Monday 23 October 2017

Pearl can lead Holland Shelbourne hat-trick

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

There will be a festive atmosphere at some the tracks tonight, with stadia full of folk celebrating their work parties.

The serious greyhound folk will also be out in their droves and the highlight of the night will be the second round of the Gain Feeds Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne Park.

This event could yet develop into a Graham Holland benefit and he has five strong contenders remaining in the competition, though his runners clash in two of the heats. However, don't be surprised if he completes a hat-trick of red jacket successes with his powerful team.

The clear favourite to win the competition is Rockburst Pearl (9.45), which has won 14 of her 18 races in Ireland since returning from a racing stint in the UK earlier this year. It is a fantastic record and, on recent evidence, she is going from strength to strength. She goes from the inside trap in Heat 2 and looks a winner from the hugely promising Tyrur Rosaleen.

Pearl is owned by Ian and Nicola McGinnis, who are also represented by Rockburst Beryl (10.15), which will wear the red in Heat 3. She has only recently returned from a near five-month absence with a muscle problem but is improving with each outing and looks almost back to her best.

That might suffice in Heat 4, where Maddies Dream reads the major threat.

Sidarian Lisa (10.0) will be the trap one Holland runner in Heat 3, with kennel companion Brenval Star next door and they can combine to keep the opposition, led by Razldazl Amy and Jaytee Freddy, at bay.

Martin Fahy's Flaming Honey is a likely favourite for the first heat but Eleanor Turner's Ketch Up Bell (9.30) is a strong tracker that can break faster than she did last week and could set up a four-timer for red in the heats.

Mooncoin trainer Peter Cronin has had his best year to date and he can see his Holycross Gerry (9.0) reap the rewards of his consistency by winning an A1 575. This dog has mixed with the best and was a finalist in the Gain Select Stakes at Waterford.

He looks well treated here and appeals as one of the bets of the night.

Another hugely consistent tracker is Larry Mason's Airlie Dazzler (10.30) and he can move down from his Night of Stars winning distance of 750 yards to win the concluding 575 from a favourable draw.

Saturday Yankee

All Shelbourne

Holycross Gerry 9.0

Ketch Up Bell 9.30

Rockburst Beryl 10.15

Airlie Dazzler 10.30

Injured Jockeys

Tonight's meeting at Curraheen Park will be a fundraiser for the Cork and Waterford Injured Jockeys Fund.

All the leading southern point-to-point riders will be present, including Colman Sweeney, Richie Harding, Damien Murphy, Ciaran Fennessy and Johnny Burke.

Irish Independent

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