GREYHOUNDS: We preview each race from Round Two of the Irish Derby, starting with Friday’s eight heats.
Ninety-Six Remain as we Enter Round Two
Good Cody clocked the fastest time of the year for the Derby trip on Friday when stopping the clock at 29:25, while Bobsleigh Dream was the fastest in Saturday’s session in 29:33. Others to impress were Ballymac Finn, Ballinabola Ed and the Coolavanny pair of Calvn (since withdrawn) and Hoffa. Sentimental Lad for Michael and Eimear Heeney was a popular winner on Saturday evening. We have sixteen second round heats to look forward to this weekend, eight on Friday and the remaining eight on Saturday evening. Let’s look at the upcoming action.
Friday August 26th
1. Bockos Leah
2. Wi Can Dream
3. Ballymac Run
5. Beach Avenue
6. Coolavanny Hoffa
Verdict: Coolavanny Hoffa was visually very impressive when making all last week and he has a perfect draw outside Beach Avenue this Friday. Speaking to Hoffa’s trainer Michael O Donovan immediately after last week’s victory, he expects him to improve for the run, any improvement on last weeks effort will see him extremely difficult to beat.
Wi Can Dream was another to impress last weekend and has some fine early pace. He will need to clear Bockos Leah early to be seen at his best. Velasco has fine early pace and may edge inwards on the run to the corner. Beach Avenue can never be written off around here and the race could be run to suit. He could be hard to keep out of the frame. If Coolavanny Hoffa breaks level, he should have too much for his rivals.
2.One Time Only
3. Droopys Gravy
Verdict: Explosive Boy once again finds himself with the best of the draw in heat two. The 2021 greyhound of the year did plenty of running to get up late and deny Born Warrior last weekend. Dual classic winner One Time Only survived a minor scare last week to eventually qualify comfortably and he can cause Explosive Boy some trouble if breaking on terms. The Robert Gleeson trained pair of Droopys Gravy and Toolmaker Wilde face tricky draws and will need luck.
Magical Kuba, a second runner in this heat for Patrick Guilfoyle, was the quickest of these last week and will make them all go with one of his better starts. Dublin Cup winner Ballymore Border qualified as a fastest loser but is capable of much better. He missed the break badly last week and can go up much quicker. I’ll side with One Time Only in this, the recent Champion Stakes winner is blessed with stunning early pace and can lead his rivals with a level break.
1. Hannover Phantom
2. Callaway Pro Am
3. Coolavanny Calvn (N/R, No reserve)
4. Singalong Sally
5. Bockos Budsit
6. Sentimental Lad
Verdict: Coolavanny Calvn is a reported non-runner with no reserve to run from box three. As a result, Singalong Sally can benefit from the extra room on her inside, Sally ran a cracker behind her kennel mate Ballinabola Ed last Saturday and the 2021 Runner Up is expected to lead up the inside runners. Bockos Budsit and Sentimental Lad had a great buckle a couple of weeks back in the semi-final of the Champion Stakes when Sentimental Lad got the better of Bockos Budsit late on.
The five-dog race will suit Sentimental Lad. Galway Track record holder Hannover Phantom has a habit of finding the trouble spots but is hugely fast when things go his way. Callaway Pro Am faces a tough draw. Preference is for Sentimental Lad to track the pace setters early before proving too strong late on.
Verdict: English Derby winner Romeo Magico certainly caught the eye in defeat in round one when he flew down the back straight after a tardy start. Graham Holland’s star tracker can go up much better. He will need to if he is to clear the inside trio. Benalmadena Roxy has won over two bends and was a good winner last week. Part Blake is another who can go up well, but he was slightly disappointing for me last week after leading early.
Oak’s runner up Scooby Duchess was another to run well last week despite not getting the best of runs. She can fly from traps on occasions and would make them all go if leading early. None will be finishing faster than Flying Honours and Cushie Concorde comes into it on the draw. Scooby Duchess loves it here and with one of her better starts she could go well at a price.
5.Tommy Too Many
Verdict: Speaking to Dolores Ruth just before the off last week she told us “Jet was ready to fly”. She wasn’t wrong. In fact, Mustang Jet (17:09) was the third fastest runner to the third bend in round one. Its easy to see him leading once again on Saturday night with only Kilgraney Sydney (17:29) in one likely to go to the bend near him.
Corn Cuchulainn winner Crafty Kokoro blew her rivals away in the second half of the race last weekend but will need to be within striking distance at halfway. Tommy Too Many was an unlucky loser on last week’s Shelbourne Park debut, and he is expected to improve for a run around the Dublin track.
1.Gaa Gaa Carla
6.Droopys Nice One
Verdict: Droopys Nice One is the only heat winner lining up in this. She produced a big finish to get up and deny English Derby runner up Kildare last week. One of the biggest eyecatchers of round one was Killeacle Phelps, he walked from traps but stormed home to finish second. Phelps can come away better and what ever leads early between the two outside runners will take plenty of stopping.
Emilys Jet is another who was expected to lead last week but didn’t quite get his starting right. I can see her leading this week, but he will need to have a good buffer on Phelps and Droopys Nice One at halfway. I’ll side with Killeacle Phelps to pick up Emilys Jet late on with Droopys Nice One hot on their heels.
Verdict: Flaminmoneybags scored for the thirteenth time last week and he must be a real pleasure to own. I bumped into his syndicate of owners shortly after the race and they are getting a real kick out of this fellow. He never seems to run a bad race, but he faces a tough assignment this Friday. Ballymac Leon is a dog I like; he has stunning early pace when trapping in his best style and therein lies his chance this Friday.
All four of the inside runners can go up well and it really is all on the break. Irish classic winner and English Derby finalist Priceless is one of the most consistent around and will be hard to keep out of the placings.
Verdict: The last of Friday night’s heat’s where Good Cody is likely to go off favourite. Fastest in round one Cody faces a tricky draw surrounded by early pacers. Skywalker Barry has long been one of the best around and can show all his class from a perfect draw in one. Stefans Rock was a fine all the way winner last week and will look to employ similar tactics this time around.
Galloping Sydney made it eight wins from twelve outings when leading around the opening turns while Bulletfromagun certainly lived up to his name in round one. Good Cody is one of Irelands best but be wary of short odds. He will need to do everything right at traps against some classy opposition. At the prices, I’ll side with Skywalker Barry.
Friday’s Best Bets
Coolavanny Hoffa: One unit win
Ballymac Leon: One unit win