Sidarian in position to blaze trail for Holland
When the draw was made for tonight's semi-finals of the Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake at Shelbourne, the favourites were all grouped in the opening heat – and a good trap draw made Graham Holland's Sidarian Blaze the leading contender to win this Classic trial.
Sidarian Blaze (10.0) will wear the red jacket and, given his outstanding breaking ability and early pace, he is taken to grab a vital first-bend lead and power on to victory.
His case is strengthened by the positioning of Focus On Carlow in trap two; his tendency to move wide from traps will ensure that the favourite will have the freedom of the inside.
In the circumstances we much consider the possibility of Deanridge Pennys and Tyrur Arthur encountering crowding in the early stages.
Big runs are anticipated from first-round star Jackal Frampton and Kingsmill Sky, but a firm vote goes to Sidarian Blaze.
Razldazl Pacino is sure to be strongly fancied for the second heat, but he will have a tough job trying to clear Coppeen Maeve to the bend and here the choice is Declan Byrne's Millies Tavern (10.15) to lead them home.
Jaytee Seville is also expected to make the final.
A slow start didn't help Mind The Net (9.55) in the first round of the Vetsearch Open 525 at Limerick, but he can make amends in the first semi-final.
Pat Buckley's charge ran on extremely well from a poor position then and he has shown that he can go up much faster. Burgess Four and Zulu Panther look serious rivals.
The JJ Fennelly/Sheila Spillane team won all three heats in the first round.
Their Burgess Four will be strongly fancied in the opening heat, but they look to have the big two in the second heat in Burgess Rumble (10.10) and Whatasetup.
The inside draw can swing this for Burgess Rumble..
Tomorrow's Clonmel meeting (7.30) is a really classy programme as it features the semi-finals of the Red Mills Open Unraced Stake and the Greyhound & Petworld Open 790.
Denis O'Malley's Airfield Paudie (9.15) has already caught the eye in the Unraced and he can repeat last week's victory over Cabra Sue in the first heat.
His brilliant early pace can see him assume command, while Droopys Oddysey is also highly likely to be involved in the business end.
Liam Butler's Cahernaheena Lad (9.30) can make his early pace tell in the second heat and he can reverse last week's placings with the well-drawn Move Over Hughie.
Brendan Cullen is bringing his bitch Shanless Becky (8.15) down from Tyrone for the heats of the 790 and she looks banker material.
In the other heat Sidarian Lisa (8.30) can make a winning debut over the distance at the expense of Kathleens Holly.
Tyrur Lazarus 7.50 Shelbourne
Satin Romeo 8.04 Shelbourne
Sidarian Rhythm 10.0 Shelbourne
Burgess Rumble 10.10 Limerick