Dog chat: Bookies running scared from Panther
Published 21/02/2012 | 05:00
Have we ever before seen a dog quoted at odds-on with three rounds still to go in a competition?
But then, of course, Milldean Panther is no ordinary greyhound, so it's no real surprise that Boylesports have introduced the flying machine at 4/5 to win the SIS Live Tote Gold Cup, which will reach the second-round stage at Shelbourne on Saturday.
While John O'Flynn Snr described the dog as being tired on Sunday following his first race in three and a half months, he takes his races well and is bouncing again.
So, can he be stopped in his quest for a first all-aged major success, not to mention extending his unbeaten career record to 12?
Paddy Power's immediate reaction was to quote him at evens, but they had gone 9/4 when the draw was made last week.
Boylesports, on the other hand, had the dog at a best price evens last week and now have him at a tight 4/5.
Both firms are then going 6/1 about Rockchase Bullet, which is probably a little generous, and it is 10/1 bar the two.
Rockchase Bullet really impressed and trainer Ronny Wuyts has no doubt that the dog will improve from a badly needed run. The way he opened a gap over Razldazl Will and Tyrur Lucky along the back was impressive.
Both dogs have drawn hot heats in the second round. Milldean Panther is nicely housed as the only inside seed in Heat 2 and his major rivals should be Noirs Buachaill, Razldazl Will and Cian Abbey. Rockchase Bullet is in the next heat where he will wear the orange jacket and his main rivals appear to be Piercestown Sand, Tibetan Skies and Tyrur Lucky.
Saturday's card will also include the final of the Swords Prince @ Stud A1 and the one to beat should be Graham Holland's Cambushmore after his flying 28.54 run in the semi-final on Saturday.
There will be an Open Puppy race and the usual diet of Open races over varying distances on the supporting card.
Top race on the provincial circuit this week will be the John & Mary 'Killeacle' Dowling Memorial 570 at Tralee on Friday.
The semi-finals produced upsets at the weekend and if Elaine Guiney's Usual Story can avoid early trouble, he would look the likely winner.