THE bookies are finding it difficult to sort out a clear favourite for Saturday's Tyrur McGuigan 575 final at Shelbourne – the first Open final of the year.
Both Boylesports and Paddy Power have priced up the contest, and the Owen McKenna-trained Tibetan Skies emerges as the 9/4 favourite ahead of Gizmo Classic at 5/2, with Razldazl Will on the 7/2 mark.
Slip The Genie has slipped down the betting following her defeat in the semi and is at 5/1, while you can back Ringtown Snowy at 10/1 and Kokoro at 12/1.
At a time when there are genuine worries about the supply stream of greyhounds coming through which are good enough to race in stadiums, it was refreshing to chat to Enniscorthy racing manager Michael Dempsey.
The Wexford venue traditionally closes for a few months each winter, but they resume earlier than usual tomorrow night and will race on Thursday nights for the months of January and February.
Dempsey was upbeat in discussing the pool of greyhounds available to him.
"Our private trials are going extremely well and I can't foresee any problem in the near future anyway," he said.
"There are lots of pups being qualified and we will probably stage our first Unraced Stake of the year in early February."
Dempsey is also hopeful that the weather will pose no problem for tomorrow's meeting. "We are holding trials here today and the forecast doesn't appear to be too bad for the next few days," he added.
Number of the day
12 The number of finals on the Limerick & Clare GOBA benefit meeting and awards night at Limerick on Saturday. Minimum value of any race is €750. The awards for the most successful trackers in 2012 go to Varra Captain and Sporry King (dogs) and Mohans Misty (bitches).
The final shows
There are just two chances remaining for dogs to qualify for the Retired Greyhound Show on St Patrick's Day. The Longford qualifier will be staged on Friday, and it will be Kilkenny's turn the following Friday.