Girl power ready to reign in Puppy Derby
Only one bitch has won the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby in the last 22 years, but, with Killinan Baby and Shes A Terror in the line-up, that statistic could be doubled in this year's classic, which commences at Harold's Cross tomorrow.
Killinan Baby is a high-class tracker, but Pat Buckley's charge was out of luck when handed a trap-five draw in the final of the Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge. She did well to finish second there after missing the kick and she finds herself in trap five again when she contests the opening heat.
Meanwhile, Eamonn Cronin's Shes A Terror is returning from a seasonal break and will be having her first run since May when she goes in Heat 6. This is a terrific young prospect and if fully tuned up should be much too strong for her rivals.
An alarming statistic in the puppy classic is that of the 72 entries there are just three wide seeds and five middle seeds. It suggests a lack of confidence on the part of owners and trainers in the outside boxes!
Another interesting statistic is that there are no fewer than 22 September whelps in the entry. Normally the puppy classic would be restricted to October whelps and younger, but it was decided to give an extra month to boost the number of entries.
Other fancied runners in the opening round are Newlawn Impact, Fire Height Scot, El Flutter, Ardfert Rory, Aclamon Messi, Ecclestone, Vanrooney and Star Ace.
With the ETS Derby totally dominating the greyhound scene over the past six weeks, the Red Mills Laurels has crept up virtually unannounced and the entries will close on Monday with the draw for the first round to be made at 12 noon on Tuesday.
As of yesterday evening, only six entries were in the book and racing manager Brian Collins is a little concerned.
However, a large number of likely challengers will be running on Saturday night at Shelbourne and connections will likely wait to see how they come out of that meeting before committing to the Curraheen Park classic.
This year's Laurels will carry a winner's prize of €30,000 and the full first round of 12 heats will be run on Saturday week.
Following on immediately from the Derby at Shelbourne will be the Billy Mulvaney Snr & Jnr Memorial 600, an event won last year by Sparta Maestro.
The prize for the 24-dog event will be €7,500 and entries close on Tuesday with the first round taking place on Saturday week.