Greyhound Racing: Calvin storms to top of Sprint Cup market
The action was fast and furious in the opening round of the two-bend classic, the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup, at Dundalk and the sponsors have settled on Farloe Calvin as their 8/1 favourite in advance of Saturday's second round.
Farloe Calvin is trained by Owen McKenna for Paul Ellis from Derry, and he had signalled his intentions with a 21.22 trial on his first look at the circuit. He was most impressive in the first round as he shot clear from traps and raced home in 21.11 for the unique 400 yards sprint.
The time was the fastest of the round, and proving how unpredictable breeding lines can be was the fact that Calvin's litter sister Handonthefan was a strong-finishing second in the BEAM 1,000 at Kilkenny on Sunday night.
Just a spot slower than Farloe Calvin in the opening round was Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Rioga, which is two years older but still as sprightly as ever. Rioga has drawn the tougher heat in the second round when he will have to get around fellow heat winners Leeview Dave and Leave It Out to the bend.
Reigning champion Cambushmore was also most impressive last weekend, but two winners that caught the eye were Pat Guilfoyle's Bypass Blackie and Seamus Graham's Mesedo Black. Bypass Blackie has drawn probably the hardest race in the second round, with Cambushmore, last year's runner-up Hather Ski and English Derby finalist Bittles Bar all in the line-up in Heat 4.
The Bar One Racing betting is: 8 Farloe Calvin; 10 Bypass Blackie; 12 Cambushmore, Leeview Dave, Razldazl Rioga, Mesedo Black; 14 Ballymac Matthew; 16 Hather Ski; 20 Ballyhill Sub, Bittles Bar; 25 bar.
Sawpit ruled out
A leading British fancy has dropped out of the ETS Irish Derby picture with the news that Sawpit Sensation will not be travelling over. He had a fit last weekend and is on a course of antibiotics.
The veterinary team has ruled out an Irish raid but early signs are that a number of dogs will be coming across.
One of these is the Paul Sallis-trained Bold Three, which is booked in for a trial at Shelbourne tomorrow evening. The Derby will start two weeks tomorrow.
There will be a €4,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Jackpot pool at Shelbourne this evening which should spice up the midweek fixture.
Winners aren't exactly jumping out of the graded card but General Wolf (8.45) could be one in the first leg. Now trained by Graham Holland, he won his only outing at Longford by the proverbial mile and has trialled nicely.
In the third leg, the top two could be Business Bandit and Gurtmullen (9.15), while Morell Minx and Knocktopher Abby (9.30) should be very much involved in the final leg.