Thursday, 28 September 2017

‘Age Aware’ wagering at racing venues

Racing venues will continue to be family friendly as ‘Age Aware’ adopted

Ireland’s horse and greyhound racing stadiums will implement an ‘Age Aware’ wagering initiative by Sunday 1 October 2017 but the entertainment offering to families will be unaffected according to Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB). 

From October 2017, all Tote wagering staff will adhere to a strict policy to ensure no individual(s) under the age of 18 can place a bet by checking photo identification. The underage measure proposed in new legislation, has been supported by HRI and the IGB as part of the industry’s commitment to responsible wagering.

IGB Tote staff has received extensive training in adopting a ‘Think 21’ approach, information posters have been placed on display in venues, customer logs and mystery shopper visits will be used to ensure compliance.

Head of Tote & IT with the IGB, Joe Lewins commented “The IGB recognises the importance of responsible wagering for all our customers and the Age Aware initiative reflects our approach. Working with HRI, we will have this operational from 1 October 2017 because we recognise that it is the right thing to do. Our venues together with HRI will still offer excellent entertainment and value for all the family - live racing and excellent facilities.”

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

2017 Kerry Agri-Business Irish St Leger

As readers will know, delivers the most in depth coverage of the major events at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and will again be your one-stop-shop for coverage of all relevant news in the build up and throughout the upcoming 2017 Kerry Agri-Business Irish St Leger, the final classic of the season.


2017 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St. Leger launched at Limerick Greyhound Stadium

Opening rounds begin Saturday 7  October
Prize fund of over €60,000 on offer

Final on Saturday 4 November

Limerick Greyhound Stadium proudly welcomed long-term sponsors, Kerry Agribusiness, this week as they launched the 2017 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St. Leger. The event, which is one of Ireland’s major Classic Greyhound Racing events, carries a total prize fund of over €60,000.
Seventy-two greyhounds are expected to compete in the opening rounds of the competition on Saturday 7 October. The racing action will continue over five weeks, culminating in the Final on Saturday 4 November.

Speaking about the event, Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs, Kerry Group said: "Kerry Group is pleased to sponsor the 2017 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St. Leger. Limerick Greyhound Stadium provides an impressive venue and we look forward to many enjoyable race evenings over the next number of weeks in the run up to the final of the 2017 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St. Leger on November 4."

Phil Meaney, Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, added “The Irish St. Leger has always proved popular with race-goers in the Mid-West and beyond. As a long-term sponsor of the Classic, we are thankful for the continued support of Kerry Agribusiness. I look forward to the opening rounds on the 7 October, and another exciting competition.”

The trap draw for the opening rounds will be made on Tuesday 3 October at Limerick Greyhound Stadium. The stadium restaurant and admission packages are available to book now for all stages of the competition, including the Final.

This is the 16th running of the event with Kerry Agribusiness as title sponsors. The Classic has been running since 1944 in Limerick, and is run over a distance of 550yds.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Shelbourne Live TV Derby Selections

There's plenty of swatting-up to be done before our assault on the bookies for the 2017 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Final meeting when again we are live on RTE for five races which will culminate with the crowning our industry champion for the coming twelve months.

It has been a simply brilliant Derby with an astounding strength in depth and whoever does manage to claim the title will have completed one of the toughest assignments a greyhound could ever be tasked with. Let's hope for a cleanly run race, and may the best dog win!


RACE 4 Open 750
A few runners renewing rivalries from last week here when the ever entertaining Jaytee Patriot proved too strong in the home-straight and he will surely be very popular in the market again now. Having said that though, I would imagine that most bookies would be happy to lay him at short odds, as they would any runner who is almost guaranteed to be negotiating traffic in the latter stages.

Conversely, I'm reluctant to plough in with a dog at short odds for the same reasons and am looking elsewhere for the winner while fully fearful that Patriot could make me look silly. There are no prices available as I type but I suspect Liscaha Brett may be second favourite with Redzer Ruby and my selection Kiltrea Brian next in.

