The Heat Is On In The Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby
Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby
This weekend is the weekend greyhound lovers and enthusiasts look forward to each year with huge anticipation. It is the opening round of the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
138 names went into the draw yesterday and all of their connections are now allowed to dream that come September 13th, their dog will be on the presentation area in Shelbourne Park receiving the €125,000 winners prize and earning the prestigious tittle of the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby winner.
It has been a fascinating entry with so many different pundits having contrasting opinions and so many possibilities of where the winner could come from. This year’s betting is topped by the Easter Cup winner, Skywalker Farloe, and the ‘wonder pup’ Droopys Nidge at 10/1. It is 16/1 bar so there is lots of value out there to be had and don’t forget about the sponsors Moneyback offer, if your Ante-Post selection gets knocked out in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd round you get your money back as a free bet, this is an excellent safety net for anyone interested in betting in this year’s Derby.
The opening round consists of 11 heats on Thursday commencing at 8:00pm and the remaining heats will be down for decision on Saturday night, the first of which will be run at 7:50pm.
There is a strong British team coming over to challenge in this year’s Derby and the opening heat see’s two British trained runners taking part with the Dean Childs trained Droopys Norris in trap 1 and Underground Paul representing Paul Young in trap 3. Droopys Norris will start favourite for this heat and with 6 inside seeds he has the perfect draw against the rail in red.
There is a big opportunity for the early lead in this heat as most of the runners could be viewed as strong running dogs who tend to come from off the pace. The two bitches in the race De Dixie Chick and Ardnacrusha Lady will need to ping the lids and lead if they are to win from unfavourable draws out in the outside two boxes.
Global Chariot has been impressive in his brief career to date but this is by far his stiffest test and must improve to win. Underground Paul and Barefoot Agent will provide the biggest danger to Norris but, for me I feel as though Norris will just have too much and will take the opening heat.
This year’s €80,000 Anne and Con Kirby memorial winner and Produce stakes winner, Boylesports Hero, will be the star attraction in Heat 2 where 5 will qualify for the 2nd round. Representing the Sponsor John Boyle, Hero has been in scintillating form this year winning 9 of his 11 races and finishing runner-up in the other 2. Smurfing Convoy and Bayside Sparky will need luck to get involved but both possess a smart turn of foot to the bend and if they are to progress to the next round they will require flying starts.
Ballyana Foxtrot comes to Shelbourne in fine form having won the Limerick Derby trial stake in impressive fashion. Indigojack and Emers Superstar both have the ability to cause an upset, Jack contested the Champion Stakes final recently and led the field until the turn for home. Emers Superstar showed a return to form with a very fast 28:25 win in Shelbourne recently and will be looking to steer clear of possible early bumping with IndigoJack.
I think Boylesports Hero will turn close off the 2nd bend and his back straight pace will carry him to the front between the bottom two bends to secure victory of heat 2.
The Ante-Post joint favourite, Skywalker Farloe, takes its Spot in heat 3 and he is odds-on to get his Derby campaign off to a winning start. The main danger to Farloe is likely to come from trap 4 Tyrur Nathan who finished 2nd beaten just half a length recently in the Champion Stakes. On form, these two would appear to be well ahead of the field but, this is the Derby and as we know anything is possible.
Skyview Blue is the most experienced runner in the field and will need to show its good early pace to have a chance of qualification. Blenhiem Cracker was a surprise winner around Dundalk in July but, that run and a nice recent trial suggest there could be more to come from Cracker who is a big price for this heat. Highview Thady has good form around Shelbourne late last year and will need to return to that sort of form to get involved in the finish here.
Ulster Idea is a young pup with a promising future and similar to many of these will be battling to qualify rather than the heat win. I feel Skywalker Farloe will be much too strong for his rivals in this heat and get his Derby campaign off to an ideal start.
Early pace really comes to the fore in heat 4 as plenty of the runners in this heat like to dictate from the front and I’m sure the battle to the bend will have a big bearing on what goes through to the 2nd round. Tyrur Supermac is perfectly drawn in Trap 1 and this son of Tyrur Sugar Ray (also runs in the Derby!) will start the short priced favourite.
Supermac has huge all-round ability and with a good start he is going to prove extremely tough to beat. Lemon Miley appears to have turned a corner for connections and is improving with each run and for me, will provide the biggest threat to the jolly. Highview Ranger is the most inexpierienced runner in the field and this pup will need to build on his recent all the way win to qualify. Colmcille Olly came back to his force of old when breaking the track record at Dundalk last month but has more to prove after a disappointing trial latest.
Overcharge in Trap 5 on recent form would not appear good enough to trouble the inside pairing but in the hands of the shrewd Francis Murray could not be discarded. Clares Wonder has some fine Clonmel form and a recent trial would suggest there is plenty more to come. The inside pair for me will fill the top two placing’s with Tyrur Supermac coming out on top.
There are plenty of possible outcomes to heat 5 in my opinion and for me I think the trap draw has proven critical. Kereight King was unfortunate last year after making the final of the Derby only to be withdrawn due to injury. King will start favourite and after his recent 28:28 win, it’s understandable, however I feel as though the trap draw does not bode well for the Pat Curtin owned runner. Focus On Carlow is a much bigger dog than King and he too has very good early pace when he gets the start right.
