Sidarian Blaze marching to top dog status
Sidarian Blaze's march to the top of the greyhound rankings gathered pace at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night when he blitzed his Joe Dunne Memorial semi-final rivals and ran out a convincing winner in a career-best time.
This Graham Holland-trained dog has only raced nine times and has yet to finish out of the first three, winning six of those outings – and all in top class.
He picked up the National Puppy Stake along the way and will be hot favourite for next Saturday's final of this competition.
Last Saturday's run was, arguably, his best yet.
He flew from the inside box, and in a generally clean-run race he proved once again that he is in a different class.
He went clear of Deanridge Pennys and Jackal Frampton to the bend, and the latter pair had a personal buckle to the third bend.
But Sidarian Blaze flew the far side to open up an eight-length gap and then came home five lengths in front of Deanridge Pennys in a blistering 28.21, with Jackal Frampton three and a half lengths further adrift in third.
The second semi was a much tighter affair, but the race was decided on the opening bend.
Borna Native and Razldazl Pacino led up, but Coppeen Maeve got up their inside on the corner and bumped her way through to the front.
Millies Tavern slipped through the gap to go second and there ensued a good scrap between the two bitches in the stake.
Millies Tavern tried her utmost to get on terms but the Brian Madigan-trained Coppeen Maeve held her by a length in 28.71.
Jaytee Seville was a further two and a half lengths back in third.
The other big run at Shelbourne saw Holland's Irish Derby runner-up Cabra Buck gain a typical all-the-way victory in the concluding open 525.
The flying starter raced a few lengths clear to the bend and was always in control as he won by three and a half lengths from De Real McCoy in 28.66.
Two for Pat
Pat Buckley is concentrating on the southern circuit at the moment and he registered a fine double in the semi-finals of the Vetsearch Open 525 at Limerick on Saturday.
He won the opening heat with Mind The Net, which chased Burgess Four and Cutters Blue for much of the journey but collared them on the run-in to win by half a length from Cutters Blue and Burgess Four in 28.68.
In the second heat, it was even closer as Buckley's Farloe Rio and Christys Oscar went head to head throughout and, in a desperate finish, Farley Rio got the verdict by a short head in 28.74, with Parish Hero also qualifying for next weekend's final a length further back.