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Irish Greyhounds Laid Down A Marker In Nottingham And More Big Performances Are Expected Saturday

Irish Greyhounds Laid Down A Marker In Nottingham And More Big Performances Are Expected Saturday
Ian Fortune
By Ian Fortune
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Those that follow greyhound sport will certainly need to be at the best and brightest on Saturday night to keep up with all the action. Not only are three of the top competitions on the Irish calendar in full flow and set to continue, but the Irish also have a very strong hand in the English Derby which continues at Nottingham on the same night.

The Irish sent across just 14 challengers for the English Derby but their opening round efforts confirmed what we already knew, that the current crop of dogs on this side of the water are much stronger than their UK trained counterparts.In all, Ireland won eight of the sixteen opening round heats, while twelve of the original fourteen runners qualified for the second round. The domination is reflected in the market with the top six in the outright betting representing Ireland.

Incredibly, Irish trained challengers head the betting in six of the eight second round heats and it would be disappointing if the majority of our twelve remaining challengers didn’t progress to the quarter finals. Those wishing to keep abreast of proceedings at Nottingham can do so via RPGTV on channel 175 on the Sky platform. The Laurels, Juvenile Derby and Cesarewitch headline the action at home and all three competitions should offer some superb performances. The Laurels is at a crucial stage with just twenty four greyhounds remaining.

With a couple of exceptions, most of the big names are still there and the cream could rise to the top this evening with the likes of Brodys Magic, Grangeview Ten, Ballymac Anton and Runninta Seeya expected to go close in their respective heats.
Brodys Magic, in particular, looks ideally housed on the fence. Should he start on terms, expect the David Murray trained star to leave his rivals standing to halfway before coasting home a facile scorer. It’s no surprise to see him at the head of the market for outright glory.
Of those named, Grangeview Ten is perhaps the worst drawn in four but, he too, has tremendous early speed and, if avoiding Outnumbered at trap rise, he can make all to claim his place in the semi finals.


The evergreen Ballymac Anton has been an incredible servant for Liam Dowling. Already a classic winner, it would be no surprise if the powerful fawn were to add further honours to his incredible CV in a fortnight.

Meanwhile at Shelbourne Park, the stars of tomorrow will bid to claim their place in next week’s Juvenile Derby decider. The competition really came to a boil last weekend with brilliant performances from all four quarter-final winners, while a number of those in behind also impressed. There will be no room for error in either of the two semi-finals. Skywalker Barry remains the favourite to land the €20,000 prize and stands out as the one to beat in the opening heat, although Ballymac Gaybo could give him plenty to think about in the opening yards while Darth Vader, Amazing Champ and Magical Silas are all capable of a big run.

To highlight the strength of the line-up, the outsider of the field, Ballyadams Line, was a 28.36 winner of his second round assignment. The second heat is even hotter. Knight Tornado, Deadly Missile, Newinn Sheedy and Bull Run Norris are all amongst the very best in training, while both Freedom Whiskey and Cushie Lightning are also very progressive.


On the strength of a favourable draw in six, Bull Run Norris gets the nod but you can take nothing for granted in a contest of this nature. All eyes will be on Derby runner-up Meenagh Miracle when she lines out in the second round of the Cesarewitch at Mullingar. The brilliant performer posted a rapid 32.96 in the opening round, giving the long-standing track record a fright in the process.

Her reward for that display is a very tricky draw in the opening second round heat. In all there are four heats winners in the line-up, including Mystical Luna, Cordial and Lemon Ozzy. Add to these the presence of the defending champion and one of Ireland’s very best over the past two years, Skywalker Logan and it’s a contest that would be fitting of the final itself. The remaining heats are all pretty competitive but it’s no surprise to see the opening heat attracting most attention.

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