Dog chat: Male 'Lady' ready to lead rivals a merry dance
Snow and frost wiped out last night's programme, but there is still hope for tonight's gala meeting at Harold's Cross, which will feature the finals of two valuable competitions, the Tote Gold Collar and the Ted Hegarty Marathon.
It really is unusual to have two such major events staged in Christmas week, but there is a third 'major' this week in the form of the Greyhound & Petworld Kingdom Derby final, which will be run on Thursday at Tralee.
Tonight's line up at Harold's Cross is probably the best staged at the track this year and it should attract a large attendance for their final meeting of 2010. The Hegarty Marathon is invariably a tremendous crowd pleaser and we are promised one of the most competitive finals ever to this event.
Likely favourite is Sean Devlin's strangely named Seven Hills Lady -- a male -- and he gets the vote to lead home Slaneyside Havoc and Taylors Riviera.
If any dog deserves to win a valuable final before the year's end it is Ballymac Tipp, trained by Liam O'Rourke for Stephen Devine.
A real model of consistency, he bounced back to top form in the semi-final and can lead all the way to win the Tote Gold Collar. Once this fellow gets away in front he usually dominates his races.
He will have strong opposition from big finishers Wise Signal and Razldazlbroadway at the business end, but he looks banker material here.
The last meeting of the year at Shelbourne will be run tomorrow night, weather permitting, and will be a gala card with 12 finals. Racing will resume at the track on Thursday, January 6, while HX will resume on Tuesday, January 4.
News from the Kingdom Stadium yesterday was very positive. General manager Declan Dowling said: "The track is fine here but the roads are bad. We will be racing on Tuesday night."
Thursday's card at Tralee will feature no less than 12 finals. Racing at the track will resume on January 7.
Thursday's Kingdom Derby final is another open affair, with the Graham Holland-trained Calling Spice likely to set a merry gallop but with major threats from the likes of Bling Bling Buzz and General Dogsbody.