Select Silva In Waterford

With the St Leger and the Dundalk International already on his CV, Paradise Silva has a very impressive identity card.

Gain Select Stakes
On Saturday night he will be hoping to add the Gain Select Stakes to his long list of achievements! Silva is by far the oldest dog in the race, but he has been mighty impressive during his heats of this competition.

Looking down through his card he has had a stop start career with his injuries. Between metacarpals and toes, this dog hasn’t had an easy life and is as tough as they come; he still has a great attitude for the game which he showed in the semi-final. I have to hold my hands up and say I wasn’t one of his biggest fans throughout his career, but you have to stand back and admire a real genuine dog to keep racing on the top of his game heading into his fifth year.

In the opening round of the stake Silva showed us he is still the force of old with a tremendous front running display beating a top class field in 28.37.

In last week’s semi-final he lost absolutely nothing in defeat getting beat by three quarters of a length by the ultra-impressive Shutthe Backdoor.

The old warrior has a decent draw in three in the final. Shutthe Backdoor was having his debut around Kilcohan Park after getting a late call up to the stake as the Derby representative, the week before he was seen finishing third behind Quietly in the Gold Cup at Drumbo Park. He had an awful draw on that occasion – when he gets on the fence he is a totally different greyhound.

This fellow has proven to be a shrewd buy from the Matthews team in Dorans Hill out of the unraced stake in Kilkenny last May! Once he was drawn red in the semi-final, Shutthe Backdoor’s connections were always confident of a big run and weren’t too worried about not having a look around the circuit and once he popped out level with the field, it was all over.

Waterford is one of the easier 525 trips in the country and this lad is proven over the 550 trip reaching the semi-final of the Derby! To be fair to this fellow he was thrown into the deep end after his unraced stake, but all the experience has stood to this Brendan Matthews trained runner. He made every post a winning one last week stopping the clock in the fastest time of the night, 28.30.

Local runner Go Dex Go booked his place in the final in third place here for trainer Phil Gough; this lad knows the track like the back of his paw and does have a 28.33 run two weeks ago on his card. Write him off at your peril.

There was an upset in the second qualifier as we saw the exit of two of the ante post favorites Crokers Champ and Lenson Panda. Instead it was 8/1 outsider of the field, Tynwald Rodney, who landed the spoils coming from well off the pace to land the blow. Slowly into stride, Rodney held his pitch along the rails to save vital ground as Crokers Champ and Hee Haws Sheriff battled it out up front.

Sheriff began to win the battle at the head of affairs but was using up vital fuel in the process, he looked to be on the way to victory. Then suddenly his stride seemed to shorten and appeared to cramp bad up the home straight as he was passed by both Lemon Miley and Rodney on either side.

He was actually lucky to hold on to third place by a neck! Sherriff has the most early in the final but the draw in four is not ideal. Lemon Miley has to be one of the most consistent dogs in training over the last number of years, any track and any distance he’s there or there abouts.

Going by the way his trainer Murty Leahy’s year is going, you wouldn’t be surprised if Miley won. He’s got a nice draw in two. Rodney on the other hand has gotten a terrible draw in five. I’m going to put my head on the chopping block and side with the old stager of the field, Paradise Silva. He’s coming to the end of a very long and successful career and can bow out on a high! There is a serious amount of early pace in this final so no one can afford any mistakes at the boxes.

Crushers Returning To The Scene Of The Crime
On the coursing field this weekend we have three fantastic meetings in Carlow, Nenagh and Listowel. Listowel is known to attract the cream of the crop in both trial stakes year in year out and I would say this year will be no different. Have no doubt whatever wins either of the trial stakes will be prominent in the betting for the Derby and Oaks.

The stake we are going to highlight here is the All Age Bitch Stake. There are a few names that jump out at you when you look at the draw, Tobar Na Molt, Manntan Maple, Taghrooda and Sequin to name a few.

It oozes class; Tobar and Manntan were high up in the betting for the Oaks last season while Sequin preformed out of her skin on the big stage reaching the semi-final. Uptown Cailin is chasing her second win of the season (already a winner in Abbeydorney), so she has the momentum behind her and won’t be put away too easy.

This stake will take some winning. If Tobar Na Molt returns to the form which saw her win her trial stake in Lixnaw last year, then she is the one to beat and nothing less will be good enough. She looks to have the draw on her side and should be ready for whoever comes out on top of a very strong bottom half.

The John Prendiville Cup is the Headline show, this is a 32 dog affair. There is some well-established second season runners in the line up here. I’m going to side with one of the most talked about dogs not to win a trial stake last year, Power Game. The reports from Miltown Malbay last year suggested he was the real deal before injury struck. If he returns in the full of his health, he could represent a bit of value.

In Nenagh, all eyes will be on Crushers Oak in the Six To Five All Age Cup. He went straight to the top of the Derby market after winning his trial stake here last year so the form over course and distance is there. He is going to take some stopping.

The third course in the first round of this cup could be a cracker. Carrowkeal Gavin meets Kyle George. Gavin has some super form from last year so we know he can run, but Kyle George has yet to be seen in public. Surly the Field family didn’t keep this lad for two years to see what he was like? They know the time of day so don’t be surprised if this lad puts in a bold show.

District Twelve and Bower King can fight it out in the bottom half of the draw. It’s still going to be hard to stop Crushers when all is said and done, he was one of last year’s talking dogs who just didn’t have luck on his side. He gets a confident vote here.

All ante-post betting for the aforementioned stakes are all available on as well as a number of other competitions taking place on each side of the Irish Sea. Updated betting for the Derby and Oaks is available each week throughout the 2015/16 coursing season and we have a new Derby favorite in the shape of Blueview Rio from the Maxi Collins stable.

He has been given a 10/1 quote for Derby glory after his flawless display in Trim over the weekend. In New Ross, Laurdella Dani raised a few eye brows in the Oaks Trial Stake and reports say from the word go she looked a likely winner. Dani ran out a comfortable winner and has been introduced to the Oaks market at 14/1. Somehow I cant see this price lasting too long!

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