Will Irish Eyes Be Smiling In Shawfield?
Shawfield takes centre stage this Saturday night as the Glasgow venue stages the Scottish Derby final.
We have a major Irish interest in the final as we are supplying 50% of the final line up! We were treated to three exciting semi-finals last weekend with just three hundreths of a second separating the heats.
Marginally fastest on the stopwatch was the Steve Race trained La Cuchilla (7/2), this son of Tyrur Big Mike shot to the front early in his heat and was never headed, he had a healthy advantage down the back straight and ran out a comfortable five and a half lengths winner over the Frazer Black trained Save The Don (7/1). Don ran a brilliant race in defeat to be fair as this early paced runner totally missed the start and to be honest when I see where he was off the second corner I had my doubts he would qualify, he ran real gutsy to get up for second place.
Don’t be at all surprised if you see this fellow up near the front at the corner this week as he has got terrific early speed as he has shown on a few occasions in both Cork and Harolds Cross in his puppy days. His trainer Frazer Black is no stranger when it comes to winning this competition; he landed it a few years back with Droopys Marco. Coolavanny Jap (3/1) led home an Irish and Pat Buckley 1-2 in the third heat as he led home Lenson Sanchez (5/1).
Jap broke fast and moved out a touch to the right on the run to the corner and turned off the second bend well clear of his closest pursuer which was his kennel mate Lenson Sanchez. Jap was well clear into the third but I was really impressed with Sanchez as he seemed to pull a length out of Jap down the back straight. Jap eventually ran out a length and a half winner as he reached the judge in 28.93.
Buckley is also going for a second Scottish Derby after his win in 2009 with Cabra Cool. The first semi-final went to the ante post favourite Swift Hoffmen (2/1), this Pat Rosney trained dog is without doubt one of the fastest greyhounds in the UK and he has posted some super times where ever he has ran, but is a bit inconsistent at trap rise. If he happened to go to the bend in front like he did last week then it’s game over. And no one would begrudge him his day in the sun.
Hoffman posted the fastest sectional time last week as he led up Oaks queen Cashen Maureen (12/1) and ran out a three and a quarter length winner in 28.94. Maureen came home a clear second and what a consistent lady she is, she always gives her best and has turned out a great buy for her new sporting owners. The trap draw for the final gives every dog a chance, Coolavanny Jap has drawn the red box which could cause a small bit of bother if he doesn’t hit the lids and moves right as he did in the semi-final. I think Save The Don (4) and Lenson Sanchez (3) have lovely draws in the centre of the track and represent huge value. The biggest loser in our ante post book is Coolavanny Jap but we won’t be too disappointed if he lands the spoils for Ireland!
Raffa leads the way in Cork
Midtown Raffa (9/2) still holds tough at the head of the market after the second round of the Irish Laurels in Cork. There was surprises aplenty last weekend as we seen some very fancied runners bite the dust. Fastest time of the second round came from the Paul Hennessy trained Barefoot Apollo (8/1) after he posted a fantastic 28.23 in heat five. Apollo is a well experienced tracker who has raced against the cream of the country in Shelbourne Park and has really taken to this Cork circuit.
Not too far behind Apollo on the clock was Baile Mhic (10/1) as he stopped the clock in 28.27, Mhic is a son of Ballymac Vic and he showed all of his sires traits as he flew to the first bend and put eight lengths between himself and the rest of the field when he crossed the line. Mhic has winning form over 575 yards in Curraheen Park so stamina is not an issue with this lad.
Outright favourite Midtown Raffa made it two from two in the stake thus far as he came from behind to land his heat in 28.64. Raffa has yet to make one of his usual fast starts and is still winning so what can he do if he does hit the lids?
If you look back on his form last year and see some of the runners he led to the third bend, BoyleSports Hero, Laughil Blake and Tynwald Bish to name a few, that shows the early speed this lad has.
Other heat winners were Knocktoo Garry (12/1) 28.56, Trinity Forest (16/1) 28.42, Greenisle Legend (16/1) 28.50, Burgess Rumble(16/1) 28.43 and Rastafari Vic (10/1) 28.43. It’s one of the most open Laurels in living memory so be ready for more surprises this weekend!
There were a number of market movers in the English Derby last week after the announcement that ante post favourite Laughil Blake won’t be making the journey to Plough Lane. Sidarian Blaze (20/1) now tops the market after his ultra-impressive win in his trial stake over course and distance last weekend and joining him at the top of the market is Droopys Nidge who is now based with Matthew Dartnall in the UK.
Keep an eye out for all market movers in all the aforementioned competitions on boylesports.com. Prices also available for the Gymcrack at Kinsley, the Arc at Swindon, the Supersprint at Henlow and Boylesports Irish Derby. We will have the quarter finals of the Laurels priced up this weekend. Keep up to date with all things greyhounds on twitter via @boylesportsdamo and remember you can always #BetOnBoyle