Dog chat: English Derby raiders in fine fettle
Without a doubt, the major complaint in Irish greyhound racing has concerned the traps which have militated against runners in boxes one and six.
However, the welcome news yesterday was that new starting traps will be installed in the next few weeks for the 525 and 550 yards at Shelbourne.
Work will commence on the installation of these traps on Sunday, June 26, the morning after the Irish Oaks final. They will be in use on Wednesday, June 29 and so will be well tested by the time the Town View Foods Champion Stakes commences on July 16.
Meanwhile, both Dolores Ruth and Paul Hennessy were very upbeat as they reported on the condition of their two finalists in Saturday's Williamhill.com English Derby final at Wimbledon.
The surprising feature following the semis is that Taylors Sky is a best price 7/4 favourite for the decider, while Barefoot Bullet is on offer at 3/1 and Razldazl George at 7/2.
On Saturday last, Barefoot had to battle his way around the bend and still ran Taylors to three parts of a length. Razldazl walked out, but took his opportunity when it came to grab victory in the other heat.
Ruth, who won the Derby previously with Shanless Slippy in 1996 and was unlucky with the hot favourite Toomaline Jack last year, reports 'George' to be "in super form." She said: "He ran great on Saturday after his start and the draw has worked out well for him."
Hennessy will be bidding for a first success in the classic, with Barefoot Bullet his fourth finalist. "He is in great form," Hennessy said. "He is really well and has come through his races in great shape. He is nice and fresh in himself."
The classic action will continue on the home scene with the Sporting Press Irish Oaks third round at Shelbourne, the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick and the Bettor.com Northern Ireland Derby at Drumbo Park all on Saturday night.
In addition, the semi-finals of the Paddy O'Sullivan Race of Champions will be staged at Tralee on Friday.