Friday 19 January 2018

Tornado has finishing pace to blow St Leger rivals away


A good year turned into something very special for Blarney trainer John Linehan at the weekend when he enjoyed a fantastic big-race double as Droopys Twirl's dramatic Saturday night triumph was followed up by the victory of Cooly Colebe in the Munster Derby final at Clonmel on Sunday.

Reflecting on the hectic few days, Linehan commented: "It was brilliant. Weekends like that are hard to get and it keeps everybody happy. Kieran (Ryan) and Tony (Cafferkey) are two great guys and I was delighted for them".

Linehan has entered Droopys Twirl for the Boylesports International at Dundalk and is hoping she might get into the invitation contest.

"It would be an honour to go up there. If she doesn't get in we will give her extra time off and go straight for the Derby."

Meanwhile, the focus of the greyhound world now shifts to Limerick where the final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger will be run on Saturday.

Betting is very close between Judicial Academy and What A Tornado, with Paddy Power going 13/8 and 7/4 respectively. They do appear the most likely winners of the 550-yard Classic.

Michael O'Donovan's Judicial Academy was a finalist last year and he was fastest in the semi-finals in 28.56.

However, Paul Hennessy's What A Tornado made up an ocean of ground to finish a length-and-a-half second and is a threat to all.

The presence of local runners Varra Captain, Inislosky Magoo and Shelbourne Geoff will really boost the crowd.

The other classic in progress is the Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross, with the second round on Friday.

Fastest heat winner Momentinnewyork will face highly-rated trio Express Trend, Fleeting Image and Wonder Wag in what will be a very informative third heat.

It will be interesting to watch Olympic Stunner after her very promising run last weekend, while Leap Of Faith and Gold Ruby will bid to follow up their wins in Heat 2.

Despite a difficult trap draw, Helmet Boy has to be fancied in Heat 4.

Also on Friday, the Broadway Pet Foods Longford Derby reaches the quarter-finals stage, where Jackie Devine's new pace-setter Cian Jamie will have to face Ballymac Tipp and Video Queen in the last of the qualifiers.

Irish Independent

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