The latter is no slouch in the early stages of 6-bend events and posted his best ever 4-bend clock in a cracking 600 run at Enniscorthy last time out. That came soon after a game 750 win on his sole visit to Cork which allays some of the concerns about racing at Shelbourne for the first time but the exciting new recruit to staying events broke the 725 yard record at Kilkenny at just his second attempt over 6-bends in July.

New recruits to Shelbourne can often be a touch dismissed by those who form the markets and I'm hoping we might see that now. I would like to see him clear the two runners on his inner before the first bend but if left to race independently, I expect him to be in control by the third turn while in advance of some strong types who could complicate Patriot's inevitable late challenge.

Such a high class event and it will be interesting to see where the market settles but three runners stick out for me and I'll plump for arguably the unluckiest runner of the entire Derby. Becoming a real contender in the main event, Droopys Cabaye was beginning to display all the attributes you would wish to see in a prospective champion before unceremoniously stopped in his tracks when Tyrur Harold decided Trap 5 was way too far from the rails when leaving the boxes in the quarter-final.

He didn't do much wrong out the boxes then and was coming away very well in the early rounds. A fortnight off should have him primed and I can't see the runners either side encroaching on his early racing line now. Of course there is danger in the race and the biggest is Vancouver Shea who I am a big fan of, but he is too hard to predict! When he gets it right at traps, he's sensational. He could have this over after 50-yards if he breaks like he did the last night, but in this company he may have to!

The highly respected Swithins Brae will need to contain Milldean Skip on the run to the bend if he is to deny the selection and we're in a spot of bother if he breaks well but it has to be Cabaye for me as the most likely to give his running.

A mouth-watering affair with a few names that would not be out of place in a Derby Final list although all bar one are venturing into unknown territory, albeit only by 25 yards! Outsider Knocknacree Sky is the only runner to have raced beyond 550 with a career best in Tralee last time and 25/1 may be a little too dismissive of a runner from the Dan Brassill kennel which always merits respect.

However, he is up against it here with high class opponents and immediately Cahir Castle sticks out as a runner who will relish 575 yards. I did think he was a bit flat footed in the early strides when exiting the Derby second round though and he will need to be sharper here as there is a runner I don't believe he will pass if getting behind.

Drive On Tipp is on my short-list of the very elite greyhounds currently racing, as is Native Chimes beside him. Tipp can make an odd mistake and seems to get thoroughly punished when he does but he was unluckily crucified at the first bend in the Derby quarter-final and the long run to the bend now can see him gain compensation if repelling Native Chimes early on.

That's not to adamantly say that they will be in the lead at that stage because both Fweshfromthesesh and in particular Whoops Jack will be expecting to be vying vigorously for the chance to turn first. Whoops Jack is a special talent but oh so inconsistent and this appears an attempt to get him back on the bunny. If he breaks well, he will lead but even then I'm not convinced he will stay the 575. I'm not convinced Native Chimes will be powering home to the 575 yard finish line either and although Drive On Tipp needs to lead Cahir Castle to halfway, of the unknowns, he is as likely to relish this test as any else while no slouch in the early exchanges when given clear space either. 5/2.

Fast Fit Alex has had good draws in this event and is taking advantage. Again he is drawn on the right side of danger here and can come away better than he did last week so defending the rails against Jaytee Dutch is highly likely. Last week's flying exit from 2015 Czech Puppy Derby winner Ballymac Galway is far from certain to be repeated and we are likely to see a repeat of last week's semi-final with Alex trying to chase down slick early pacer Cometwopass.

Alex would not want to find his back-side blocking his challenge at the closing bends for if so, Dutch will close right up and be back in contention with his power-packed finish but overall it is folly to ignore game runners of high quality when presented with an ideal draw....and that's what Alex is here! Around 6/4.

2017 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Final
I'll keep it simple for the final, I'm with Good News and the deciding factor is that he seems to be taking the runs as well if not better than any in the field. He'll be plenty short enough at 7/4 however and I would like to be holding a ticket from an earlier stage.

