Rocket and Roddick head Kirby market
The ante-post favourites Clares Rocket and Droopys Roddick justified their positions in the market on the Kirby Memorial with brilliant performances in the second round at Limerick Stadium on Saturday.
Already a 28.06 winner around Shelbourne, Graham Holland's Clares Rocket is going from strength to strength and must rate highly in the current rankings of Ireland's top greyhounds. He quickly took command in his heat and posted a time of 28.13 when leading home Lenson Rocky by five lengths.
In total contrast, Droopys Roddick had to come from last place to snatch a late victory over Ela Alecko in 28.89 and will be fancied to take a major slice off that time when he contests next Saturday's opening quarter-final.
BoyleSports are best priced about Clares Rocket with an 11/4 quote while Paddy Power have Droopys Roddick at 6/1.
Paradise Maverik made the perfect start to the defence of his Gain Dog Food Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar on Saturday when he posted the fastest time of the round in winning the opening heat.
Pat Buckley's dog was always in control and clocked a time of 33.45. He has drawn trap two in the final heat next Saturday, where Droopys Acrobat would appear to be his main threat.
Another that really caught the eye was Robert Gleeson's Droopys Teewhich was a six-length winner from Priceless Lassie in 33.55. The pair will clash again in the third heat in the next round with Priceless Lassie likely to get a better run from the inside box.
It was a busy weekend on the track front and the Pat Hennerty Cork Oaks also started at Curraheen Park.
Fastest here was the Francie Murray-trained Leezie Lindsay, which was a comfortable winner from Laraboulta Libby in 28.34.
The other stand-out winner was Jackie Roche's Rastafari Chic, which had won the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles a week earlier and she will be a big player in this event also on the evidence of her 28.36 run.
The other heat winners were Niall Dunne's Phone Lizzie and Liam Dowling's Ballymac Scala.
There will be a strong Irish team challenging for the RPGTV Scottish Derby, which starts at Shawfield on Saturday. The draw will be made live tonight on RPGTY (Sky 468).
Among the Irish-trained entries are Paul Hennessy's Jaytee Dutch, Mucho Macho Man and Jaytee Valencia, Francie Murray's Fair Taxes and Brendan Matthews' Cable Bay.
However Peter Cronin's has decided against running Imperial Express, Global Chief and Gyp Rosetti due to the current heavy nature of the Shawfield track.