Droopys Nidge can lay down Derby marker
Droopys Nidge is the current headliner in Irish greyhound racing and is already a clear favourite in many lists for the forthcoming Boylesports.com Irish Derby.
Racegoers will get another opportunity to assess his talents when he contests the third semi-final of the ECC Timber Champion 550 at Shelbourne this evening and, from what we have seen, he should win comfortably. He did a brilliant split time last week of 3.34 and a repeat will see him leave his rivals for dead on the run-up.
No fewer than three of his rivals are trained by Paul Hennessy and, in Barefoot Apollo, Jaytee Valencia and Kilara Hey Mac, he has three heat winners. The line-up is completed by Graham Holland's Elevenerife and Adrian McPherson's Honour And Glory and they should be involved in the scrap for second place.
But if Droopys Nidge (10.10) gets away like he did last week then trainer Robert Gleeson and owner Willie Hyslop had better start dreaming of possible Derby glory.
Sponsor PJ Fahy has representatives in the other heats and he could well end up with two qualifiers for the final. Tyrur Supermac showed his appreciation for an inside draw last week and he wears the red jacket in the second heat. What beats him will win.
There could be quite a battle to the bend between Native Hut, Razldazl Newstalk and Coran Sky on the outside and Tyrur Supermac (9.55) can take full advantage.
Tyrur Nathan is the Fahy runner in the opening heat and he will make a bold bid for a final place. This is a really open contest with Con Te Partiro, Razldazl Danann and Paradise Maverik all sure to be fancied.
The lead will be decisive and Owen McKenna's Con Te Partiro (9.40) looks the one most likely to be in front into the back and he can win it from the strong-finishing Tyrur Nathan.
With the Champion Stakes and Derby approaching rapidly many of the established names are getting their eye back in at Shelbourne and it makes for a very interesting supporting card. Two hugely interesting races tonight will be staged on either side of the ECC semis and the first of them is an AAO 525 where Kereight King makes his return to the track in a race which also features Deanridge Pennys, Shopping Basket and Tungsten Shaw. If Pat Curtin has Kereight King (9.25) fully tuned then he would be the one to beat.
Dolores Ruth's has the Irish Independent competition dog Razldazl Al (10.25) in the inside box in the concluding AAO 550 and the draw may swing it for him against the likes of Indigojack and Pennys Deanridge.
Of the remaining races, Owen McKenna's Farloe Blitz (8.55) looks a likely leader and winner of the Michael Golding Memorial.
Farloe Blitz 8.55 Shelbourne
Kereight King 9.25 Shelbourne
Tyrur Supermac 9.55 Shelbourne
Razldazl Al 10.25 Shelbourne