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Draper kennel worth following with Capoley
MUCH to ponder since the last blog, and the really encouraging news is that most of it is extremely positive even if it has generally been action on the track making us forget about the woes off it.
Harold’s Cross two Fridays ago for the heats of the Irish Puppy Derby was absolutely heaving and it such as shame to read of integrity issues there, not on big nights such as that but more humdrum offerings.
The first bend at the Cross is best described as challenging and it can take some getting used to so expect to see improved performances from a number of youngsters as the competition progresses. It is no bad thing for a pup to be taken out of the comfort zone of facile wins against lesser opposition and some of those who make it through to the decider will doubtless feature in the big action of next year just as those from the Class of 2010 such as Melodys Royal, Dream Walker and Mill Bling Bling did this campaign.
Of course, the greyhound on everyone’s lips in Ireland is Milldean Panther, who managed the not inconsiderable achievement of all but upstaging Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby winner Razldazl George when taking the puppy open at Shelbourne on final night.
To be mentioned in the same breath as Premier Fantasy is high praise indeed, but he certainly looked to deserve all the plaudits going after beating a proper field in 28.13sec, just five spots outside the great dog’s track record. Ladbrokes have put him at 16-1 for next year’s Irish Derby and, bonkers as it seems at this stage, I’m probably more a player than a layer.
What of Razldazl George, who credited the brilliant Dolores Ruth with a third Derby success when wearing down the aforementioned Dream Walker to claim the Euro 120,000 first prize in a final where kennelmate Razldazl Bugatti did him a huge favour by stopping the progress of Rockchase Bullet at the first bend?
I’d say the evidence is fairly compelling now that George does not want a huge amount of quick races as hedoes not improve through an event as you might think, and it was no surprise afterwards to hear Dolores say that Wimbledon is probably not on the agenda for him next year even though she still intends to ready a huge team.
The whole Shelbourne experience was wonderful and it really is a national occasion with the great and good all keen to be there, and be seen. Comparisons with Wimbledon are not entirely fair, it is not like with like, but it does go to show how much more can be done.
Jumping ahead, and in the interests of fairness, it is only fair to point out that Wimbledon on Saturday for the William Hill Leger heats was a fun experience, and I do think I now begin to get it where the GRA is concerned.
There was a very healthy crowd, all having a whale of a time and very happy to queue for a short time before handing over their money to bar, food and tote staff and even the occasional bookmaker. They are not purists, but the greyhound racingfix is not the be all and end all of their night, more a start, and they are happy with what is on offer.
I do, though, think that the overflowing sinks in the gents could have been sorted out some time during the evening in which case desperate salvation measures on my shoes may not have been necessary!
So far as the Leger action was concerned, sad to see Droopys Greg have to be pulled out after his impressive win but it was always a concern how he would take the race, while Paul Hennessy’s Irish raider Barefoot Machine could do no more than clock the best time of the round.
However, the greyhound to take out of the night was Barrie Draper’s Capoley Ash, who gave ante-post favourite Blonde Fletch a real fright despite clearly checking at the sough a lap early. At reasonable double figures, he looks a cracking each-way play.
That run came 24 hours after Draper’s Puppy Derby winner Eden Star had clocked a scarcely credible 23.34sec in winning his Romford Puppy Cup semi-final and it will be fascinating to see whether he can back up the run in this Friday’s final. If he does, how far would you go to see a clash between him and Milldean Panther?
Looking ahead, and back at the same time, East Anglian Derby winning trainer Chris Allsopp has the chance to further extend his Trainers’ Championship lead courtesy of Head Iton Jason in Tueaday’s Carling 3 Steps to Victory final at Sheffield. The Yarmouth success was a well-earned one for Ballymac Ace and here’s hoping more people will see the event next year with a return to the Sky Sports screens.
As it is, Sky’s 400th broadcast comes from Harlow on Tuesday where the feature is the Bigwin.com Property Stakes over 592m. Sean Walsh’s Tain Meave, who has worn orange just twice before in an otherwise trap six monopolised 50-race British career, can prove the future’s bright.
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