the hock injury will come right by next week in time to give him a run before the Derby. The problem with these things is that dogs can appear to be right but then you put the pressure on them in a trial or a race and the problem flares again. Hopefully he will be right in time."
A Kerry clash
Two bitches based just ten miles apart on either side of Tralee will make the long journey to Dublin on Friday to do battle in the final of the €12,500 Gain Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross, for which they are the very strong favourites.
Fire Height Amy, already the winner of the Barry's Tea 750 at Curraheen, is trained by Brendan Maunsell in Abbeydorney, while Ballymac Bonnie is owned and trained by Liam Dowling in Ballymacelligott.
Amy is the favourite at 5/4 with the firms while Ballymac is at 13/8 but it would be no surprise if the two bitches ended up joint favourites for the six-bend classic. The field will then be completed by Uncle Paul, Karlow Master, Whaoo Wheoo and Shaneboy Sue.
It is still possible that Ballymac Bonnie will challenge for the TV Trophy which commences at Towcester just eight days after Friday's test and she would be difficult to beat over the 906 metres distance.
John Geoghegan's Lefanta Sky claimed the Youghal ticket to the BoyleSports Irish Derby when winning the qualifier on Monday night.
Trained by Tom O'Neill, Lefanta Sky tracked Oaklands Paddy until the latter drifted wide on the fourth bend and Lefanta went on to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Gwan Slab in 30.52.
Meanwhile, the Uibh Fhaili Syndicate-owned Shocked has been withdrawn from the first quarter-final of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk on Friday with a broken hock.