The big concern for the favourite is the runner on his inside and if we could swap traps with Hey Bound, I think Good News would prove too strong to contain. In the opening round of the Derby, we had Sonic in Trap 6 with Hey Bound on the inside of Good News. Sonic enjoyed an easy win but was all of ten lengths in advance of the selection because Hey Bound went to the bend on the inside of Good News and the pair endured plenty of bumping before he eventually got round the plucky Cronin runner.

That's the big task that Pat Guilfoyle's hopeful faces upon leaving traps now. He must lead Hey Bound by enough to turn cleanly, probably three parts of a length needed to shy him out of it. If he can accomplish that, he is expected to run down likely leader Buckos Dream. Good News presented as a very fresh dog last week and for that reason I'm sticking with him to produce under pressure.

My main contention ahead of the race is that only two dogs can win this Derby.....those being Buckos Dream and the dog that turns in second place. For the rest are strong runners and if occupying second position on the back-straight, are unlikely to be passed.

Black Farren can win if Hey Bound shoves Good News out at the bend; he can sneak beneath the pair and possibly turn second before running down the leader.

Jaytee Jet's one and only way of winning is by breaking well, preventing Sonic from flying around the outside at the bend before setting off in chase of Bucko.

Sonic can win by tracking Bucko for a clear run around the bend but he will have to do it off a decent break to make sure nothing comes running off the bend into his path.

The realistic chances for our finalists are more wide ranging than the market would suggest for I don't think Sonic and Good News have massively more plausible claims than say Black Farren or Buckos Dream and the latter in particular has the simplest path to victory. We could be watching a complicated tussle at the bend to see who can possibly turn second, but that tussle may be for minor places because their is no guarantee that Curly Mike's blistering early pacer will stop in time to oblige the stronger runners.

That's my version of brief.......but you could write a novel on this race before even touching on some of the wonderful stories that are behind our finalists. The best of luck to's hoping it Will be Great!! (It better be....I'm missing my pups trialing in Kilflynn for this!!)

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Increased Prize-money from October

Irish Greyhound Board confirm 25% increase in prize money

‘Increase in prize money will support greyhound re-homing and welfare’

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has today (Tuesday 19 September) confirmed the planned increase in prize money through an equivalent of a 25% increase in ordinary race grants will take effect from 1 October 2017.

The decision has been made possible through the sale of Harold’s Cross Stadium which will clear the company’s legacy debt and facilitate scope for re-investment into the industry.

Commenting on the announcement IGB Chairman Phil Meaney said:

“This increase in prize money which works out at an additional investment of €1.2m, will provide for an overall annual prize money total of over €9 million. I am delighted to see this further support to owners, breeders and trainers which will further sustain the greyhound sector. Today’s announcement will also  further support the re-homing of retired greyhounds as a percentage of prize money matched by IGB is assigned to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT). In recent years, the number of re-homed greyhounds through the IRGT and supported re-homing agencies has increased from 614 in 2014 to 891 in 2016.”

The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT), a registered charity set up by the IGB, works with owners to re-home greyhounds after retirement and in promoting greyhounds as domestic pets. The charity is funded by a 2% deduction from winning prize money which is then matched by the IGB. Many retired greyhounds are also re-homed throughout Ireland, Europe and North America through charities supported by the IRGT.

Contrary to perception, greyhounds make for excellent pets as they require little exercise or special diet.

Support the IRGT at Derby Final

Show your support for your favourite Derby Finalist this weekend in aid of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust. Rosettes supporting each of the finalists will be on sale in Shelbourne Park on Saturday night at the Final of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby. Priced at only €5 all money raised from the sale of the rosettes will go directly to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, with the rosettes themselves paid for by the IGB Marketing department.

