Roddick tops abbreviated Dunne Memorial
Given the strength of the puppy brigade, it is surely very disappointing that such a valuable event as the Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake at Shelbourne Park should have to be reduced to a 12-dog event.
Set to carry a winner's prize of €7,500, the Dunne Memorial was advertised for 36 dogs whelped in February '14 or later but racing manager Declan Carey had to cry halt yesterday and, following consultations with sponsor Michael Dunne, it was decided to run it as a 12-dog competition with a winner's prize of €5,000.
It has also been agreed that a second competition will be run. The €3,000-to-the-winner Strong Control @ Stud A1/2 Stake for February whelps, or younger, will commence on February 6.
Of the 12 runners in the Dunne Memorial, one third of them are trained by Graham Holland.
His new charge Greenhill Pearl has drawn a really difficult opening heat where she will be surrounded on the inside by Pat Buckley's English Puppy Derby winner Droopys Roddick and the Liam Dowling-trained Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby winner Anopheles.
That heat would have to be rated the top contest but the second heat is a pretty hot affair also with Holland's Clares Rocket opposed by Robert Gleeson's Droopys Tee among others.
Kevin Sullivan has a promising stayer in Chanel Express (9.13) and she appears to have an outstanding chance in the D2 750 at Shelbourne this evening. Her performance in finishing a good second behind Mustang Secret over 575 on January 7 was put into perspective by Mustang's remarkable run over this trip last week.
Triangle Apache and Dropkick Keelie could be serious rivals in this sixth race but Chanel Express has the potential to become a top six- and eight-bend performer and she should be too strong for these rivals.
Graham Holland has a terrific record at Shelbourne and his Redstar Captain (7.58) is a likely winner of the opening A5.
This fellow was in the wars at Clonmel when failing to survive the opening round of the Unraced but should be much happier in open-race company this evening.
Staying greyhounds don't always get the opportunities they should but there was a boost in that area this week with the confirmation that the Open 730 competition at Waterford will be sponsored by Shane O'Gorman's Yahoo Kennels.
The Yahoo Kennels Open 730 will commence on February 13 with the final two weeks later. The winner's prize will be €2,500.