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Gold rush at the park

THE most lucrative race in greyhound racing, the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby, will be decided tonight at Shelbourne Park.

Six dogs will be going into the traps vying for a winner's purse of €120,000 and the prestigious title of Derby champion.

After 24 trial races and bets of €1.4m being wagered so far, only the cream of Irish greyhounds remain in contention.

Over 5,000 people are expected to pack into the Dublin 4 venue with the racing getting under way at 7.30pm and the feature taking place at 9.30pm.

Kildare trainer Dolores Ruth looks like the woman to beat with leading fancies Razldazl Bugatti and Razldazl George both coming from her kennel in Rathangan but Rockchase Bullet looks like the dog they all have to beat.


(Brett Lee/Razldazl Pearl)

•Owners: Dazzling Syndicate, Rathangan, Co Kildare

•Breeder: Liam Marks & Dolores Ruth, Dundalk & Rathangan

•Trainer: Dolores Ruth, Rathangan, Co Kildare

Likely to be vying for favouritism with Rockchase Bullet and plum draw for a dog with plenty of early speed. Doubts over his stamina, but has clocked 29.62 for the distance in the first round. He won the Champion Plate Consolation immediately prior to this competition and has been hugely consistent all the way in this classic.

•Odds: 5/2


(Brett Lee/Razldazl Pearl)

•Owner: John Egan, Glanmire, Co Cork

•Breeder: Ted Fitzgerald, Cahir, Co Tipperary

•Trainer: Tom O'Neill, Castletownroche, Co Cork

First Derby final runner for Cork trainer Tom O'Neill. He won the Trade Veterinary Puppy Stakes at Thurles and then was runner-up in the Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross to Melodys Royal. Could run into a placing but best watched.

•Odds: 7/1


(Head Bound/Three Star Gem)

•Owners: Jimmy Ferncombe & Clive Taylor, Co Tipperary

•Breeder: Maurice Ryan, Cashel, Co Tipperary

•Trainer: Peter Cronin, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny

Made exit from Juvenile Unraced Classic at Tralee at semi-final stage, as did Rockchase Bullet, but got back in as reserve and won the final. Next appeared in the English Derby where, despite his lack of experience, he made it to the quarter-final. Very lightly raced and a good each-way shout.

•Odds: 12/1


(Kinloch Brae/Razldazl Pearl)

•Owners: Dazzling Syndicate, Rathangan, Co Kildare

•Breeder: Liam Marks, Dundalk, Co Louth

•Trainer: Dolores Ruth, Rathangan, Co Kildare

His undoubted talent was proved with a 28.55 run in the qualifying rounds. Unlucky in Tote Gold Cup and just failed to catch his half brother Makeshift in the Easter Cup final. Performed brilliantly at Wimbledon where he finished third in the English Derby final. Hard to beat if he's in contention rounding the last bend.

•Odds: 3/1


(Droopys Maldini/ Frontier Music)

•Owners: Laurence Blunt & Martin Wakefield, Bucks, England

•Breeder: John McCarthy, Freshford, Co Kilkenny

•Trainer: Fraser Black, Rathangan, Co Kildare

Sets a record tonight as he competes in his third Derby final. He finished third in this event last year behind Tyrur McGuigan and Tyrur Big Mike, having earlier finished third in the English Derby final. Trainer one of the canniest in the business and he's a powerful finisher.

•Odds: 7/1


(Westmead Hawk/Droopys Bubble)

•Owner: Richard Forrest, Essex, England

•Breeder: Sean Dunphy, Ballyvalican, Co Waterford

•Trainer: Ronny Wuyts, Golden, Co Tipperary

The in-form dog coming into tonight's renewal. Was quoted at big prices initially but has been very impressive in his last three outings. Rockchase Bullet was held up in mid-season by injury but had shown a lot of talent in the Juvenile Classic at Tralee and then the Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel. The one they all have to beat.

•Odds: 2/1