Last year, a total of €1,250.65 was raised for the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust through sales of rosettes and donations received at the Derby Final. **Let's treble that this year!!
Barry Coleman, Welfare Manager at the IGB, manning the IRGT stand at last year’s Derby Final.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Live RTE Derby Fancies

A hugely exciting night ahead and for now we will just concentrate on the positives in our sport at a time which was due to be a celebration of excellence and all that is good in the game. The fastest professional athletes on the planet will do battle for a place in the final of the most prestigious greyhound competition in the world.......and that's all I'm concentrating on today!

For the first time in twelve months, we are back on mainstream TV with five live races on the RTE coverage from 8 to 9.30pm. The first of those is a classy 550 yard event with runners who all contested the Derby itself.

Race 3 Trap 3 Barefoot Painter. Knocked out in the first round of the Derby behind Concrete Jungle who re-opposes tonight, the selection is confidently put forward to get us started in profit. Yes there is some early pace to his inside but he is plenty capable of matching them in the early strides and anything approaching a clear run would see him too strong for that pair beyond halfway.

A threat here would be Me Phat Daddy if returning to his best break but a concerning draw in Trap 5 may be enough to negate that threat especially when considered that in contrast, Painter has his ideal draw. He is 4 from 5 when wearing the white jacket and unlike his opponents who went deeper in the Derby and all ran in the last fortnight, he has had a month to re-assess and is likely to present fresher than any. Expect him to start around the 2/1 mark.

Race 4 Trap 2 Fast Fit Alex. Quite an amount of early pace here which includes reserve Toolmaker Obama in Trap 3 after the withdrawal of Tyrur Hugo and the draw can prove key for the selection. Toolmaker will be kept busy with his attempts to repel brilliant early pacer Cometwopass on the run to the bend and this pair are a major complication for the much respected Ballybough Dad who will be expected to contest close to them on the outside upon turning.

The task for Fast Fit Alex is much more straight-forward than all those mentioned who will be sweating a clear run. Alex can outpace Slippery Billy on his inside for command of the crucial rails pitch and his claims for a clear run are much more plausible. He could possibly lead but even if Cometwopass turns in front, a likely handy position in behind should see Alex pick him up close home at around 9/4.

Race 5 Trap 2 Elusive Heights. Yeah I know, I'm tipping a 14-race maiden to win the semi-final of a Derby Plate but I can see this happen. The selection ran a cracker last week when simply not close enough at the second bend to use his powerful stamina for victory. However, he can turn closer tonight and we will be hoping that the favourite gets everything right from the boxes. Expecting Jaytee Dutch to run wide off the first bend (which he is given to do lately), this heat does not house much early pace and he could hold up the field just enough for the selection to close right up on the inside. In this scenario we would have realistic claims to see the strong stayer gain a deserved first career success at around 11/2.

Semi-final 1
I won't have a bet in the first semi-final of the Derby, for the simple reason that I can't be adamant about what will happen from traps but I can see how the fancied duo of Native Chimes & Tyrur Harold could find a problem or two. If I do put my hand in my pocket, it will be small change coming out and it will go on Buckos Dream for I believe that he can lead to the bend again. 6/1 is big enough to risk small money while hoping for trouble behind to collect.

If he does, he gives dangerous runner Jaytee Barracuda the opportunity to track him with an ideal tow to the back-straight and as long as Jaytee has Bucko to aim at, he will be so difficult to overhaul for anyone who ends up behind him. Of course Native Chimes and Tyrur Harold are the big two here. A concern for both is how Harold moved markedly towards the rails form Trap 5 last week which was a little surprising. Hard pressed, I'd say he won't do that again....but he could I suppose. If he did, that could spell big trouble because although an outsider, Hey Bound can move to the bend and backing either of the favourites at 6/4, you do not want him on your inner when preparing to turn, especially if your main rival is also paw to paw with you as Bucko cuts the nose off everyone.

I expect the class of both Native and Tyrur to get them out of any potential trouble and a fast break for either would settle the race. In fact a fast break for either would almost certainly help the other by affording extra racing room. But with the respected Black Farren ideally drawn, a question or two at trap rise along with the enigmatic Barracuda with a heaven sent draw, there is just too much for my brain to work out here and I'm leaving it alone.

