Our Derby Fan keeps us Up-To-Date on his thoughts on The Ladbrokes Irish Greyhound Derby 2012
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012 Final Preview
Trap 1 Razldazl George
The current champion has overcome all adversaries to make his second Derby Final in a row. He was a shadow of himself all year until the Derby came around and he has burst back into life at the right time which is a credit to his connections, Dolores Ruth has the Midas touch. Although the stats are against him, we haven’t had a back to back winner of the Derby since the legendary Spanish Battleship in the fifties; he has his favoured rails draw.
He needs to come away with the field and maintain his rails position on the crucial run up to the opening bend. If securing an uninterrupted path he will try to make his move down the back straight utilising his middle pace into the third bend to challenge up on the rails. He will be eating up the ground in the home straight
Trap 2 Skywalker Puma
Trained by the maestro Matt O’Donnell, this dog has not been out of the first two places throughout the competition. He blitzed the field in the semi final when he turned close off the second bend and moved through the gears along the back straight to slam a high class line up by six and a half lengths.
His draw in trap 2 is very workable, he needs to beat Razldazl George on his inside to the bend and manoeuvre around to kick down the far side. I’m of the opinion that no dog will be finishing quicker but he cannot give the early pacers too much of a lead or he will struggle to pick them up if caught in a bit of trouble. The bookies have him a slight favourite to lift the crown, and he deserves his place at the top of the market.
Trap 3 Cuil Cougar
A second finalist for Dazzling Syndicate, this electric early pacer has added more consistency to his armour throughout this competition. In an ideal world he would flash from the traps and try to put the pace to the race if he is to win.
Early pace is a potent weapon so if he can lead the field a merry dance, this hound certainly has the gears to worry the other contenders, especially as he could miss any potential trouble at the opening bend and scoot clear down the back straight, therein lies his chance
Trap 4 Tyrur Sugar Ray
The youngest runner in the line up and probably the most talked about dog after his scintillating quarter final run getting close to the track record. His draw is a big negative; he wants to be drawn bang on the rails and will manoeuvre towards the fence at the earliest opportunity. He has shown that he can smash out of the traps, but he will surely meet resistance with the runners drawn inside of him all keeping a straight line to the opening bend. He needs to miss the trouble spots and be able to secure a clear passage as he definitely has the pace to lift the crown.
Trap 5 Coolykeren Imp
Although discounted by the bookmakers as the outsider in the field, this early pace hound has a great draw to work from and has to lead if he is to lift the title. He is a possible leader and needs luck in running, but we all know in a final, anything can happen.
The Greyhound Derby is the toughest test of any dog so he could have been feeling the effects of a couple of hard races back to back; hopefully we’ll see a rejuvenated performance this week on the biggest stage of all.
Trap 6 Camas
The sole wide seed has a brilliant draw to work from coupled with the trapping ability and early pace to match any of the runners in the race. The trap stats are against him as we haven’t had a winner from the stripes since 1997 but he is sure to get a ‘solo’ as the other runners all want to be near the fence.
This consistent hound will be able to slipstream the likely leaders to throw down his challenge down the far side and at a big price of 10/1 will surely interest the value punters as he is by far the best drawn dog in the final.
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012 Semi Final Preview
The dust has now settled after a night of unbelievable drama at Shelbourne Park for the Quarter Finals of the Irish Derby. The draw was made for the semi finals straight after racing and has thrown up two evenly matched heats.
Trap Draw is the most important factor when trying to predict how any race will pan out and the draw has been a lot kinder to some connections. With qualification the name of the game, let’s look ahead to the semi finals.
1st Semi Final
Skywalker Puma in Trap 3 looks set to start favourite for this heat and lost nothing in defeat last week when going down a 4 ½ lengths to an amazing run from Tyrur Sugar Ray. His draw on the outside of Trap 2 Coolykereen Imp could have been better as this lad moves middle straight from the trap rise. If he does slightly miss the kick, he could follow the early paced runners around the opening bends and kick on down the far side. His turbo charged finish can see him qualify the final.
