Pre-competition forecasts that Owen McKenna’s Farloe Blitz looked a dog designed with Harold’s Cross in mind have proved to be spot on in the opening two rounds of the Dublin Coach Puppy Derby. The Paul Ellis-trained early pacer now stands alone as the best-priced 7/2 favourite for the classic in advance of Friday’s quarter-final stage.
His first splits of 3.11 and 3.07 point to his early pace and he is going to take the world of beating in this classic. It is amazing how often he is drawn against his former kennel companion Quietly and they will meet again in the fourth of the heats on Friday.
Big-finishing Blonde Nipper is also a strong contender here along with Jaytee Berlin but the 7/2 price long-odds about Blitz look fair.
Pat Buckley has a team of five runners through to the third round but, incredibly, they will all be in action in the first two heats. Lenson Sanchez, Beaming Boost and Paradise Maverik are all drawn together in the first heat. Paradise Maverik is a well-deserved second favourite at 6/1 and he is a most improved greyhound. But this is the first time in which Lenson Sanchez has got a rails draw and he is well capable of a huge run.
Ballymac Gordie and Dolcino Flyer are in opposition in the second heat and both have prospects of advancing. The third heat has an interesting father-and-son clash with Francie Murray the trainer of Overcharge and son David is the man in charge of slick-starting Dians Shadow.
there has been little change at the top of the betting on the Red Mills Laurels at Curraheen Park following the opening round. A number of fourth-placed finishers, including a few very notable performers, were reprieved due to the fact that the nine fastest fourth-placed finishers made it through in the opening round.
There will be no such dodging of the bullet next weekend when it will be three straight qualifying right up to the final. Sidarian Blaze and Crokers Champ were the big two prior to the first round and they are still up there as the dogs to beat.
Sidarian and Crokers have drawn the inside traps in the last two heats of the second round and it will be a major surprise if their names are not still in lights at the top of the betting lists this time next week.
The “winter” season of Dual Race meetings at Dundalk Stadium kicks off on Friday and there will be horse and greyhound meetings at the Stadium each Friday up to May 15 next, with the exception of December 26.
The format will be the well-established programme whereby the first of the horse races will go off at 6.15pm and then the greyhounds will swing into action at 9.40. The nights will be rounded off by music until 12.30am.