Saturday 20 January 2018

O'Kane set for Cromac Shelbourne double

Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Belfast owner Jim O'Kane normally only keeps two dogs at any one time and he will bring both on the journey to Shelbourne tonight when half-sisters Cromac Belle and Cromac Enako bid to complete a family double.

Cromac Belle (9.58) has won the Gain Christmas Oaks around this circuit and followed up by winning the Suirview Kennels Open Bitch Stake at Clonmel. She has retained her form tremendously and can land the AAO Open Bitch contest.

She again meets the Clonmel runner-up Leeview Lady as well as the ideally dawn Burnt Oak Becky but can lead them a merry dance.

Cromac Belle's younger half- sister Cromac Enako (9.43) has really taken to Shelbourne where her record now reads four from four and she is still in A1 company. She has sizzling early pace and this can enable her to take the bend and then contain the likely challenges from Slippery Fran and Nushkas Sean Og.

Last week, Crompaun Jamesy got up to pip Painstown Chief by a short head over 550 yards and they clash again in the concluding AAO 550.

Crompaun may struggle to get the same run at the leaders this time and the vote goes to the Paul Hennessy trained Painstown Chief (10.28) to gain amends.

One I particularly fancy on the card is the Pat Guilfoyle trained Laughil Duke (9.28) in an A1 550.

The half-brother to Derby hero Laughil Blake was a real eye-catcher in both his outings last year and if he can be a little smarter at the traps, then he might not be running many more races in A1 company.

Cork sprinters

The major competition in progress tonight is the Greyhound & Pet World Supersprint at Curraheen and it could well be a real trial for the English Derby.

A few that might well figure on the trip to Wimbledon are Farloe Blitz, Ivy Hill Oscar and Kilmore Drifter.

Farloe Blitz (9.49) looks like being a member of the Owen McKenna team across the water and his 17.40 trial suggests that this early pacer can make a strong bid for this prize.

Pat Curtin's Kilmore Drifter (8.19) returns from a lay-off but his Dublin running suggests he could be special over this distance.

Blake trial Irish Derby hero Laughil Blake performed very satisfactorily in his 525 trial at Shelbourne on Thursday and trainer Michael O'Donovan is now hoping that the run will have brought him spot on for his Dandelion Easter Cup challenge next week.

Another leading Easter Cup fancy Droopys Nidge will be one of the dogs given trials before racing at Shelbourne.

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