All eyes on draw for Irish Derby
For the next six weeks the Boylesports Irish Derby will dominate the greyhound world. As of lunchtime yesterday the entry was at 154 dogs, but only 144 of those will go into the draw this morning.
The action will kick off at Shelbourne Park next Friday while the winner will be crowned on the greatest night in world greyhound racing on September 22.
Preparations are well under way with a number of Ireland's fastest trialling in the past week, and tonight the sole British challenger will have his first run at the famous Ringsend circuit.
Trickys Dumbo is amongst the most exciting greyhounds in training across the pond. In just his fourth outing in the UK the Robert Holt-trained son of Skywalker Puma captured the Select Stakes at Nottingham in July. He looks certain to appreciate Shelbourne and it's possible he could make waves.
The sponsors have installed Ballymac Cooper and Jaytee Taylor their joint favourites at 14/1, but in what looks like a hugely competitive Derby there are many potential winners. Defending champion Ballyanne Sim was due to trial at Shelbourne Park last night and he will take his chance if all goes well.
Incredibly, five of last year's six finalists are back for another crack at the blue riband. The aforementioned pair of Ballyanne Sim and Jaytee Taylor were first and last in last year's decider while the runner up Magical Bale, Clona Blaze (3rd) and Slippy Cian (5th) will also be in the draw, which is due to take place at 10.30am today.