Field Set To Be Halved After Stellar Shelbourne Open 600 Semi-Finals This Weekend

Field Set To Be Halved After Stellar Shelbourne Open 600 Semi-Finals This Weekend
By Ian Fortune

There is another incredibly busy weekend of greyhound racing to look forward to with Saturday particularly busy as Waterford, Limerick and Shelbourne Park welcome the very best canine athletes in training. 

There is only one major final up for decision, that of the aptly named Select Stakes at Kilcohan Park, Waterford, featuring an incredible line-up which includes four classic winners, Skywalker Barry, Explosive Boy, Singalong Sally and One Time Only.

It really is a wonderful finale to the biggest race on the Waterford calendar. Skywalker Barry is bidding to become just the second repeat winner in the near 60-year history of the event. He has an ideal draw on the fence and will be popular in the ring despite his standing as the eldest runner in the field.      

If he does hit the ground running, the 2020 Juvenile Derby champion could take some stopping, although the same could be said for both Explosive Boy and Singalong Sally. Explosive Boy was recently named the 2021 Dog of the Year at the National Greyhound Awards and he looked as good as ever in recent outings. 

A fast starter with exceptional pace and the stamina to see out the 525yd trip and beyond, he is a worthy favourite for Peter Sutcliffe and Pat Guilfoyle. Much will depend on whether he can clear Skywalker Barry into the bend but, if managing to do so, he will emerge as the one to beat. 

Singalong Sally has already tasted big race success this year after capturing the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles in late February. She suffered defeat in the semis, when missing the kick, but is always capable of a flying start. If doing so this evening, she too could have a big say in the outcome. 

Laurels hero One Time Only is drawn a long way from the fence and will need to be at his very sharpest to land a blow, although any traffic on the inside of the track would aid his cause. Minor Droopys and Lisnakill Vernon complete the line-up and, while both are talented in their own right, they will ned plenty of luck. 

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The final will be televised live on RPGTV and the vote just goes to Explosive Boy but anything could happen in what has the potential to be one of the races of the year. 

Limerick will be bracing itself for more brilliant racing in the second round of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial. The opening round of the JP and Noreen McManus sponsored classic provided some incredible racing and it seems safe to expect more of the same on Saturday. 

Deadly Showtime posted a fastest of the round 28.16 last week and will be warm order to follow up or Garry Hannon and Karol Ramsbottom in Heat 3. If he comes away on terms, the son of Droopys Sydney can maintain his unbeaten record in the competition. 

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As you would expect, there are quite a few mouthwatering clashes including the opening heat where impressive opening round scorers The Other Kobe, Kilgraney Sydney and Ballinabla Ed meet. Throw in Magical Kuba and Serene Tiger and it’s the undoubted contest of the round. Picking a winner is no easy task but the exciting The Other Kobe certainly has the best of the draw on the fence.   

Former kennel companions Da Bold Freddie and Glengar Scholar are set to go head to head in Heat 4. Both greyhounds look destined for big things and are capable of going on to claim outright honours. Da Bold Freddie is likely to start favourite on the strength of a rails pitch but needs to be on his toes as Glengar Scholar can really motor if getting loose. 

Droopys Edison is this scribe’s idea of the one to beat in the competition and he is chosen to come home in front in Heat 5. He will be pushed hard by Swords Rez but Droopys Edison looks potentially very special and he has the draw in his favour. 

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Others worth a second glance in their respective heats include Scooby Prince in Heat 6, Savana Hero in Heat 7 and both Droopys Nice One and Coolavanny Hoffa in Heat 8. 

Twelve will become six in the semi-finals of the Shelbourne Open 600 at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night. The two semi-finals are packed with quality, although Beach Avenue and Allforthebest make most appeal. 

The pair are absolutely made to excel over the 600yds trip at the famous Ringsend venue with both possessing incredible pace to match their incredible strength.

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SEE ALSO: Cork Footballers Refuse To Play Kerry Semi-Final Away From Pairc Uí Rinn

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