Monday 18 December 2017

Greyhound Racing: Droopys Jet leads chase for Laurels glory

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Despite his first-round defeat, Droopys Jet remains the 5/1 clear favourite to win the Red Mills Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park.

Fraser Black's star tracker goes from trap one in the first heat on Saturday and is likely to be a short-priced favourite. The early-paced Harry Got Styles and wide-running Refuge Of Sinner look his main dangers.

In contrast, we'll have to wait until the final contest for defending champion Knockglass Billy's appearance. His early pace should again carry him clear; his biggest threats are Cathys Clown and Skywalker Star.

The leading prices on offer for the 525-yard Classic are: Droopys Jet 5/1; Knockglass Billy 8/1; Holborn Catchme 10/1; Glenanore Dancer, Hot Pursuit 12/1; Borna Gem, Bypass Blackie 14/1; Brogan Henry, Farloe Calvin, North Bound 16/1; All About Ya, Brogan Stranger 20/1; Holycross Gerry, Priceless Bolt, Skywalker Jet, Skywalker Star 25/1; 28/1 bar.

Mall Brandy, which had been as low as 9/2 second-favourite for the Billy Mulvaney Memorial 600 at Shelbourne, has been withdrawn from Saturday's semi-finals due to injury.

Kennel companions Tyrur Sugar Ray and Tyrur Amelia now head the betting.

Control committee

A number of new members have been appointed to the IGB's control committee and control appeal committee.

After two terms, chairman Pat O'Connor has been replaced by Kilkenny State Solicitor Gerald Meaney.

Dr Dermot Cribbin, Danny McHenry and Lexie Marmion make way for UCD professor Alan Keenan, Thurles vet Pat Dunne and retired Garda Superintendent Thomas J Mulligan.

Diarmuid O'Neill, who has served one statutory term, has been reappointed for another.

Best bets

Best bet on tonight's nine-race programme at Shelbourne looks to be Graham Holland's Newinn Echo (9.0), which created quite an impression in last week's heat and can go on to better things in tonight's final of an A5 competition.

Another worth noting is Marie Gilbert's Havana Harry (10.0) in a concluding A2. He is rising in grade, but a slick start could see him run out a winner.

Hurling final

Hurling fans wishing to attend Shelbourne Park on Saturday night can rest assured that they will miss none of the action from Croke Park.

The gates will be opening at 4.45 and the game will be shown on the large screens throughout the stadium.

In addition there will be full inter-track coverage of the Red Mills Irish Laurels from Curraheen Park.

Curraheen Park will also be opening early for the hurling. Their gates will open at 4.0 and admission will be half-price before 5.30.

There will be free baskets of food handed out at half-time as well as face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids.

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