Sunday 17 December 2017

Greyhounds: Nidge top fancy for Derby after Hero injury

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The career-ending injury to Boylesports Hero, allied to the disappointing run from Skywalker Farloe, has seen Droopys Nidge become the clear favourite for the Irish Derby, which continues at Shelbourne this evening.

Droopys Nidge must be the least experienced dog to be quoted favourite to win the Derby and, if he produces the anticipated big run in Heat 14, his odds will be cut dramatically.

Droopys Nidge has run six times and won five, some in quite sensational fashion. His 28.00 run for the 525 yards and the 29.32 effort over tonight's trip have established him as a rare talent. But he lacks experience and there is the danger that he can mistime the start and find himself in trouble.

Trainer Robert Gleeson won the 2013 Derby and he sounded optimistic yesterday as he reported Droopys Nidge (8.10) in wonderful form. "I couldn't have him better. The important thing is qualifying, but I couldn't be happier with him."

He has some very decent rivals in Tyrur Nathan and Barnhill Turbo, but it will be a major surprise if he doesn't come through the test with flying colours.

Following his opening night double, Pat Buckley can record a repeat this time with Paradise Silva (8.25) and Mind The Net (9.40) looking good in their respective races. Paradise Silva has General Wolf as his main threat, while Mind The Net can lead home Tyrur Fredrik.

The British runners drew a blank on Thursday, but they can fare better now with Holdem Spy (7.40) and Droopys Ward (7.55) fancied in the opening heats, while others worth noting are Rosemary Price's Deanridge Pennys (8.40), Peter Cronin's Borneo (9.55) and Liam Dowling's Green Prince (10.10).

The 2012 Derby hero Skywalker Puma returns after a 51 week injury/stud lay-off, but he may find Laughil Blake (10.25) just too sprightly.

Hero recovering

Following his dreadful mishap in Thursday's first round heat, Boylesports Hero was yesterday recovering from an operation in which a screw was inserted into his broken hock to allow him to walk again and to assume stud duties when he is fit.

The dog sustained a broken right hind hock in which the central tarsal bone was shattered. The big piece was screwed back in and the dog will resume a normal life.

In the later first round races on Thursday the Johnny Kavanagh-trained Vimmerby was the fastest winner of the session as he led all the way to win Heat 11 in 29.66.

Scholar out

Barefoot Scholar is the only notified non-runner in tonight's Derby heats. He was due to go from trap three in Heat 20 and Salmon Lad is the likely reserve. By the way, the Trio pools in all tonight's heats will be guaranteed to a minimum €2,000.

Saturday Yankee

Droopys Ward 7.55 Shelbourne

Paradise Silva 8.25 Shelbourne

Deanridge Pennys 8.40 Shelbourne

Borneo 9.55 Shelbourne

Irish Independent

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