View From The Terraces – Semi-Finals Review

Shelbourne Park hosted the semi finals of the Irish greyhound Derby on Saturday night and a huge crowd swelled by the..

…Tipperary Hurling supporters club were treated to a feast of top class action.

The opening semi final was expected to be a heavyweight clash between ante post market leaders Laughil Blake (11/8-4/5) and Tyrur Sugar Ray (9/4-3/1) but punters voted with cash over heart and supported the Michael O Donovan handled Laughil Blake to continue his unbeaten dominance.

Blitzing from traps with a near record breaking split Laughil Blake opened an unassailable lead around the opening corners, demolishing his opponents in a flying 29.41.

Displays of raw speed by Laughil Blake have become customary and punters have warmed to this greyhound through the competition with a few notable shrewd judges holding 100/1 ante post vouchers for five figure sums, squeaky bum time…

Emers Superstar (5/1) produced a personal best to fill the runner up berth with the never nearer Tyrur Sugar Ray performing his usual war like heroics to grab the final qualifying position and book his place in his third successive Irish Derby final, a feat the Guinness Book of World Records should consider including.

The second semi final appeared a tricky contest with veteran Ballymac Vic (2/1) dominating morning favouritism but punters looked for value and supported the in form Peter Cronin handled Borneo (8/1-5/1). Ballymac Vic found trouble as Borneo skipped clear but punters soon knew their fate as the formers kennel companion Vulturi (11/4-5/1), took dead aim at the leader around the final bend and assassin like pounced to score by a length, clinical, plunge foiled.

Kerry handler Liam Dowling will be delighted with both Ballymac Vic and Vulturi qualifying but the latter has satnav like tracking qualities coupled with a huge finishing kick that make him dangerous.

Punters will no doubt find it difficult to avoid supporting Laughil Blake in Saturday nights final but with so much sentimentality attached to Tyrur Sugar Ray and Ballymac Vic, the terraces will erupt with emotion if either manage to land the prize. Spectacle not to be missed.

Semi finals of the Ger Mc Kenna and Seamus Graham Memorial Derby plate were hotly contested betting events and Blenhiem Cracker (9/2-3/1) made amends for last weeks narrow defeat by leading close home to defeat Laughil Bolt (6/4) while the Pat Buckley handled Paradise Silva (4/6) rewarded odds on players in the second semi final at the expense of the Focus On Carlow and Jackal Frampton.

Sadly the canine Jackal Frampton couldn’t emulate his boxing namesake. Paradise Silva will occupy favouritism for this Derby plate final but with a tough draw on the inner of Focus On Carlow expect to see plenty of market support for Blenhiem Cracker and Laughil Bolt. See You Saturday…