Thursday 14 December 2017

Greyhound racing: Virus threatens Skywalker Puma's Easter Cup bid

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Derby champion Skywalker Puma faces a race against time to be fit for the College Causeway/Killahan Phanter Easter Cup after being struck by a virus last weekend which ruled out plans to give him a trial at Shelbourne on Saturday night.

Matt O'Donnell yesterday reported that the dog "was completely off his grub for three or four days."

The trainer added: He lost 3lbs in weight and it took a fair bit out of him. I will now have to give him a few gallops to see how he is, so a decision on the Easter Cup will have to be delayed."

The Easter Cup will start on March 23 and the O'Donnell kennels will be well represented with or without Skywalker Puma.

Ardfert Thunder, which contests the SIS Live Gold Cup final on Saturday night, will be a leading fancy and the team will also include Skywalker Legend and possibly Refuge Of Sinner.

Meanwhile, O'Donnell is confident about Ardfert Thunder's prospects in Saturday's final.

"If I made the draw myself I couldn't have done a better job for the dog. If I can get him out of the boxes he will have a huge chance and he is a very big price".

Two dogs that won't be taking part in the Easter Cup or any other Irish event for that matter are Puppy Derby winner Razldazl Luke and his kennel companion Razldazl Apollo. Dolores Ruth reports that the two dogs will be travelling to Australia on May 12 to continue their racing careers.

Luke is a particularly promising dog and is one of the best greyhounds ever to be sent from this country to Australia. It will be most interesting to see how he settles Down Under and how he copes with the eight-dog racing.

Ruth is also planning to send three young dogs to Australia. These are members of the Razldazl Billy/Razldazl Pru litter and are well regarded by the trainer.

While some tracks have already resumed their full schedule, a few more are ready to step back to top speed.

Wednesday night racing resumes at Shelbourne on March 20 and the Thursday racing will return at Curraheen Park the following night.

Number of the day

20,000 The guaranteed pool in euro for the Pick 6 Intertrack on Saturday. The jackpot will operate on the usual races at Limerick and Shelbourne.

Bet of the day

Kilkenny is the only stadium in action tonight and the final of the Supporters' Club N1/2 sees the two Dunphy bitches DROOPYS VALERIE and Droopys Keisha (8.48) in action. Valerie can make it four from four.

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