Future Greyhound Stars Making Their Mark This Month

Future Greyhound Stars Making Their Mark This Month
By Balls Team
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The opening three months of a new year are always an exciting time to be a greyhound racing fan with the newest batch of future stars beginning to hit the track. On Friday night the Rural Hawaii @ Stud Unraced stake got underway at Clonmel and it seems certain a few potential classic contenders will be amongst the entry. 

In the coming weeks the Juvenile Classic at Tralee and the aptly named Future Champions Unraced stake at Enniscorthy will also get underway and the whispers would suggest many of the top kennels in the land are lining up some very exciting young trackers for these stakes. 

Of course, we’ve already seen a number of future stars hit the track in recent months and, by all accounts, there is an incredible crop of young greyhounds around at present. The likes of the Kirby Memorial and Produce Stakes should provide them the perfect opportunity to show showcase their incredible talent in the coming months. 

That’s for the future, however. At the moment, some of the more established performers will be in action in the quarter finals of the Best Car Parks Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night. As it happens, the fastest opening round scorer Ballymac Art is one of the aforementioned exciting youngsters.

At a time when Ireland has never had so many talented bitches, she is certainly amongst the best. Her opening round display highlighted her many qualities. Making a flying start from the inside box, she displayed awesome early speed to leave her rivals standing before going on to record a wide margin victory in a very quick 28.25. 

It was an exceptional run and she again looks the part on Saturday. From a favourable draw in trap three in the last of the four heats, Liam Dowling’s charge should again dictate the pace and can secure a ninth career success. 

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Of her rivals, the strong running Jaytee Japan and the Laurels runner-up Blastoff Fire can emerge as the nearest finishers.

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Not far behind Ballymac Art on the clock seven days earlier was Knocknaboul Syd. The Kingdom Derby winner at the back end of 2020, he has very similar qualities to the bitch. A natural starter with fine pace to the third turn, he looks the one to beat in Heat 2. 

He won from the inside box last week but will race from trap three on Saturday. That should suit as he does tend to favour a middle line into the bend. His biggest obstacle could come in the early yards with Minglers Popeye certain to gup fast along the fence. If Knocknaboul Syd clears that rival early, he will then have to contend with the exciting Ballymac Cashout. 

The latter is both young and inexperienced but has shown enough in his short career to suggest he is destined for the top. He faces a tricky draw in five but, were he to get a clear run around the turn, should have a big say.

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Opening round scorer Newinn Hero has been withdrawn from the third of the four heats and his absence should suit the likes of Another Dream, drawn in six, although the vote most certainly goes to Catchmeflying. 

A hugely talented tracker when on song, he can be forgiven for his opening round defeat and stands out as the banker of the round. With the slow starting Congress Thunder on his immediate inner, Catchmeflying seems likely to have room to race and, as a 27.98 winner in the past at Shelbourne Park, he should have too much ammunition for his rivals. 

The opening heat of the round is a wide-open affair and a realistic argument could be made for each of the six runners. If opening round form is to be taken at face value, Corgrigg Toby looks the most likely pace-setter and winner but will need another flying start. 

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