Greyhound racing: Borna Gem can reign supreme in Oaks final
IT'S another huge Saturday for Irish greyhound racing with the final of the Irish Oaks at Shelbourne Park, while three Irish-trained dogs will do battle in the semi-finals of the William Hill English Derby at Wimbledon.
It will make for a massive night at the tracks, where racegoers will be able to enjoy the fare from both tracks, as well as the Inter Track service from Limerick. A true feast of the very best in the sport.
The Oaks ranks second only behind the Irish Derby in the greyhound calendar and the final will bring to an end a truly memorable Classic.
The fancy from the start has been Borna Gem and there will be no deserting Ruairi Dwan's bitch on the last lap. She suffered her only reverse in the competition last week, but ran a huge race in defeat and is well positioned in trap two.
The dangers lurk in all traps, with Melodys Diamond and Badminton Girl probably the best drawn in the red and striped jackets respectively.
The middle bitches Locnamon Bridie and Airforce Diva need flying starts, while the badly drawn Royal Diva would probably be better served by missing the kick and then diving for the inside rail.
All told, a race to savour, but the vote is awarded to Borna Gem (10.0) to credit owner/trainer Ruairi Dwan with his third Oaks success. Melodys Diamond and Badminton Girl can complete the Trio.
The best supporting race looks like being the concluding 550, where the clash of Roxholme Bully and North Bound is eagerly awaited, while bet of the night should be Bulmers Baby (8.18) in the sprint.
Expectations are that there can be an Irish double in the English Derby semi-finals at Wimbledon.
From the two draw Droopys Jet (8.45) should beat Ballymac Eske and Screen Critic in the opening heat, while Ballymac Vic (9.05) is a strong fancy to win the second heat, where it will be no surprise if he is chased home by his well-drawn compatriot Tyrur Sugar Ray.
Bulmers Baby 8.18 Shel Pk
Droopys Jet 8.45 Wimbledon
Ballymac Vic 9.05 Wimbledon
Borna Gem 10.0 Shel Pk
There will be two Jackpot guarantees at Shelbourne this evening. The Pick 6 Intertrack will have a minimum pool of €10,000, while the Pick 4 is guaranteed to a minimum €3,000.
The semi-finals of the English Derby will be shown live on Sky Sports 3 in a programme running from 7.0 to 9.30.