Dog chat: Milldean Panther ruled out of hunt for Easter Cup
Greyhound fans will be disappointed to learn that Milldean Panther will not be taking his place in the Easter Cup, which starts at Shelbourne on Saturday.
John O'Flynn Snr reported yesterday: "I am just not happy with him. He is still sore to the touch in the back and it's not himself. It wouldn't be fair to the dog to run but I would be hoping that he might be back to his best in order to have a race on semi-final or final night".
O'Flynn has decided to run his other young star Dear Pa, which was originally unlikely to go for the event for which entries close tomorrow morning. This early pacer should be ideally suited by the longer run to the bend afforded by the 550-yard trip.
While Milldean is an absentee, his SIS Live Gold Cup conqueror Piercestown Sand will be in the field. Owner Shanks Whelan had originally said he would give the dog a break but has had a change of mind and he will now be one of the major fancies for the event.
Among those competing are last year's Irish Derby hero and Dog of the Year Razldazl George, his kennel companions Razldazl Dmagio and Razldazl Will, Derby final favourite Rockchase Bullet, Subway Gerry, Pepsi Billy, Tibetan Skies and Pablo Supreme.
The Easter Cup apart, this is a huge week on the greyhound front and it kicks off on Friday at Tralee with the eagerly awaited final of the €15,000 Gallivan Murphy Hooper Dolan Juvenile Classic, where local hope Ballymac Vic will be the favourite to claim the prize for Liam Dowling.
This flying early pacer should just clear Graham Holland's Catching Dreams to the bend but Owen McKenna's Airforce Diva will be a danger to both with his terrific finishing burst.
The final of the Kudos Supersprint at Curraheen on Saturday should be a real thriller with those early-paced powerhouses Cambushmore and Shoemakers Lad in opposition. Take your pick but Shoemakers is clearly the one to beat.
It is also semi-final time in the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar, with Dynamic Trend the new top choice. She can take the opening semi, while Subway Ruth could see off Smart Fantasy in the second heat.