Dog chat: Big Mike has class to crown huge week for Fahy
What a week it is going to be for young Conor Fahy from Glenamaddy.
Apart from celebrating his 22nd birthday, he is in the enviable position of being the man in charge of two of the finalists in the €120,000-to-the-winner Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
One of them, Tyrur Big Mike, is the 4/5 favourite with the sponsors, while his litter brother Tyrur McGuigan is on offer at a tempting 8/1.
Young Fahy, who only took out his licence to train the massive Tyrur string of dogs owned by his father PJ, could become one of the youngest trainers to win an Irish Derby. Michael Barrett was still in his 21st year when Lindas Champion raced to victory back in 1977.
But the draw has been anything but kind to the favourite as McGuigan is drawn on his immediate inside and is another dog with blistering early pace and a strong tendency to run wide on his bends.
However, the sheer power and pace of Big Mike can overcome this 'family problem' and he is a deserving favourite to join the illustrious Derby Hall of Fame.
This is a very classy Derby final and there aren't any no-hopers in there. Tullymurry Act has a smashing inside draw, while English Derby third Krug Ninety Five also looks well housed.
The trap really makes no difference to Thurlesbeg Joker as he will be flying home and then Barefoot Bullet is in his favourite No 6 box.
It will be a high-class all-open 12-race card and it all gets under way at 7.30. Gates will open at 4.30 but entrance to the car park will be by special car park ticket only.
Music will begin from 4.30 in the build-up to greyhound racing's biggest night of the year.
The Derby weekend will get off to a fantastic start on Friday night with all the first-round heats of the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby to be run at Harold's Cross.
Elsewhere this week the semi-finals of the Bridie Langton's Derby will be run at Kilkenny on Friday, with the big two of Moral Duty and Faypoint Man due to meet again in the second qualifier.
On Saturday the Droopys Stud Munster Oaks will continue at Waterford, with much attention focused on the performances of Calling Spice and Freedom Seacrest.