Sidarian Vega heads Tralee market after scorching run
Graham Holland won last year's GMHD Juvenile Classic with Vans Viking and his Sidarian Vega has been established as a 4/1 favourite for this year's event after a hugely impressive 28.41 run in Friday's first round at Tralee.
Boasting a €15,000 winner's prize, the Tralee unraced event is the most valuable such competition in the country and the standard of racing in the opening session suggested this year's event could be the best ever staging.
Sidarian Vega represents the same team as Sidarian Blaze and they appear to have found a natural successor to this top-class tracker, which will still be a major force in the top events this season.
Vega is a son of Westmead Hawk and Manic Fantasy and he looks a very strong racer.
Holland had another heat winner in Hovex Prince, which is another member of that smashing litter by Brett Lee out of Kildallon Maid. He may have only clocked 29.08 but he had to overcome some hardship and won quite handily.
Owen McKenna, the man of the moment, had two impressive winners in Go Django and Farloe Rumble and the trainer expects improvement from both dogs, which clocked 28.51 and 28.45 in winning their heats.
Other trainers with strong hands in the competition are Liam Dowling and Pat Buckley and it will be a major surprise if their runners don't make a serious impact on the competition.
The best prices available after the first round are: 4 Sidarian Vega, 9/2 Farloe Rumble, 8 Go Django, 10 Lenson Walcott, Hovex Prince, Knight Invader, Lenson Premier; 12 bar.
The two big quarter-finals can be the first where Aguasantas, Lenson Walcott, Knight Invader and Farloe Rumble are among the runners, and Heat 2, featuring Lenson Premier, Go Django and Hovex Prince.
A number of tracks are finding it difficult to obtain the six dogs required for the Kirby Memorial Trial Stakes which are due to be run at many tracks countrywide this week.
These tracks include Tralee, Dundalk and Newbridge. The winners will each receive €370 plus free entry to the event at Limerick, which will carry a winner's prize of €80,000.
There will be a night of celebration at Newbridge on Friday when the local winners at the National Meeting in Clonmel will be paraded and presentations will be made to the connections.
On parade will be the Greyhound & Pet World Oaks winner Vienna Calling and the Horse & Jockey Kitty Butler winner Blue Abella.
Following the weekend trials there is widespread anticipation of the Dandelion Easter Cup, which closes at Shelbourne next Tuesday.