Saturday 20 January 2018

Hulk can flex muscles to overpower Arthur

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

It is another hectic night, with the home scene dominated by the Shelbourne action, which includes the semi-finals of both the Gain 600 and the Puppy Oaks.

Meanwhile, the first round of the English Derby will conclude at Wimbledon, with 18 Irish-trained dogs in action. A few that make particular appeal are Owen McKenna's Fiery Splendour (7.39), Peter Cronin's duo of Swithins Way (9.32) and Borneo (9.48) and then McKenna's Vanrooney (10.18).

There will be two strong favourites in the 600 semis in Greenwell Hulk (10.10) and Tyrur Sugar Ray (10.25) and one suspects they will form the basis of many multiple bets. Both should win but there is the element of doubt and in Greenwell Hulk's case it is best represented by Tyrur Arthur.

Arthur took a hefty early bump last week but survived it to lead around the opening bend and his winning time of 32.77 was hardly indicative of his ability.

He will have an empty box outside him in the first semi and can shoot clear, with Greenwell Hulk trying to get a clear run behind.

Jerry Melia's Greenwell Hulk flies from the second bend and he can prove too strong late on for Arthur.

Last week Tyrur Sugar Ray endured a horrible run when third behind Greenwell but he should have things easy this time. Garryvoe Jet should chase him home.

I'm siding with a John Lenihan double in the Puppy Oaks semis, with Droopys Sylvia (9.40) drawn to upset the impressive Drive On Alice, while Droopys Muriel (9.55) may be on the mark in the other.

The big three

The quarter-finals of the Lee Strand 550 will be run at Tralee and there are three banker bets.

Pat Buckley's Always With Me (8.19) can kick off proceedings in the first heat from an ideal inside draw at short odds.

In the second heat, it should be the turn of the progressive Eamonn Cronin-owned Soviet Kenny (8.49), while the competition favourite Ardfert Tee Jay (9.49) can maintain his unbeaten record for owners Noel and Adrian Clifford in Heat 4.

Go Pandy

There are few competitions run in which Graham Holland doesn't have a leading contender and Coolavanny Pandy (10.16) can be the star in the semi-finals of the Oaks at Limerick.

Formerly known as Cabra Lou, this is a top-flight female and is well capable of leading all to score from Sullane Fluffy. In the other heat Dan Lynch's Sausalito May (10.01) may continue on her winning ways.

Saturday Yankee

Fiery Splendour 7.39 Wimbledon

Droopys Sylvia 9.40 Shel Pk

Borneo 9.48 Wimbledon

Droopys Muriel 9.55 Shel Pk

Irish Independent

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