The Return Of The Puma – Heats 18-23 Preview

Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby

Outright Betting

On Saturday night we will have a further 12 top class Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby heats commencing at 7:50pm.

There are plenty of big names in action such as the joint fav Droopys Nidge, 2012 winner Skywalker Puma, British raider Holdem Spy just to name a few.

Heat 18
Paul Hennessy’s pair are at the top of the market in this heat but for me, anything could win this and anything could get put out. Of Paul’s two I think the experience of Jaytee Seville may give him the edge over his kennel mate Priceless Lassie who has only had 3 racers in her career.

Fordeflag has an ideal draw in red and should get a dream run up the rails, as long as he is ok after a fall in his last race at Shel PK he should be heavily involved throughout. Rockchase Dino is a strong running performer who starts well and stays, his main objective will be to clear trap 1 before the corner, if he can do this he has a good chance. Jaytee Seville has come back from England in fine form finishing 2nd at Galway and winning in a good time in Kilkenny more recently, if he is in the same form I think he will be hard to beat.

Priceless Lassie has the potential to be a superstar in the making, she was extremely impressive in all her 3 starts to date remaining unbeaten, however her main issue is that she is yet to break well and in the Derby as we know there is little room for error so if she is to qualify a few rounds she must improve this aspect of her game.

Tyrur O Driscoll is yet to finish in the frame from his two races but if leading owner PJ Fahy saw the value in entering him there must be a reason, improvement should be expected. European Queen has an ideal draw in six with 5 inside seeds and if she starts well, she will be fully expected to book her place in round 2.

Heat 19
Tyrur Sugar Ray is the one to beat in this heat however he is a short price in a very tough race and from a betting perspective the value could be Jaytee Valencia in trap 1. Valencia has an ideal draw against the fence and he is yet to reproduce the early around Shel PK that he showed in Kilkenny when winning the Red Mills Champion Unraced.

There is a lack of early in this heat and if he gets a good start at a decent price he could give Sugar Ray a bit of a race. Congress Debs is stepping up from A2 around Dundalk into the Derby so she must bring her A-game, however her last run was her best so she is coming here in good form. Sugar Ray goes from trap three, If there has been a more consistent dog than him over the past two years I haven’t seen him. He has everything, starts well, strong down the back and flies home.

My only issue is that he is a dead railer and with the possibility of trap 1 leading him to the turn, at a short price, it might be best going for a bigger priced runner. Farley Rio is a British raider who is coming over without a trial, he has raced in Ireland earlier in his career but for me the lack of a more recent run around Shel PK I think he might struggle to win this.

El Flutter is a strong stayer who has been running over longer distances in England and will need to be on his toes early to keep tabs with some of these but, if he is close at halfway he will be flying home. Pennys Deanridge for me would be much better suited in a middle draw than trap 6 but, with a lack of early inside him, he will fancy his chances of getting to the bend in front and if he can do this he could be a big player.

Heat 20
Mind The Net will prove very hard to beat if he can get a clear run and for me I think Pat Buckley’s runner will get his Derby campaign off to a winning start. Northern Irish Derby winner Atitboy could prove the biggest danger to the jolly if he gets away from his inside berth, he has a great chance of leading and if he does he could be the one Mind the Net has to catch.

Shaneboy Frankie is an improving pup who has done little wrong of late and is getting better with each run however, his last run was in A2 and that could halt his momentum. Barefoot Scholar’s career has been spoiled so far due to injury, he is coming back after yet another lay-off and his fitness must be taken on trust, if he can produce somewhere near his brilliant best he could prove a factor.

Burnpark Brett is another who is making a big step up in grade from A2 to Derby class, he will need a career best to trouble the principals here. Mind the Net wears the orange jacket and he has what it takes to be a real Derby contender if he can take care of himself in the early stages in his races.

His only flaw in my opinion is his inconsistency at the starting traps, I think he will win this heat and in the process lay down a marker. Tyrur Fredrik has a great chance of progressing to the next round with his draw out in the stripes, if he can lead Mind the Net to the corner I’m sure he will make the favourite work for the win.

Heat 21
Another tough heat to weigh-up, Borneo is fav for the race but, trainer Peter Cronin has made no secret that Borneo is better suited to an early race and the fact that he is in the 3rd last race I am going to go for value with Star Ace in trap 3.

Swords One will be making every effort to lead to the bend and therein lies his chance, if he can lead who knows, he might make-all for victory. Runaway Rover for me has a great chance of victory, he has been running very well of late and as long as he does not encounter problems with trap 1, I feel like he has a great chance of victory.

Star Ace ran really well in the Tipperary Cup in Thurles in the past few weeks and if he can bring that form to Shel PK he could be the one to beat. He will need to avoid the inside two traps but, I feel he will tuck in behind them at the opening bend and pick them up close home. Sidaz Pedro is another British raider who has not had a look around and I see that as a negative, his English form would see him in the shake up however.

Headman Chris may be the outsider of the field but has yet to finish out of the first three and that level of consistency gives him a good shout of qualification. Borneo holds the key to this in my opinion, he has loads of ability but, it is no secret he is inclined to get worked up in the kennel and being a late race this is clearly worrying. On his best form he would take a lot of beating and if he doesn’t get too worked up, expect him to take some beating.

Heat 22
There is plenty to like about the favourite here Green Prince and I can see him making all for victory. Adrigole Trudie is the outsider of the field here, if she is to progress then this Cork regular needs to ping out and set a career best.

Green Prince is very consistent who also has very good early pace and if he pops out I can see him making all. He has an ideal draw and his recent performances on Shel PK suggests he is in rude health. Surely Bassi needs to show her best Longford form if she is to trouble Green Prince but, with a good getaway she has a good chance of qualifying. Vanfrankie was a fine winner of the Lee Strand in Tralee and this Owen McKenna trained puppy has done a really impressive trial around Shelbourne which suggests he could go well in this heat.

Corran Sky currently has a 50% strike-rate but if he is to improve that impressive success rate he will need to match Green Prince to the bend and try to secure the lead by the third bend. Jaytee Hellcat is the unknown quantity in this heat as this is his first start since coming back from a broken hock. His fitness remains in doubt however, recent trials would be satisfactory but, from a betting perspective he is probably best watched.

Heat 23
Well everyone loves a fairy-tale and what a fairy-tale it would be if Skywalker Puma could return to anywhere near his brilliant Derby winning form back in 2012. Kilara Hey Mac will love his draw and Champion Juvenile winner could go well at a price if he can start well, this will be crucial if he is to threaten the market leaders.

Highview Apollo has been racing in A4 the past few weeks so this will be a shock to the system for him and a career best effort will be required to see him involved. Puma goes from trap 3 and what a way it is to finish the opening round heats of the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby. It is completely unknown to how much of his ability he retains and if he can get through a few rounds then finds his form it will be a wonderful story for everyone connected, watch this space!!!

Lenson Sanchez is the youngest runner in this year’s Derby and coming from such a strong kennel such as Buckley’s then it must be a statement in itself running him in the event. He will need to show a mixture of maturity and ability if he is to prove himself in this sort of company. Blenhiem Tricks is a very good starter who will require one of his better starts if he is to trouble the market leaders but, if he can start well he can definitely make a big case for a qualification spot.

Finally, in six we have my betting selection Laughil Blake, he has been very impressive in his recent trials and despite my heart willing the Puma to win as a betting proposition I think Blake has less to prove. Blake ran exceptionally well in the Produce Stakes in Clonmel and on the back of two very good trial runs I think he might be the one to win the final heat of the first round.