Ireland Favourites To Take The Crown Across The Water
After five fantastic weeks of racing we are down to the final six in this year’s English Greyhound Derby and what a line up we have.
Ireland are doubly represented again this year with Farloe Blitz (5/6) and Tynwald Bish (12/1). Blitz reached this year’s decider unbeaten and is deserving favourite.
Owen Mckenna has this son of Premier Fantasy firing on all cylinders and his trapping is improving with each run. He had his fastest start to date in last Saturday night’s semi-final and to show how much early pace he has, he left one of the top sprinters in the UK – Geelo Vegas – in his wake on the run to the bend.
Rio Quattro (5/1) was the dog that chased Blitz from off the second corner but could never get close enough to worry the leader in fastest of the night 28.24. Quattro had been put away all winter with this in mind and has been a credit to Danny Riordan and his team throughout this competition, and fully deserves his place in the final.
Eden The Kid (4/1) filled the third qualifying position in this semi-final only a neck behind Quattro. He has been the surprise package in this year’s Derby after becoming the first dog to break the magical twenty eight second barrier in the first round, and had been backed at some fancy prices before the opening round.
Eden has won three of his five rounds thus far and was placed in behind Farloe Blitz on the other two occasions. He is the youngest in this year’s final and whatever the outcome this weekend he has a real bright future ahead of him, and is trained by Liz McNair for the KSS syndicate.
There was a huge upset in the second semi-final where the three shortest priced runners in the field finished outside the qualifying positions . Rank outsider Making Paper (8/1) trained by Diane Henry made his best start in the Derby to date and moved slightly out to the right on the run to the corner, he was clear at that stage with his closest pursuer being the Peter Cronin trained Tynwald Bish. Making Paper is a confirmed stayer so it was race over into the third corner, Bish ran the race of his Derby campaign so far here as he had to pull out all the stops to qualify.
Millwards Davy (16/1) didn’t get the clearest of runs to the opening corner but is seeing his races out strongly and just caught Bish on the line for second, Davy recorded a 28.25 in the third round and is bidding to take trainer Paul Young one step further than last year after he ran up with Droopys Ward.
The winning time of the second semi-final was 28.33. Looking at the draw,both two Irish dogs have lovely draws.
Farloe Blitz is perfect in two with a slow starter on his inside and Making Paper on his outside who might move out to the right on the run to the bend.
Bish drawn in six can lead up the two dogs inside him so don’t be surprised if we see the two Irish dogs first and second down the back. Peter Cronin was just denied last year and will be pulling out all the stops on Saturday night, there won’t be a dog in better condition on the whole card.
If Farloe can find a level break he can lead these to the corner and turn the screw down the back straight, he has been foot perfect so far and I can see no reason why he can’t continue this amazing run and bring home the Blue Ribbon of English Greyhound Racing back to Ireland for the first time since Loyal Honcho in 2008 for the late Seamus Graham.
We have a number of specials priced up for this weekend’s final including; winning seed, winning distance, odd v even traps, winning nationality, a number of match bets and also the dog to finish last. All of which can be seen on www.boylesports.com. Come on the Irish!
Matt Has A Lot To Gain
Ballymac Matt (5/4) goes into the final of the Gain 600 unbeaten and a perfect draw in trap two. Everything points in the direction of this powerful son of Tyrur Big Mike in the final, he had to overcome a very tricky trap five draw in last weekend’s semi-final but took it all in his stride.
He is only a July 14 dog, which makes him the youngest in the line-up and has the scope for most improvement. Droopys Bomber (7/1) ran a blinder in second position and was only beat two lengths by Matt in a slick 32.33.
Greenwell Hulk (5/1) is starting to come back to himself after a lengthy layoff and further progress in fitness can see him go very close in the decider. Skywalker Farloe (3/1) took a rare flyer from traps in the second semi and when this dog leads there isn’t too many that can go with him, he has been a revelation since switching back to trainer Pa Gordon.
Skywalker turned on the style down the far side and stayed on stoutly to beat Leave At Dawn (5/1) and Deanridge Pennys (16/1) in 32.36. The draw worked out well for most runners in the final bar Deanridge who would prefer a pitch nearer the rails, this could help the only wide seed in the race Skywalker Farloe. We are going to side with Matt however who could go on and lead all the way here.
Check out our prices for all the races at Wimbledon this weekend which looks to be a top class card with supporting races such as the Champion Hurdle, The Derby Plate and the Dorando Marathon to keep us entertained before the big one!
*Prices correct at time of publication.