Sunday 25 February 2018

Leger finalists enjoy contrasting records

Greyhounds stock
Greyhounds stock
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Saturday's Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger final at Limerick is throwing up a few real extremes which are perfectly illustrated by the two favourites in the advance betting lists.

Offshore Bound is being quoted the general 9/4 favourite to lift the €25,000 prize. He is perfectly housed and is bidding to add to an amazing family record in the classic. To date, the McKenna clan have won the Leger on no fewer than 15 occasions.

The legendary Ger McKenna turned out 13 winners of the classic from his Borrisokane kennels.

Now his son Owen, who is based in New Inn, is bidding for a third victory in his own right, having trained Lughill Jo and Farloe Turbo to win the classic.

Owen, though, reports he is battling to have Offshore Bound fully right for the race.

"He had a sore enough foot after the semi-final when he held it up at the pick-up," he said. "He had been spiked the week before and he was sorer than we thought. We will have had a week to work on it and I am sure he will be fine and we have to be very happy with the draw."

Offshore Bound is a big finisher and he could well be at the rear of the field going to the bend but he will flying along the inside down the back.

Meanwhile, the 3/1 second favourite Peregrine Falcon is owned and trained by Pat and Ciara O'Brien in Navan and he is the first dog they have owned.

Now, Ciara is a member of a major greyhound family and her uncle is Ollie Bray who is one of the leading handlers in the game.

They got a huge thrill out of Peregrine Falcon reaching the final of the BoyleSports Irish Derby and he has a real chance of leading all the way in this final.

Pat was happy with the dog after the semi, though he did say Peregrine was tired after the race.

"It was expected that he would be tired but he is in good form and he will have a fair bit of rest between now and the final," he said.

The latest betting on the final is: 9/4 Offshore Bound, 3 Peregrine Falcon, 7/2 Skywalker Rory, 4 Tyrur Tommy, 7 Jaytee Valencia, 8 Sidarian Vega.

What's in a name?

There were reports of some reasonable wagers being landed when Excessive (9.43) won an A5 contest at Shelbourne a few weeks back.

He was known as Slaneyside Elvis then and he certainly won like a dog that is capable of doing much better. He will be contesting an A3 semi-final this evening but can go in again for his new connections.

Jimmy Buckley hasn't enjoyed the best of luck with Jumeirah Millie (9.28) in recent outings but she should have her winning turn in the D2/3 contest where Ding Dong Dunne looks the main threat.

Irish Independent

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