Race to the bend crucial for Mind The Net
It has been a big year for racing at the Kingdom Stadium in Tralee and the last big event of the season, the Tullymurry Act & Slip The Lark Kingdom Derby, reaches the semi-final stage on Friday night.
The event is being sponsored by leading British owner Keith Allsopp and his Irish trainer Pat Buckley and the latter is represented by fastest first-round winner Mind The Net. This young dog produced the run of his life to date when clocking 28.27 at the weekend and he will need a performance of similar quality to survive the opening heat.
What is most striking about the make-up of the heat is the early pace involved and the race to the bend will be crucial. Fiery Splendour, Skywalker Jet, Brogan Stranger, Whatasetup and Parish Hero are all very accomplished trackers.
Owen McKenna, who handles Fiery Splendour, has a three-strong team, with Sidaz Eagle and Airforce Dynamo contesting the second heat. The favourite here will be Frances O'Donnell's Ardfert Thunder following his 28.44 victory, but he has a tricky draw with early-paced Riptide Movement on his inner. However, it's difficult to visualise Ardfert Thunder not being in Friday week's final.
Illustrating the camaraderie that exists between the sports of greyhound and horse racing, Saturday's meeting at Curraheen Park will be a fundraiser for the Injured Jockeys' Fund and the races on the card will include an IJF A2 575.
Larry Dunne's Slippery Lorenz (9.45) was slowly away last week, but ran on with real gusto when finishing second behind Goonthebro.
Tonight they meet again in the final of the Gain A3 Dual Distance at Shelbourne and the half-brother to Derby winner Slippery Robert can reverse the placings over the longer distance.
Graham Holland is enjoying a fantastic year and Mr Brightside (9.30) can be another for the Golden kennel in an A2 contest. Night Smoke is a danger.
Brian Collins is looking for a few entries for two €2,000-to- the-winner events which start on Saturday. Entries close today for the 12-dog ISM Open 575 and the 24-dog Two Wheel Training A1 (Bg) 525.
There will be no racing at Clonmel tomorrow night, but racing will instead be held on Saturday in addition to their normal Sunday meeting. The latter meeting will feature the final of the Tommy & Bridget Dunford Memorial A2.
The John McGee-trained Lookusup was yesterday withdrawn from the Ted Hegarty Marathon at Harold's Cross. He was due to run in the first semi-final on Friday.