Sidarian the marginal favourite for Gold Cup
The greyhound chat still revolves around the magnificent racing in the second round of the Best Car Parks Gold Cup at Shelbourne on Saturday and the amazing statistic is that seven of the 12 survivors are priced at 7/1 or shorter by the firms.
It would be very difficult to suggest which dog will be ante-post favourite by the time of the start of racing on Saturday. Currently Sidarian Vega is the shortest-priced at 11/2 with both BoyleSports and Ladbrokes but he is only half a point shorter than Lenson Panda, Proud Graham and Tarsna Havana. Indeed Paddy Power is the only firm to go the 6/1 about both Proud Graham and Tarsna Havana.
Declan Carey yesterday reported that there are positive reports from all contenders and the situation at the moment is that we will have two full semi-final fields on Saturday.
The trap draw will be vital and the crucial draw in the second heat has Lenson Sanchez drawn in trap one, immediately inside the two Graham Holland runners Sidarian Vega and Proud Graham. Making it a particularly tricky race for Holland is the fact that another of his star trackers, Skywalker Pearl, will run from trap five in the same race.
This opening semi would do justice to any Derby final and the remaining two contenders are Larry Dunne's Slippery Snowy and the well-drawn Francie Murray-trained Fair Taxes. Survival will definitely be the name of the game in this heat.
The first semi, while a very hot contest, is not quite in the same league as the other. The big four in the draw here are Lenson Panda, Jaytee Dutch, Slippery Fred and Tarsna Havana and they occupy traps four to six respectively. The other two runners are Painstown Chief and Going To Work.
The way Lenson Panda raced to the bend on Saturday night would suggest that he might get the corner from his trap three draw and he would then take the world of beating.
But for the rest of the places, these could be in the lap of the gods.
The Easter Cup will follow on from the Best Car Parks Gold Cup and that 550-yard feature will see the seasonal debut of last year's St Leger winner Skywalker Rory.
Rory is now trained by Graham Holland who informs us that the dog is in fine form and will be ready for his first round of the Easter Cup. He also has Skywalker Archie in his kennel and this dog also goes for the Easter Cup.
Entries for the GMHD Juvenile Classic at Tralee close today with the first round heats to be run on Friday.
That promises to be quite a night at the track as all the Kerry champions from the recent National Meeting will be paraded.