Semi-final 2
This may have just five runners with the loss of a superstar but it is still a compelling likely thriller with simply amazing exponents of the art. To think that a dog who went under the track record for 550 at Longford in June could be 25/1 in a five runner race, well, that's just testament to Drumsna Star's opposition here.

As ever, the draw is key and that is the reason Good News earns the vote. There have been many runners in the Derby who would expect to lead the main players here on the run to the bend but in reality, Good News, Sonic and Kilgraney Ace probably all average the same from boxes to the turn. In that situation you would always like to be on the inside when arriving at the bend and fancying Good News is as simple as that. The three mentioned are expected to contest the lead and given clear runs, are the three I would select to qualify......but, we have learned not to ever discount the mighty Jaytee Jet.

He will again be flying close home and any problems for the leaders will see him pounce on a qualification spot without hesitation. It's going to be a fascinating watch but the draw says Good News at around 7/4.

**I have a few passes for Shelbourne tonight so call to the kennels during the day if you're close to me. Otherwise just get in touch before entering the track but make it early, I will be tied-up from about 6.40 onward.

See you all tonight, from this angle!!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Try a Treble, Again, In Derby Rd 3

The nerves will be starting to jangle for connections of all remaining runners in the 2017 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby ahead of tonight's quarter-finals, not that I'd feel sorry any of them or anything, they are after all exactly where the rest of us all want to be!

We got our treble up last week and we'll have another go tonight for it appears the draw offers the opportunity to cash-in again, albeit quite a bit tougher. The selections will again omit Clares Rocket however with the main reason being lack of value but also because the outright favourite has his most dangerous task of the event thus far from a tricky closing heat.

Stick me to the wall and I still say he'll win but this time he has runners capable of matching him to the bend and the star of the show so far may see a dog tonight for the first time in a month! If Typical Ash was breaking well, Rocket's draw would be even worse but despite his vicious early pace, the Holian runner has to improve his break to bother the favourite. One that can bother him though is Buckos Dream and I would be surprised if he is not on Rocket's inner at the bend.

Although plenty far away in Trap 3, Skywalker Manner could well be upsides that pair at the bend also if back to his early paced best and that's not even considering the possibility that Good News could fend off Manner to the bend; a line of runners approaching the bend in tight quarters is certainly a possibility.

Clares Rocket
There is quality in every box and some classy sorts are in big danger of elimination from the heat. Bocko or Manner can qualify if one of them can turn in front. Whichever of the possible scenarios materialises, Rocket's class will see him through at the very minimum because it's not like he can't recover if things go wrong so for the remainder it might be a case of picking up scraps. Hovex Mick has, in theory at least, a good draw in Trap 1 and is definitely approaching his best at present while Good News has done nothing to suggest that he can't qualify. This is a tough Derby heat, as it should be at quarter-final stage and is a no bet race for me. There are simply too many possible scenarios.

A word of caution though and something that must be looked out for as the hare approaches traps is whether Clares Rocket repeats his mis-timed break of last week. Some may have missed it but he made a very early drive at the trap door a week ago. It was so early that he had time to reset himself for the eventual trap rise but this was a heart-in-mouth moment that his legion of supporters will not want repeated.......settle lad!

Heat 1 Trap 5 Sonic. The heat appears to be a good make-up for Sonic who should not be inconvenienced by Jaytee Barracuda in the opening exchanges. It must be a bit of a nightmare for Graham Holland with three in the same heat but his Clona Kid looks assured to command the inside and regular readers could probably guess what I think will happen at the bend once Drive On Tipp has a backside in his eye-line.

