Greyhounds: Farloe can Blitz rivals in Newbridge finale
Newbridge track is expected to welcome its biggest crowd of the year this evening when a high-class line-up of puppies will chase the €9,000 prize which goes with the Texacloth Puppy Derby final.
This is one of the most prestigious and long-standing puppy events in the calendar and many feel that this year's competition is as good as any in the past.
Owen McKenna's Farloe Blitz has been one of the favourites since the draw was made for the first round and he has reached the final with reputation enhanced. A dog with brilliant early pace, he is well suited to the Newbridge circuit but his initial challenge will be to take the first bend from fellow early-paced finalists Whisht A Mhic, Dians Shadow and Curious Boy. All these young dogs have been breaking the 1.00 second split time which means that the least slip in the first few yards can be costly. Lisdhu Blue out in five and Drumsna Castle in the stripes are drawn very far out and will need luck.
The dog with the prized inside draw is Justin Colgan's Whisht A Mhic and this fast starter has every chance but he was beaten to the bend last week by Farloe Blitz and one suspects that the same will happen again.
David Murray's Dians Shadow and Gerry Holian's Curious Boy have the task of getting around the two inside runners and that won't be easy. It looks like another major juvenile prize heading towards the McKenna kennels in New Inn.
Speaking of puppies we have plenty on show at Harold's Cross as they prepare for the Puppy Derby and Paul Hennessy has a couple of very interesting runners in Jaytee Berlin (8.40) and Barefoot Big Ben (9.25). Jaytee Berlin appeared to very unlucky in an unraced stake at Kilkenny recently but he should be well suited by his inside draw in this A2 contest.
Barefoot Big Ben ran Derby contender Paradise Maverik close enough earlier in the year and he looks the one to beat in the A1/2 eighth race provided he improves significantly on his trial time. Another on the card well capable of scoring is the Fraser Black-trained Blonde Bingo (8.55) which can improve on his previous outing here.
Derby final night tickets are now ready for collection at Shelbourne. They can be purchased on race nights at the night office, at Shelbourne reception between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and by calling 1890 269969 or online at www.igb.ie.
Ice Bucket Challenge
There will be an Ice Bucket Challenge at Curraheen Park after the twelfth race on Saturday with the proceeds going to MND.