Holland to boss Oaks with Rockburst duo
The surprise news to hit the greyhound world yesterday was that Adrian Neilan will be stepping down as chief executive of the Irish Greyhound Board from early in the new year.
Neilan's contract as CEO was due to finish on January 11, but it had been widely reported, though not officially confirmed, that he had been given a two-year extension.
However, it emerged yesterday that the Kerry native has acquired a position outside the industry and will be vacating his job by the due date.
Obviously, it will take some time for a new CEO to be appointed, and it is anticipated that an interim acting CEO will be named from within the organisation.
A native of Ardfert, Neilan joined the IGB from the IT sector and has now served for almost seven years as CEO.
Meanwhile, the big action on the track tonight will be at Shelbourne Park where the semi-finals of the Gain Christmas Oaks will be contested.
It will see Graham Holland bidding to maintain his domination of the competition, and it is quite possible that his four runners will all qualify for next weekend's final.
In the first semi-final, his two runners are Sidarian Lisa and Rockburst Beryl (10.0), and the latter may be the one to have on your side.
She has recently returned from being in-season and her winning run last week confirmed that she is back to close to her best.
Any progress will see her lead all the way from a trap five draw, and it would be no surprise if her strong finishing kennel companion Sidarian Lisa followed her home.
Gurrane Princess is the other likely qualifier for the final.
The other heat looks the tougher of the two and cases can be made for all six runners.
Rockburst Pearl (10.15) is the obvious favourite but she has been drawn in five and has some formidable rivals to clear to the bend.
However, given her current form, she is very difficult to oppose.
Jacks Top Gal goes up at quite a rate, while both Razldazl Amy and the other Holland runner Brenval Star are also likely to be very much involved.
On the supporting card Airlie Dazzler (10.30) can again pay to follow.
Larry Mason's dog did us a turn last week and looks banker material again in the concluding 575.
PJ Fahy's runners are in real form and the Galway kennel can strike with a double via Tyrur Adrian (9.15), which looks well treated, and Tyrur Arthur (9.30), which looks due a winning turn.
Tyrur Adrian 9.15
Tyrur Arthur 9.30
Rockburst Beryl 10.0
Airlie Dazzler 10.30