Tuesday 12 December 2017

McKenna rules Calvin out of tilt at Derby

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

OWEN McKENNA'S team for the English Derby has been reduced from three to two with the withdrawal yesterday morning of Farloe Calvin due to a tendon problem.

McKenna travelled over to Wales on Wednesday night to check on the dogs, which are based in the Keightley kennel.

"There was no way Farloe Calvin could run. We might have got away with Saturday's race but he would not have been okay for next Tuesday.

"He needs rest now and we will see where we go," reported the trainer.

The draw for Heat 6 now reads: 1 Metro Jack, 2 Vacant, 3 Ballymac Loch, 4 Eric Court, 5 Brother John, 6 El Salvador.

Top sprinters

We're heading into another hugely busy weekend for Irish greyhounds on both sides of the Irish Sea. Tonight, the main focus of attention will be on Harold's Cross and Kilkenny, where a few valuable competitions reach the semi-final stage.

The sprinters will provide the open fare at the Cross, with the semi-finals of the Peggy Kelly's Islandbridge Sprint the feature. Both semi-finals look competitive and picking a likely winner of either heat is not an easy task.

The star of the opening round was Crown Champ, but he has been handed a less than ideal draw in the stripes in the second heat.

He clearly has the quality to overcome a bad draw, but needs to be at his sharpest in the opening yards, with the likes of Isabels Boy, Mesedo Black and Darfin Dancer among his rivals.

Marcella Clyne's Clydal Jack could make the most of his inside draw to win the other semi.

Instead we will focus our search for winners on the remaining 10 races.

Two that appeal are Tommy Bolton's consistent Iceroad Trucker (10.10) and John Donnelly's Clonkeen Billy (9.55). The former has been handed a perfect draw in trap six and looks a certain leader.

Clonkeen Billy is a progressive young dog and should he avoid traffic problems could come home in front in the second semi-final of the DGOBA Dublin Cup.

Unraced action

At Kilkenny the fireworks will be provided by the younger generation in the second-round heats of the Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake.

There was precious little between the four heat winners last week, with Paul Hennessy's Barefoot Apollo the fastest with a 29.06 run.

He benefited from crowding on his outside then but could have a tricky task in clearing the likes of Farloe Blitz, Jaytee Madrid and Valentia Slate to the corner.

McKenna's Farloe Blitz (8.48) is back in the red jacket which he wore to victory in the first round and that may decide it.

McKenna has the unbeaten Quietly (9.0) bidding to make it three from three in the second semi-final.

He goes from six and the fast starter could have a real buckle with Paradise Maverik.

Irish Independent

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