Monday 23 October 2017

Greyhound Racaing: Borna Gem can shine brightest in Oaks semis

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The Irish Greyhound Board have announced an initiative which will see the standard of Thursday and Saturday night racing at Shelbourne Park improved to make the action more attractive to new national and international outlets.

A trial period will commence next Wednesday, which will see the trainer of each greyhound racing at Shelbourne receive a payment of €25 per dog. From July 8 this payment will apply only to Thursday and Saturday racing. This new payment will be conditional on adhering to a new set of racing protocols which will be designed "to further increase levels of integrity and fairness to protect all stakeholders and increase transparency."

If this initiative is successful it will result in much-improved income for the industry and, in turn, a significant increase in prize money.

Meanwhile, on the racing front it will be a major surprise if Borna Gem (10.0) doesn't go off favourite to win the Sporting Press Irish Oaks next weekend after negotiating her path through the first semi-final this evening at Shelbourne.

Ruairi Dwan's bitch has been stunning as she has posted times of 28.28, 28.29 and 28.22, following a warm-up 28.24. If any of her rivals are to beat her tonight, they will likely have to better the 28.20 mark. Borna can lead early-paced rivals Clydal Daisey and Badminton Girl, while even strong stayers Droopys Adelaide, Royal Diva and Highview Beauty will have little chance of overhauling her. Borna is banker material.

If Declan Byrne's Melodys Diamond (10.15) repeats her slick starting of recent weeks, she will win the second semi, but a trap 6 draw is a worry. Her main rivals Airforce Diva and Locnamon Bridie are well housed on the inside and the big three can progress with Melodys leading the way.

At Wimbledon, the third round of the English Derby will feature nine Irish-trained greyhounds and we would hope to achieve at least six qualifiers for the quarters-finals on Tuesday.

Tyrur Sugar Ray, Kereight King and Droopys Jet can make it from the first heat, while Ballymac Vic looks banker material in Heat 2 and the Hennessy duo of Priceless Pilot and Ringtown Snowy can also make it through.

Farloe Buddy and Stonepark Crash could ensure qualification from Heat 6 with a slick start, while an inside draw gives Money Talks a real chance in a hot Heat 7.

SATURDAY YANKEE

Tyrur Sugar Ray 7.34 Wimbledon

Ballymac Vic 7.49 Wimbledon

Borna Gem 10.0 Shel Pk

North Bound 10.40 Shel Pk

GO FOR VALUE

Money Talks (9.04) had the luck of the race last week in the English Derby heats, but, at 7/1, has the ability to win tonight's Heat 7 with a good start. He has been sore since last week, but is reported fine by Paul Hennessy.

Worth consideration at 7/1.

Irish Independent

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