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Droopys Nidge faces huge challenge in St Leger heat

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Vimmerby, owned by John Somers and trained by Johnny Kavanagh, emerged as the fastest in the flying 28.11

Vimmerby, owned by John Somers and trained by Johnny Kavanagh, emerged as the fastest in the flying 28.11

Vimmerby, owned by John Somers and trained by Johnny Kavanagh, emerged as the fastest in the flying 28.11

Having won his first two rounds with varying degrees of comfort, Droopys Nidge faces his toughest test to date in the first quarter-final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick this evening.

Droopys Nidge is generating more debate than any other greyhound in training with his mixture of blistering and less spectacular performances.

However, a greyhound that can boast a career record of eight wins from 11 outings cannot be doing much wrong and he is clearly worthy of the benefit of the doubt.

He won last week by only half a length from Burgess Oscar but that dog has 28.08 and 28.18 runs around Cork to his credit and Nidge missed the break after charging the traps early. In the circumstances I feel his 28.62 run was a perfectly acceptable effort and it was only ten spots slower than Paradise Silva's best-of-the-night 28.52.

Don't be surprised if Droopys Nidge (9.25) flashes out of the six box this evening and turns in a masterly performance. Vulturi and Burgess Oscar can accompany him to the semi-finals.

The aforementioned Paradise Silva (9.40) should win Heat 2 barring an accident. If he can make a clean start then it should be a case of opening the gates!

The one to beat in Heat 3 is clearly Gerry Holian's Emers Superstar (9.55) but he has the habit of badly missing the start on occasions. If he does things right he should win from General Wolf, but beware.

The big two in the final heat can be Metro Jack and Ballyana Foxtrot (10.10), but big finishers Borna Central, Dromore Premier and Hawaii Kinsale cannot be ignored.

BUCKLEY'S TEAM

Pat Buckley is involved in the Leger with Paradise Silva and he has the two likely favourites for the Gain Select Stakes at Kilcohan Park in Paradise Maverik (9.30) and Mind The Net (9.45).

Maverick has a tough task with Lemon Miley and Vimmerby major rivals, while Mind The Net must get a reasonable start in the second heat where each rival has prospects.

Also tonight the final of the Caledonia Smooth Gold Cup will be run at Drumbo Park and this looks a real bookmakers' contest.

Six inside seeds have qualified for the final and Ronnie McKeown's fast starting Atitboy (9.47) would be favourite but for his trap six draw. He can overcome it and lead home Divis View and Kincraig Rory.

Boylesports.com Irish Derby winner Laughil Blake tuned up for his Night of Stars engagement on November 29 with a flying trial before racing on Thursday. Michael O'Donovan's tracker scorched around the 525 yards circuit in 28.15.

Irish Independent