Tradition could be tested at Harold's Cross
There are two fine programmes on offer in Dublin tonight with Harold’s Cross hogging the limelight with the heats of the Track Bookmakers Marathon and the Frank Deegan Gold Collar sure to produce the thrills.
The 1,010-yard marathon is pretty unique in the Irish greyhound calendar and has become a standing dish of the greyhound year. This year’s event promises to be one of the best yet with the best stayers on either side of the Irish Sea in action.
It will be a surprise if Ballymac Bonnie (8.25), Fire Height Amy (8.40) and Ribble Atom (9.10) don’t prove much too good for their rivals but the likely outright favourite Tradition (8.55) may have to come from a long way back against last year’s Derby finalist Vulturi in the fourth heat. Best in the other heat can be the Michael English-trained Kearneys Lila (8.10) which looked powerful when winning over 1,000 yards at Kilkenny in mid-summer.
John McGee’s Skywalker Rossa (10.40) and Blonde Nipper (9.55) look the big fancies in the Gold Collar.
Best bets at Shelbourne can be Paul Hennessy’s Mynewbestfriend (8.28) and Graham Holland’s Clares Queen (10.28).
The leading 525-yard performers will be heading south-west this evening where the Vulturi @ Stud Kingdom Derby gets under way with a high-class entry
Likely favourite is the Pat Guilfoyle-trained Laughil Bolt (8.57), winner of the McKenna/Graham Plate last year and ideally housed out in six.
Nothing but his best will suffice with Black Tom and Curious Tom, in particular, always capable of putting in big runs.
Michael O’Donovan’s Skywalker Leaf (9.12) will also have his outright supporters and he is well housed on the rails in the second heat. Skip Glory, now with Owen McKenna, and Dolcino Flyer are obvious dangers.
Quietly (9.27) first announced his brilliance as a puppy at this track when setting a new track record and the subsequent Puppy Derby winner is difficult to oppose in the third heat where his early pace can prove too much for his rivals.
Pat Buckley’s Droopys Nine (9.57) possesses top early pace and the English Puppy Derby runner-up can make all in Heat 4 from his inside draw at the expense of Jacks Asuperstar and Sword Fern.
Another to previously show his liking for Tralee was Graham Holland’s Amazing Dude (10.12) and he can put his early pace to good effect to win the concluding heat.
There will be big Irish interest at Belle Vue tonight where the semi-finals of the ECC Timber-sponsored English Laurels and English Oaks will be run and you can follow the action on RPGTV (Sky 212).