Focus On Carlow is also a dead railer and is drawn directly outside King. This for me could cause an issue for the favourite and for that reason I am seeking for a value selection for my winner. I fancy Paradise Maverik in Trap 1 at a decent price. Having been in fine form, Pat Buckley’s pup is improving all the time and is drawn to capitalise any potential hampering between three and four. Ivy Hill Prince has not been showing his earlier Limerick form and must improve. Ardfert Thunder and Jackal Frampton are ideally drawn outside Focus On Carlow and this pair can certainly get involved at pretty decent prices too.
Fiery Splendour who was at one stage the favourite to win this year’s English Derby will go off a short priced jolly for Heat 6. The Owen McKenna-trained runner has come back from England in good shape having finished 2nd on his three starts back on home soil. Fiery is a very talented all-round performer and he can get back to winning ways in his opening round heat.
Thornvalley is a very consitent performer who has an ideal draw against the fence and with a good start he can make a bid for qualification for round 2. Kisses For Cloda was touted as an English Derby winner in the making two years ago until injury struck and that has plagued him throughout his career, he has undeniable ability however it would be impossible to be over confident given his far from ideal preparation.
Olympic Money is taking a giant leap in grade from A2 to the Derby and will probably need luck to progress. Smithins Way has trialled well suggesting he is in good form but another who hasn’t raced on Irish soil in a while. Budgie Bypass has made a good start to his racing career and possesses plenty of early pace so expect his bid to qualify to come early.
This is a really competitive race on both paper and in the betting ring. Personally I feel Kippers Usain in Trap 3 might just take the honours in a very tricky race. Skywalker Legend in trap 1 will be flying home from half way and from a perfect draw in red he could get a dream run around the inside. Cleveland Tebow has some good Dundalk form and will need to repeat the best of that form to see him get into next week’s draw.
Kippers Usain can be hit and miss but, when he does things correctly he can be a very smart performer and in a race not blessed with early I can see him leading to the bend and going on to win. Baliff Turbo is another British raider who has some good Swindon form, he also did a very respectable trial and could be thereabouts at the line. Droopys Oddysey and Barnish Panther both have 1 win from 8 races and will both require a career best to win this race however, both are young and open to significant improvement.
Last year’s Derby runner-up will go off favourite in heat 8 for trainer Graham Holland. Buck led for a long way in last year’s final and he will look to rely on that early pace to see him progress to the latter rounds of this year’s event. Norristown Bud has finished 1st or 2nd in 27 of his 47 races which is a very good record however, this is his stiffest task to date and will need to ping out.
Station Panther is an Enniscorthy regular who will also face his stiffest task to date but this slow starter could get through running on late if there is trouble up front. Saint Anthony is another slow starter who will probably require a bit of trouble up front if he is to have his head in front as line approaches. I was very impressed with Millridge leader in the semi-final of the Boylesports Race of Champions in Tralee and I can see him going very well here if he can avoid Buck at the bend.
Ardfert Tee Jay may lack early but this pup is showing real potential and if the two inside him do collide then watch out! As much as Buck is the likely winner I’m going to sway with the pup in Trap 6, if buck has a flaw it might be that 550 yards stretches his stamina and I will go with Tee Jay to pick him up late.
What other superlatives can describe this year’s Champion Stakes winner Ballymac Vic that have not already been used?! In my opinion he is one of the best I have seen and I would personally love to see him go very far in this year’s Derby. He may not have the best of draws in Trap 5 but, I still think he will lead up and go on to win Heat 9.
Tungsten Shaw has gone off the boil a little but from an ideal position in Trap 1 he will need a fast start to get involved. Jims Blessing has got sprinter’s early and therein lies his chance. Homeless Boy has got pace to burn but having early pace all around him, he might struggle in the early stages but, he should still qualify.
Lughill Edward has great early when he starts accordingly and with Vic on his outside he has little room for error. Jacks Ace is a frustrating sort in Trap 6, he has turned in traps in 2 of his last 5 starts but a recent 28:33 around Shelbourne just shows his ability.
Personally the toughest heat on Thursday to predict what will happen. Shes A Terror in Trap 4 has all the ability in the world but appears to find trouble more often than not. If getting a clear run I think she will have enough in her arsenal to account for this field.
Ravenswood May in Trap 6 is a bitch with a very bright future however, she will need luck on side to win this. Rocky Domain has blistering early when he times it right and with a decent start he could set a strong pace which may not be caught. Holdem Hawk is a strong stayer who produced a very quick trial at Shelbourne over the 525 yard trip which suggest he has got the middle pace to be a contender also.
Millies Tavern was a winner in Youghal during the week and if that has taken much out of her will have to be seen but, if it hasn’t she must demand strong respect in this. Raheen Boy is a Kilkenny specialist who might lack early but from half way will be thundering home and I can see him qualifying.
The final heat on Thursday is another tough race to read with plenty of possibilities and chances in there. I will take a chance with Laughil Bolt in Trap 6 for Pat Guilfoyle, he has good early and he also stays pretty well too. I feel with 5 inside seeds and Bolt being the sole wide seed he has a great chance of getting a clear passage while there is trouble on the inner.
Parknook Bill has lightning early but will need a slice of luck here to trouble the principles. Riverside Pat is relatively inexperienced but has shown in his races and trials to date he has plenty of ability. Torpeys Ace has won 9 of his 19 starts which is quite impressive but a career best effort is required here. Farloe Nutter is very interesting as he has good form across the pond but his recent two trials would need improving.
Vimmerby sets the clear standard here and is the one to beat after impressing in recent weeks around Shelbourne until he was hampered in the final of the Champion Stakes latest. I am going to take on Vimmerby purely because he is an inside seed drawn in trap 5 and with early on the inside of him he will need to be on his toes.