Can The Beast King Nidge Be Tamed?

Last week’s Easter Cup quarter finals definitely lived up to our expectations! One thing we didn’t think would happen though was the draw for the semi-finals to be made without the name of Laughil Blake in the hat.

Blake didn’t take one of his flying starts but he paced up well to the corner and went to cut in at the turn but ended up coming off the worst after a bump with the eventual heat winner Slippery Fred (3/1). From here you could see Blake was in a spot of bother as he found himself in a position he hadn’t been in for quite a while.

Off the second bend you could see it was game, set and match for Sippery Fred as he raced clear down the back straight and ran out a length and a half winner in front of Sidarian Blaze (4/1) in second and Laughil Duke (14/1) in third in a slick 29.68.

Coran Sky (8/1) took the first quarter final showing top drawer early pace after a poor start from a bad draw, he took up the running around bends one and two and raced to victory by a length and a half from Highview Premier (33/1) in second and kennel mate Millbank Stevie (20/1) back in third.

Laughil Bolt (12/1) ran out a winner of heat two with a very polished front running performance he made his presence felt at the first turn and his win was never in doubt, Bolt is a litter brother of Boylesports Derby hero Laughil Blake. Gaytime Hawk (14/1) and the well gambled on Paradise Maverik (10/1) filled the other two qualifying positions.

We were left waiting until the final race of the night for the performance of the round, Droopys Nidge (11/4) made this race his own after a good start in this five runner race, the writing was on the wall for the rest of the field. King Nidge turned the back straight neck and neck with August Rush (33/1) and from here it was all one way traffic. Nidgy started to turn the screw just passed the sprint box and opened up a four to five length lead between the third and fourth bend, he really motored up the home straight and pulled clear to win by nine and a half lengths in a best of the night 29.52.

August Rush held on for second place and Barefoot Agent (25/1) ran on for third. Looking at the draw for the semi-finals I don’t think Nidge will be able to turn as close to the front on Saturday night, there is lightening early pace inside him with the perfectly drawn Sidarian Blaze in one and Slippery Fred in two.

I thought Sidarian ran an absolute screamer in second behind Fred last week, he pulled a length or two out of him from off the second turn, and he also didn’t get the cleanest or runs to the opening turn as he got squeezed up between one and three on the run up. On the draw it wouldn’t surprise me if Blaze repeats his first round running and holds off Nidge, there is no doubt Nidge is the fastest dog in the competition but he can’t afford to let the likes of Sidarian Blaze or Slippery Fred get too far clear off the second turn because these are top class greyhounds.

The second semi-final looks more straight forward on paper as Coran Sky looks as though he should lead to the corner because there isn’t too much early speed on his outside. Keep an eye out online towards the weekend as we will have the semi-finals priced up!

Down in Limerick we were treated to some top class action in the opening round of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial puppy stake. The Matthews family continued their winning ways in Treaty County when they unleashed two stars of the future in Hoodwinked (10/1) and Leave At Dawn (25/1).

Hoodwinked showed serious early gears to turn his heat into a procession in 28.37 and his litter comrade Leave At Dawn won the opening heat after taking it up off the second turn in 28.53. Graham Holland enjoyed an opening night treble with Ballydoyle Honey (8/1), Cabra Mufasa (33/1) and Rural Hawaii (12/1).

Owen Mckenna turned out Farloe Hunter (10/1) to take his heat in 28.46, this well-bred youngster was tasting success for the first time after a few great runs in defeat in the Joe Dunne puppy stake in Shelbourne. Droopys Braedon (8/1) made it five from five in heat five and is a force to be reckoned with in this valuable event. If you are anywhere near Limerick on Saturday night I’d recommend you to pop over to the track and see some of these stars of the future in action. Could we be looking at the future English or Irish Derby winner in action? I wouldn’t like to bet against it.

Looking to Cork and the final of the Supersprint it looks to be at the mercy of the Paul Ellis owned and Owen Mckenna trained Farloe Blitz (1/2). As we said here last week he could run riot on the inside from his trap one draw, and that he just did. After slightly missing the kick he absolutely roared into the first bend and ran out a ten length winner in a flying 17.43.

The second semi was a messy affair, Tub Astral (7/1) was a surprise winner after the odds on favourite Crown Champ (11/4) walked out of the box but still managed to qualify in third spot. The trap draw in the final is a slight worry for connections of Farloe as this confirmed railer was handed a trap five draw. He handled a similar draw in Harolds Cross and Shelbourne and should overcome it, but a final is a final and anything can happen especially in sprints, after all is said Owen Mckenna should continue his good run so far this year and take the prize back to New Inn.

Keep an eye out online at for all the latest prices on all these competitions and many more, also keep an eye out for all our Cheltenham specials throughout the week!