Bale To Create More Magical Moments At Shelbourne Park?
It might only be Thursday, but the excitement is very much evident for the third round of the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby at HQ this weekend.
All eight heats have now been priced with Magical Bale the shortest priced favourite of the night at 4/5.
Patrick Guilfoyle’s wonderful servant is heading for his 17th victory on Saturday wearing the red jacket in heat seven. He loves the inside and won the first round from this very same box in 29.62. He qualified last week after leading from a tricky draw of trap four but was headed down the back straight and well beaten by Killmacdonagh.
He has his box tonight so it should be a matter of how far this English and Irish derby professional will win by. Newinn Lester for Graham Holland is the 2/1 second favourite with Our Surprise at 10/3.
There are only so many superlatives you can use to describe Killmacdonagh.
Kieran Lynch is in flying form with his kennel having a double last weekend at his local Curraheen Park but the journey up to the big smoke this weekend looks set to be worthwhile. Killmacdonagh is 5/4 favourite against the boys here from trap two and it’s good value. The 2019 Oaks champ has to face five lads here, but it shouldn’t pose a problem for her. Ballymac Cooper is the 2/1 second favourite and looks to be the only one who might chase her down, should she lead.
Her performance in the second round was one of the highlights in the derby so far as she cruised by Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko effortlessly. Form can be temporary in greyhound racing but class is permanent and Killmacdonagh should progress to the quarter-finals.
Wolfe is 5/4 to redeem himself in heat five. His victory in the second round was sensational. He clocked the fastest time of the competition so far in 29.22 by twelve lengths. Then he came out in the second round and finished second to Toolmaker Me Dad in 29.46 having a clear run more a less. It’s rare to see a greyhound win every heat for six weeks though and Wolfe has a chance here to qualify to the next round from trap three.
Grangeview ten runs from trap two and his 11/8 looks a nice bet. Another star for Patrick Guilfoyle, this Produce Stakes winner is the fastest dog to the third bend in this derby with sectionals of 17.04 and 16.94. His kennel companion Laughil Josh runs from trap one and is 15/2. He needs to trap better if he is going to come back next week.
Lenson Blinder is one classy greyhound with a massive heart. He showed serious guts and determination to win last week for Graham Holland and he is one the favourites in the kennel at home. Lenson can win heat four with his odds at 5/4. He races from trap one and has two of his kennel buddies to his right, Murts Boher in trap two (8/1) and second round heat winner Totos Park (4/1) in trap three.
The biggest danger could be the in-form bitch Droopys Hunch in trap five at 7/4. She turns two years of age next month and is improving with every run. This is perhaps her biggest test to date but she has every chance.
Mucky Brae can continue to clean up his act in heat eight at odds of 11/8. He won well in the second round recording 29.62 for derby winning trainer Curly O’Donovan. He clocked 28.16 from trap one around this circuit for the 525 yards trip so a big run is expected from this inside draw.
The 2018 BoyleSports irish Greyhound Derby champ Ballyanne Sim is the 15/8 second favourite and looks set to lead again. For the first two rounds he flew out through the bars and made all only to be caught in the dying stages of the race. His owner Eamon Cleary reckons his star is getting fitter with every race and can see him progressing further.
Another fast starter is Monbeg Bakayoko for Eamonn Doyle in trap two who is 13/2 behind 5/1 shot Ballydoyle Valor in trap three.
Ballymac Anton is firing on all cylinders since the start of this derby and at 13/8 favourite he can progress into the quarter-final next Saturday for Liam Dowling. Anton has been superb, breaking well, showing great early pace and coming home strong.
He is turning into a real derby prospect for his connections so it’s hard to oppose him in heat two from trap two. First round heat winner Allaghaun River (6/1) done 29.46 for John Lenihan and has trap one again here. Anton is faster to the third turn than all these runners here but Slippy Cian, who was a finalist in the derby last year, has a huge chance.
He returned to winning ways last week clocking 29.48 and at 7/4 he can put it up to Anton. It’s a hot heat with BoyleSports King (5/1) in trap five. This powerhouse only gets going down the back straight and comes home like a train. He is a dog you don’t want on your heels coming off the last bend but all he must do is qualify.
Droopys Pension is the 2/1 favourite to land heat three for John A. Linehan but what a heat this is. Deadly Dynamite is the 9/4 second favourite from trap one, the trap he clocked 29.59 from in the opening round cleaning the bookies out after a 5/2 into 6/4 gamble.
He is a talented tracker for Karol Ramsbottom and faces his kennel mate Sliabh Liag (4/1) in trap three. Trap four Great Eastern is 7/2 and cannot be ruled out either with the early burst of speed he possesses. These are all inside runners here, so some traffic problems are expected but if Pension, who used to be a wide seed, can overcome this draw he has every chance with 29.66 and 29.44 recorded respectively in the last two rounds.
The opening heat sees Run Happy the 9/4 joint favourite for Pat Buckley. This is probably the best heat of the night with Lenson Bocko (9/4), Jaytee Taylor (5/2), Ballyhimikin Jet (9/2), Winetavern Don (9/1) and Jumeirah Buddy (12/1). Run Happy has a 17.13 sectional so he should set the pace here.
He just gets the 550 yards trip so Jaytee Taylor in trap six is the likely contender to be coming with a huge run. Lenson Bocko is well drawn as he should lead up on the outside giving Run Happy a run for his money.
On Thursday evening at Shelbourne Park, the Michael Fortune Memorial Plate commences with seven juicy heats. With the blessing from Michael’s family, Rita, Ian and Michelle, we renamed the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Plate competition (which is for greyhounds who are knocked out of the 1st and 2nd rounds of the derby), the ‘Michael Fortune Memorial Plate’ with Clonbrien Prince and Clona Blaze the 5/1 joint favourites to win the €5,000 prize. The final will be run on the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby final night which takes place on September 21st.
*Prices correct at time of publication