Friday 20 October 2017

Rocket takes centre stage at Shelbourne

There will be massive interest in the performance of Clares Rocket. (stock photo)
There will be massive interest in the performance of Clares Rocket. (stock photo)
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Greyhound followers are in for a real treat at Shelbourne Park this evening with no fewer than 13 races of the highest class.

The card features the eight third-round heats of the BoyleSports Irish Derby along with the five first-round heats of the Derby Plate.

This is always one of the most popular nights of the Derby as it brings all the contenders together for the first time on the same card.

There will be massive interest in the performance of Clares Rocket (9.27), already the shortest-priced favourite ever at this stage of the Classic. He goes in Heat 6 and if he makes his usual fast start then the track record will be under siege.

The Rocket will be virtually unbackable but it is a real treat to see him in action. Barring an accident he will win at a canter, possibly from Rockybay Rover and Pension Plan.

His trainer, Graham Holland, will have 11 runners in the heats and can win at least three with Sonic (9.42) and Clonbrien Hero (9.57) the other likely winners from the kennel.

From a betting viewpoint the banker of the evening can be the Pat Guilfoyle-trained Good News (9.12) who makes great appeal in a race where Swithins Brae, Droopys Noah and Droopys Cabaye are serious contenders.

Others which should do the job in the Derby heats are Burnt Beans (8.12), Tyrur Harold (8.27), Native Chimes (8.42), and Jaytee Jet (8.57).

Gates will open at Shelbourne at 4.45pm to allow racegoers to watch Ireland's soccer World Cup qualifier prior to the racing.

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