I expect Drive On Tipp to switch out and move off the bend in search of a sight at the hare; with both Pension Plan and Hey Bound highly likely to be on his right at this point, bumping is very possible. Even Sonic may be in danger of a small tip despite being wider out but he is very much fancied to get around in second place or very close to it and Clona Kid would want to be gone a long way in front to entertain fending him off. You could probably find a more straight-forward 8/11 shot somewhere today but if he's going to win, we have to have him! 8/11 Boyles

Heat 2 Trap 6 Kilgraney Ace. It pains me to go against Native Chimes here, especially after he lined our pockets last week but the Ace is back on song and with an ideal draw tonight, looks assured of clear passage to the back-straight where his slick early pace can have the heat settled before turning for home. Expect Chimes to power around the inside runners at the second bend before going in pursuit but Ace is clocking well and should last home. 11/10 Boyles

Heat 3 Trap 4 Droopys Cabaye. The one to make the treble value but not selected solely on those grounds. Cabaye faces into a very tough heat where again, some supreme talents are in danger of elimination. Housed beside fellow unbeaten runner Tyrur Harold, who was in our treble last week, crucially Cabaye is on his inner. At first glance it looks lethal with Burnt Beans on the opposite side but the selection has not put a foot wrong at traps so far and if these race in tight quarters to the bend I would want to be on Cabaye every time.

Having stood close to the first bend, especially in Round One when he had threatening company alongside, Cabaye behaves live a scary monster entering the turn and is thoroughly willing to take the ground of any and all runners without any regard for his own other words, he really wants it! If I wasn't backing him in this heat, I wouldn't back any of the others for that very reason, I just couldn't be against him. Backing him to win that early battle amounts to backing him to win the race for if he turns first, he will not be passed and even that last comment was hard to type when you know Jaytee Jet is going to be powering from halfway....some heat! 3/1 Boyles

TREBLE pays 13.5-1 on Boyles

***Anyone passing through Nenagh on their way to Shelbourne tonight, give me a buzz. I can't make it tonight (not happy) but I have a few passes if anyone is near me today.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Cambridgeshire Final 2017

Aside from the obvious at Shelbourne Park, there is plenty to entertain at the top level around the country this weekend and the Cambridgeshire Open 750 provides quality final action at Limerick where the commencement of the always entertaining Birmingham Hooper Dolan 600 forms part of a quality under-card with recent Derby eliminees Mildean Puma and Sellout Magic among a stellar entry.

In the Cambridgeshire, there was some high profile casualties in the semi`s with Ballymac Bonnie and Droopys Smasher failing to progress from a heat won by Oakfront Oreo in a slick 41.76 which was over 80 spots ahead of the opposing semi won by Cailin Pol.

It would be easy to dismiss the qualifiers from the slower heat and in win terms they do have a mountain to climb but that does not mean that they can't influence the outcome.

Aiding Oakfornt Oreo in a thrilling buckle with Searchforahero last week was his draw on the inside of that rival as they cut out a fast pace from the off. Tempering confidence in Oreo now is that same rival's position to his inner while complicating matters for both is the sharp and wonderfully game Cailin Pol who could deny them a rails pitch in the early stages as she would be fancied to lead Rockchase Bilic from Trap 2.

In a short run to the bend it is always likely to get tight at the corner in a 750 race but this time it looks nigh-on inevitable when considered that Society St Ridle is also likely to race in a prominent position on the outside of that trio and predicting who will gain a crucial clear run is far from simple. That said, a fast break for either Oakfront Oreo or Searchforahero could settle the final early.

What is predictable however is that Jaytee Patriot, on all recent evidence, will not be beside these at the bend to worry about an early bump. He hasn't been trapping well and indeed never has in five Limerick outings. Expected to track the early leaders to the third bend, those leaders have very similar figures for the opening 225 yards and the possibility of bumps remains high even beyond the first turn.

The Hennessy runner, who got too far detached last week, can keep closer order to halfway this time before unleashing his powerful finishing kick.

