Saturday 20 January 2018

Vega can take Tralee battle of the giants

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

Michael Fortune

Since its inception in 2007 the GMHD.ie Juvenile Classic has really captured the public imagination and the ninth running of the valuable event is reaching an exciting climax at Tralee, where the semi-finals will be run this evening in front of an assured big attendance.

Racegoers at all tracks will be able to follow the action courtesy of Inter Track.

The first semi-final, in particular, promises to be a terrific contest with the four overall favourites all drawn together.

In the two rounds to date the stars of the competition have been Sidarian Vega and Farloe Rumble and the draw has put them together, but the picture has been complicated by the presence of Ballymac Matt and Coolavanny Kerry in traps one and two respectively.

The dash to the bend will be vital and Graham Holland's Sidarian Vega (9.43) comes out marginally in front of Farloe on the sectionals to date. That may decide it in his favour.

With all the favourites engaged in the first heat, the second semi will be seen as a lesser affair. That may not necessarily be so and Holland again has prospects of landing this qualifier with the well-housed Hovex Prince (9.58).

A member of a leading letter, Hovex Prince has encountered plenty of traffic problems in his two runs to date and will appreciate an inside draw for the first time.

Peter Cronin's Tynwald Rodney should also prefer his draw in two, having been in stripes on his previous outings. John Franklin's Clondoty Alex was a good winner last week while both Coolavanny Slip and Aguasantas would prefer inside draws to their outside slots.

It can be close but Hovex Prince is worth a risk.

The concluding A1 at Tralee sees the Neilus O'Connell-trained Knocktoo Kingo (10.28) drawn in one and this should enable him to scorch to the bend in front and to stay there.

Kirby boost

The Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick has received another boost from its sponsors JP and Noreen McManus and it now means that the owners of all runners in the competition will be winners.

The latest initiative announced for the Kirby Memorial, which begins on Saturday of next week, is that all dogs eliminated from the first-round heats will receive a consolation prize of €100.

Big meeting

Over 100 people turned out for the Public Meeting in the Horse And Jockey Hotel on Wednesday night to discuss the recently introduced EU Regulations regarding the transport of greyhounds between countries.

A representative committee was selected to meet with the Department of Agriculture to discuss these worrying new implications.

Irish Independent

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