Better Night For Punters As Laughil Goes Fastest
Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby
There was huge anticipation in Shelbourne on Saturday night as the crowds filled the stadium to witness the remaining 12 heats in the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
After some impressive runs on Thursday and some shocks, people did not really know what to expect from the greatest greyhound competition in the world.
Many people had different views as to who they were most looking forward to see run, ante-post fav Droopys Nidge, British raider Holdem Spy, English Derby finalist Mind the Net or the return of the 2012 Derby winner Skywalker Puma.
With all the excitement which surrounded these runners it was Laughil Blake who stole the show in the final heat of the night posting the fastest time of the opening round with a scintillating 29.43.
Holdem Spy went in the opening heat and having turned closer than usual off the 2nd bend, many people expected it to be only a matter of how far this extremely strong running hound was going to win by. However, Spy’s preparation has been far from ideal having suffered an injury set-back in the build up to this year’s event, I will expect a lot more from him in the coming weeks.
Droopy’s Nidge went to traps the 1/3 fav to win his heat but, his win for me has been best described as workmanlike. It was clear down the back that this was not going to be one of Nidge’s better performances but, when you consider he was 70lbs weight when he was winning his first few races and he was 74lbs on the night, it is clear he is still carrying plenty of condition.
It was the general consensus from many that the top runners in the market had under-performed in the opening round but, that was all about to change in heat 20. Mind the Net went to traps the 1/2 fav and he showed exactly why he went off a short priced fav in this year’s English Derby final as he made all to win in a very quick 29.49.
The main disappointment for many on the night was the failure of Skywalker Puma to secure a qualifying position in round 2. It was a credit to all connected just to be able to reproduce the former champion in this year’s event but, after early trouble and a rough race throughout, we had to bid farewell to the previous champion in the opening round.
After a disappointing night for punters on Thursday it was a much more profitable one on Saturday as, 6 jollies and three 2nd fav’s won on the 12 race card. Some of the biggest cheers from the punters came as Droopys Ward, Shopping Basket and Borneo all past the winning line in front.
Droopys Ward went off the 6/4 joint fav but, he had seen plenty of support in both the ring and in the shops during the week. Ward really made his supporters sweat for their money as a far from ideal passage saw the son of Westmead Hawk adapt his fathers strong finishing style to get up late.
Shopping Basket also had punters hearts racing as he too came from off the pace to win. It was Razldazl Al who made most but, Shopping Basket who was helped by the roars from the packed Shelbourne stands got up to win late by half a length.
Favourite backers did not have as much to fret about when they put their money down on Borneo in heat 21. The Peter Cronin runner was not in an ideal heat as it is well known that he is a bad kenneler and he was running in the 10th race on the card. This however, was not enough to stop him as he went on to victory by 3 lengths.
The best run of the entire opening round was saved till the last heat, heat 23, as the Michael O’Donovan trained Laughil Blake scorched around Shelbourne Park to win in 29.43.
Blake had some really good form down in Clonmel this year during the produce stakes, finishing 5th in the final to Boylesports Hero. During this competition he showed plenty of early and also posted very quick times such as 28.46 and 48 for the 525 yard trip. He had also flew around Shelbourne the past few weeks in 28.37 and 38 for the same distance so to say he was value at 66/1 before his opening round run, in hindsight is an understatement. He is now as short as 16/1 to win this year’s classic and after his emphatic six and a half length demolition in the opening round who could argue.
On Thursday’s Blog I tried to find a runner or two who i feel could be still value at a big price in the ante-post market and/or in the heat betting over the coming weeks and my selections from Saturday nights action are Razldazl Al, El Flutter and Shopping Basket. The three of these ran very well on Saturday night and they showed enough to suggest that they can out run their prices.
Razldazl Al made most in his opening round heat only to be picked up late by the formerly mentioned Shopping Basket in a good time of 29.73. Al does not have the easiest of 2nd round heats but if he shows the early he did on Saturday night he might secure a 2nd round place at a big 66/1.
Shopping Basket is also available at 66/1 and considering he has a great chance of getting through his next round heat I feel he is still representing plenty of e/w value.
Finally, I feel that the strong running El Flutter who was runner up to Pennys Deanridge in a quick 29.64 represents value at 100/1. He does not have the best early pace but, if he can keep tabs early I can see him progressing a few more rounds at a huge price.