Trap 1:
Flew from halfway in close 3rd to T2 last week. Must keep closer order for late bid now.
Trap 2:
Such a gutsy performer & semi winner can make bold bid again if sneak round in lead.
Trap 3:
Lost out in brilliant battle with T4 latest but clear claim again now inside him, chance!
Trap 4:
Fastest in semi`s, winning thriller vrs T3. Draw a factor & must match him early, player!
Trap 5:
Just lost out in a cracker with T2 last week. Time to find but likely lead on outer, trios?
Trap 6:
Got too detached in semi but expect another late rally & powerful stayer is a big factor.
Win/ Place:
Reverse Forecast:
Trio All-Ways:

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Try a Treble in Derby Rd 3!

It's always one the most exciting nights on the racing calendar when the action converges to a single programme of eight third round heats and the 2017 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby will reach the halfway point tonight at Shelbourne Park.

The outlook of the event will become much more polarised come 10.30 pm with just 24 runners remaining, although some would contest that it had already been narrowed even beyond that from the very first exchanges and few could present a reasonable case to contradict those who claim that the Derby already lies between Sonic or Clares Rocket.

Sonic was simply awesome when extricating himself from a perilous first bend position while posting 29.62 last week and was arguably even more impressive than Clares Rocket in his scorching 29.15 success. The latter can again threaten the record if the expected rains can hold off until after Heat 6 but either way, he appears assured of clear passage tonight which can see him remain unbeaten. At odds of around 1/5 however, there's hardly even any point in sticking him in among your other accumulator selections.

In or around the 8/13 mark though, there is merit in supporting Sonic for Heat 7. I won't lay odds to any bookie in a greyhound race but for those who will, he looks banker material. In betting terms, I'm happier to invest with him in Trap 6 and given that the best early pace in the race is to his immediate inner with Buckos Dream, he can track that rival to the bend while wide of any potential trouble. With Sonic expected to turn in second place, Bucko would need a minimum of six lengths by halfway if he could hope to fend off the Holland powerhouse, and even that would probably not be enough.

At a similar price in a 5-runner Heat 2, Tyrur Harold can also justify a banker tag. From Trap 4, he will have an empty box to his left and likely to break sharper than he did last week, should only have Black Farren on his inner at the first bend while containing those on his outer. A clear run looks highly plausible and he is another favourite who should convert while confirming his very competitive outright claims.

Still a short price but bringing the value of a treble up to justifiable reward is Native Chimes in Heat 3. Some will naturally be concerned about being drawn in Trap 6 for a race with all inside seeds but I have never viewed Chimes as draw dependent more clear run dependent, as obvious as that sounds. For completely clear runs are a rarity with this powerhouse. A big framed dog, even his best break takes a stride or two before developing into a full gallop and possessing greater early pace than he largely gets credit for, he invariably reaches the bend in company, more often than not. In middle traps, that can be dangerous for betting purposes but may not be an issue tonight.

While a drift left can't be ruled out, he has in the past and will now happily race outside runners to the bend; as for example when housed in Trap 5 for the Con & Annie Kirby Final. Tonight, Concrete Jungle is likely to dominate the early exchanges on the inner while Clona Kid would be the fancy to match or track him from Trap 5. The latter is an ideal rival to have on Chime's left in the context of this race and expect the Johnny O'Sullivan monster to range alongside him before setting off in chase of Concrete Jungle down the back. Somewhere between 7/4 & 2/1, he'll do for me!

TREBLE PAYS over 6/1 with BOYLES
HEAT 7 TRAP 6 SONIC **won!

In the outright market, it's hard to recommend anything at this stage, and I won't! If you're on the Rocket or Sonic, fair play! And if like me you are on one of the others, it does look like we are going to need a poor break and/or a complicated draw for that pair before it is all over if we are to collect, an assertion, not a wish!

That said, it's not even halfway yet and while they look unstoppable at present, you are never too far ahead of a supremely talented posse in the Irish Derby. It's far from a two-dog race and if there is one who I wish I had in my ante-post portfolio at this point it would be Tyrur Harold....and I wouldn't put anyone off him at 14/1.

For the record my own betting hopes are with Native Chimes 33/1, Jaytee Jet 33/1, Swithins Brae 66/1. Keep her lit boys!