Dog Chat: Lar and Joe turn puppy season into private duel
When ante-post favourites Kerrydale Lar and Lolos Joe go to traps for the first semi-final of the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross on Friday, they will be clashing for the fifth time in seven weeks.
The puppy season is turning into something of a personal battle.
Lolos Joe, which is trained by John McGee for former Roscommon footballer Ronnie Craven, has won only one of the previous four meetings -- a short-head decision in the Texacloth Puppy Derby final at Newbridge. Just a neck separated the pair last weekend.
Brian McCann's Kerrydale has the advantage of a trap-six draw but the race also includes Bling Bling Dano, which was just a neck adrift of Lolos on Friday last, and heat winner Asisola.
The other semi-final should go to Dream Walker, particularly if Melodys Royal gives as much ground away with his wide running as he did last weekend.
Pat Buckley yesterday reported that Tullymurry Act is in flying form following his very fast run in the second round of the Pat Hennerty Sales Irish Laurels at the weekend.
But he is also aware of the task that lies ahead in the last quarter-final next Saturday when the opposition will include favourite Tyrur Enda, the unbeaten Owen McKenna pair Pablo Supreme and Tubbertelly Dubh, St Louis Spirit and big finishing Croom Star.
This race could fashion the whole complexion of the Classic, as at least one of the top fancies will bite the dust.
Also on Saturday night, the final of the Agri Store Fair Warrior Sprint will be run at Mullingar and the one to beat is surely Bunlahy Brett. Last Saturday's semi-final victory was his first sprint win but he has really settled down to two-bend racing.