Razldazl Will to set Grand National standard
It is rare indeed for hurdle racing to grab the greyhound headlines in Ireland, but the semi-finals of the Centra Harold's Cross Grand National at the Dublin venue this evening represents the most significant racing in the country today.
The first-round heats were run on Tuesday, with Razldazl Will the undoubted star as he won by a wide margin in 29.06.
He has half a second in hand of his rivals in the first semi and it will be a major surprise if he fails to win.
What particularly impressed about Dolores Ruth's dog was his slick jumping, and Razldazl Will (9.18) can lead all the way from Burgess Special.
Paul Hennessy's Liveanddangerous (9.32) has the pace to win the other heat and, while he gets the vote, his jumping doesn't inspire confidence.
On the supporting card Tommy Bolton has prospects of a double with the ultra-consistent Head For Fame (9.04) and Fahy Legend (10.14).
Elsewhere this evening the semi-finals of the Mary Ramsbottom Memorial will be run at Kilkenny, while the second round of the Farloe Calvin Stake heads the Tralee programme.
Most of Ireland's top young prospects are in the line-up for the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake, which will commence at Shelbourne tomorrow.
No ante-post betting has been advertised but one presumes that Newlawn Impact would be the popular choice for the honour of being favourite for the reduced 36-dog event.
Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Luke finished fourth in a troublesome heat of the TAB Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park yesterday.
In a race where virtually all the runners were in difficulty from the very start of the race, the inside runner Proven Maddy ran out the convincing winner.
The finishing order in the heat was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. What odds about that happening in an eight-dog contest?
Paradise Madison has been retired to stud for at least the winter months after sustaining an injury in a trial.
He will miss the Night of Stars and is taking up stud duties at Michael Dunne's Frightful Flash Kennels. Owner Dave Buckley reports he may come back racing next year but that depends on how popular he proves at stud.
Rachel Wheeler's Laurels hero Lassa Expedition dislocated a toe at Waterford last Saturday and will be out of action until the spring.
He was the only exempted runner for the Night of Stars 525 on November 23.