Greyhound Racing: Billy to face Bridie in pick of Laurels heats
The highlight of the opening-round draw for the Red Mills Irish Laurels is Heat 11, where 2012 champion Knockglass Billy is up against Oaks heroine Locnamon Bridie, Isabels Boy, Badminton Girl, Castlelyons Zach and Refuge Of Sinner.
The first concern for Knockglass Billy is Isabels Boy on his immediate inside in trap one.
When the ante-post betting is released, expect Droopys Jet to sit on top. The brilliant tracker posted a sensational 28.03 in a recent solo trial at Curraheen Park. He has been handed a relatively easy task in Heat 2, where 2012 finalist Boherna House stands out as the main threat.
Fresh from her victory in the ETS Consolation Derby, Borna Gem will be warm order in the final heat of the round, although a trap-six draw is less than ideal. The presence of the hugely fast Brogan Stranger in trap five adds intrigue.
All 12 opening-round heats will be run at Curraheen Park on Saturday night, with four to qualify from each contest.
Ian Reilly has a great record in the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross and he is back in contention this year, with his Droopys Daylewis quoted the general 10/1 favourite.
Daylewis is a son of Droopys Scolari and Droopys Diva and has won three of his four races.
In the first round he displayed a lovely dash of pace to lead before the third bend and then won easily in 28.71. He can again win Heat 7 in the second round on Friday.
The 11/1 second favourite is Eamonn Cronin's Shes A Terror and she could be the one to beat in this Classic. She was picked up in the first round by Mays Necklace but it must be taken into account that she is only coming back from being in-season. She appears to have a handy task in Heat 4, where Noelles Pirlo is an absentee.
The best prices available on the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby are: 10/1 Droopys Daylewis; 11/1 Shes A Terror; 12/1 Ecclestone, Newlawn Impact; 14/1 Aclamon Messi, Killinan Baby; 16/1 Dodging Bullets, Sharp Bolt, Star Ace, Vanrooney; 20/1 Chicago, Mind The Net; 25/1 Aclamon Rossi, Ardfert Rory, Cuil Cool, El Flutter, Mustang Messi, Turning Tables; 33/1 Blenheim Tricks, Indigojack.
It will be the usual nine-race card at Shelbourne this evening, with a couple of races over the six-bend distance.
Karol Ramsbottom's Garryglass Jerry (9.30) shaped with promise last week when second and is drawn to run a big one in the Dandelion Club D2/3. Over the same trip Maureen Lawlor's Lingstown Rocket (8.15) will have a bit to do at half-way but her finish could carry her to victory.
The final of the Craven Pavement Services A5 features a few nice puppies and Martin Lanney's Droopys Rapid (9.0) may get the better of the well-drawn Riverside Breda.