Saturday 16 December 2017

Dog chat: Dream alive for O'Neill in Laurels

Tom O'Neill must have experienced heartbreak when Dream Walker missed out on an Irish Derby success by only a matter of centimetres last month.

But the Castletownroche trainer is now entertaining hopes of gaining ample compensation in the Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park.

They love nothing more in Cork than a local winner of the Laurels and Dream Walker is the only all-Cork contender in contention, being owned by Glanmire's John Egan.

Dream Walker is now the favourite for the Classic at a best price 7/2, taking over at the top from Rockchase Bullet, which appears to be finding it difficult to adjust to the Curraheen circuit, despite turning in a couple of tremendous performances.

It could be argued that, of the top fancies, Dream Walker is the best drawn with an inside slot in the second heat. But it's a very tough contest, with Happy Hermit, St Louis Charlie, Deerfield Music, Razldazl Rioga and Vito Dawn in opposition but the draw gives him a major advantage.

The opening heat is another high-quality affair but, again, the draw gives the inside threesome of Leeview Jet, Rockchase Bullet and Deerfield Sings a perceived advantage and they could well advance to the final.

The semi-finals of the Mannion Builders Supplies Open 750 will be run on Saturday at Shelbourne. The star of the first round was Denis Kiely's six-bend debutant Shaneboy Fantasy as he clocked a smart 41.59 in gaining a runaway victory.

Shaneboy's big test will come over the next two outings. He should go clear in the second semi-final but he has a number of big finishers to keep at bay, headed by Welesbourne Dan and Droopys Casanova.

Irish Independent

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