Greyhound Racing: King must shoot from trap in Gold Cup loaded gun
When the draw for the semi-finals of the SIS Live Gold Cup was made last weekend, the demons must have had a hand.
The second heat is a loaded gun with any of the six contestants well deserving of a place in next week's final at Shelbourne Park.
The favourite will be new sensation Kereight King, but Aidan Denton's dog must do everything absolutely right if he is to assure himself of a vital clear run.
The main problem for him is that, as an inside runner, he is drawn in trap 3 and has two flying early pacers on his inside and buckets of pace in all of the boxes.
On his inside are Leger runner-up Priceless Sky and Laurels finalist Ashfield Impact, while on the outside are Night of Stars hero Ardfert Thunder and the speedy duo of Hot Pursuit and Stay Thirsty.
My three for the final are Priceless Sky, Kereight King and Ardfert Thunder, but in which order?
The opening heat is slightly easier and here we have the first-round star Camas, which has made a terrific start to the year for Owen McKenna. He has the ideal Trap 6 draw and a good draw could set him up.
Cabra Millie, Isabels Boy and Money Talks represent the main threats, but Camas is in terrific form.
On the Shelbourne supporting card, strong cases can be made for BEANY TUNES (7.50), BUDDY MINOR (8.32) and YONKO (10.30).
Following last night's action in the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake, there will be expectations of more of the same when the remaining seven first-round heats are run at Limerick tonight.
It could be a great session for McKenna, who must be entertaining strong hopes of a heat treble with his three likely favourites FARLOE BUDDY (8.25), ROXHOLME BULLY (8.55) and FEAR BIG STAR (10.25).
All the McKenna runners have plenty of experience of the track and have trialled exceptionally well.
Back in November Farloe Buddy won in 28.26 around Shelbourne and second then was AIRPORT CAPTAIN, which appeals as one of the best bets of the evening in the opening heat (8.12).
Race of the night could be the repeat of the Clonmel Unraced final showdown between Ashford Castle and Glenanore Dancer and the trap draw could enable the latter to gain revenge.
John McGee's brilliant bitch BULMERS BABY (8.55) looks banker material in the opening heat, while Paul Hennessy's BAREFOOT ALLSTAR (9.10) and Graham Holland's record holder LEEVIEW DAVE (9.25) can win the other heats.
BORNA GEM and COLLEGE MAYBE should be banker material in the heats of the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles.
Beany Tunes 7.50 Shel Pk
Airport Captain 8.12 Limerick
Buddy Minor 8.32 Shel Pk
Bulmers Baby 8.55 Curraheen Pk
Pick 6 jackpot
The Intertrack pool, which operates on races 7, 8 and 9 at Limerick and 10, 11 and 12 at Shelbourne will be guaranteed to a minimum €15,000.