Greyhounds: Bray to make late Easter Cup call on injury-hit Paradise
It's going to be a 'will he, won't he' week for supporters of flying tracker Paradise Madison in advance of Saturday's second-round heats of the Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park.
Navan trainer Ollie Bray has confirmed that the dog faces a battle to be fit for his heat three engagement.
"If the race was run tonight he would be a non-runner, but he is having treatment and no decision will be made until he has been fully checked out on Friday," said Bray.
The hugely talented Paradise Madison is officially the fastest greyhound ever over 525 yards in this country, but he has been plagued by injury since his early racing days.
Bray describes his ailment as a "new injury" and doesn't expect it to present any long-term problems.
In the betting lists Paradise is a 4/1 joint favourite alongside Ballymac Vic, with Kereight King and Tyrur Sugar Ray (8/1) the only other contenders in single figures.
Meanwhile, there is bad news of Fraser Black's brilliant young prospect Ashford Castle after his dreadful fall at the first bend in the first semi-final of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick on Saturday.
Black yesterday confirmed that Ashford Castle broke a front leg and will never race again. "Brian Jones has operated on him and saved his life," he said. "We'll probably put him on a bitch or two of ours when he has recovered sufficiently."
Ashford Castle made a huge early impact when winning the Red Mills Unraced at Clonmel and was joint favourite for the Kirby Memorial prior to last Saturday's incident.
Black's other runner Plus Five was also knocked over at the same bend in the second semi-final but he is okay.
The favourite to land the €80,000 prize is the Owen McKenna-trained Roxholme Bully, which is best priced 5/4 and is ideally housed in the inside trap.
There will be racing at Kilkenny and Shelbourne tonight and best bet at the latter meeting can be John Linehan's promising young bitch BROADSTRAND XOLA (9.45) on the evidence of her running at Tralee.
The final of the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake, the world's richest greyhound race, will be broadcast on Saturday night between 9.45 and 10.15 on RTE News Now, available via Saorview (Channel 6) and UPC (Channel 200) in Ireland and online via iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
The Waterford card postponed last Friday night will be staged this Friday. The Track Supporters' Club night will now be staged on Friday, April 12. The club will pick up the tab for all the entry fees on the night, while the eight races will have enhanced prize money, sponsored by the Duggans' Suirview Kennels.