Razldazl Bugatti is the best drawn dog in the race in Trap 1 and should have a clear run to the first bend. His electric early pace coupled with him staying on better than he was at the start of the competition, should see him make his second Irish Derby Final, possibly as the semi final winner.
Trap 5 Laughil Billy has arrived in the semi finals under the radar of some greyhound fans but this early pace dog definitely has the ability to make the final. A few of the Shelbourne regulars flagged this dog up as a potential champion at big odds, discount him at your peril!
Camas has a great draw in Trap 6 and is the only remaining wide runner left in the competition. He will keep a straight from trap rise and if the inside runners were to tangle on the crucial run up to the opening bends, he will miss the trouble spots and kick on down the far side.
Trap 2 Coolykereen Imp needs to lead this field and hope for some trouble behind him, therein lies his chance.
Airforce Diva is the forgotten runner in this field, she is without doubt one of the best bitches in the country on her day and her draw in Trap 4 is not a negative. She will need a bit of luck in running but she has a potent finishing kick which could see her arrive on the scene at the finishing line.
2nd Semi Final
Tyrur Sugar Ray will be a warm favourite for this heat after a sensational quarter final victory. His connections will be ecstatic with his Trap 1 draw, but he still needs to be foot perfect from the trap rise or he could have his ground taken on the run up to the bend. He has the gears to get out of any trouble but a week is a long time in greyhound racing, and we’ll see if he can match his quarter final exploits.
Champion Stakes winner Droopys Jet got back to winning ways and has an ok draw in Trap 3. He would prefer to be closer to the rails but his burst of early and middle pace can see him in a challenging position down the back straight.
The reigning Champions Razldazl George is coming to the boil at the crucial part of the competition but needs to come away from the lids in his best fashion as both of the runners draw outside of him will move inwards as they reach the bend, if avoiding trouble spots he can make the final as he flies home from halfway.
Trap 2 Cuil Cougar is the most interesting runner for me, he is a completely different dog when he leads and has clocked some impressive times in the competition. If he gets another flier, he can wrestle the rails slot from Tyrur Sugar Ray and try to burst clear into the opening bend, it will take a good one to peg him back.
The two outsiders in the field, Trap 5 Killbarry Rover and Trap 6 Newlawn Tock have been mistakenly disregarded by the bookmakers but you don’t make a derby semi final if you are not a top class dog. These runners would have preferred to be drawn near the fence and will need to lead this field to qualify for the final, which is definitely not out of the question.
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012 Quarter Final Preview
The third round of the Derby produced some big priced winners, scintillating action and a few shock exits to re-affirm why this is the greatest greyhound competition in the world.
The Quarter Final draw has thrown up a few conundrums for us to try to sort out. The margin or error is so minute with these top class hounds, it’s important to look at all possible angles into how you think the race will develop.
Heat 1- This is now a five runner field due to the unfortunate withdrawal of Stay Thirsty due to injury. Droopys Jet will start a warm favourite despite things not going his way in the last two rounds, he badly checked at the third bend in round two and totally missed the kick from the lids in round three. I don’t expect him to have any issues this week and with his normal break, he will have too much early pace and will clear the field to put the race to bed off the second bend.
The reining champ Razldazl George has impressed in the last two rounds coming back to form, his connections will be happy to qualify as he has been trained to peak for the final by his shrewd trainer.
Newlawn Tock has a lot of early pace and it would be no surprise if he caused an upset here, he would need to lead Droopys Jet though which is a tall order, but not beyond a possibility. He could be the value bet at the prices despite being mad for the rails if poaching an early lead
Heat 2- This heat is jam packed with early pace and looks likely to be decided at the first two bends. Trap 1 Coolykereen Imp will move middle from the trap rise, Razldazl Bugatti is electric to the opening turn and has a perfect draw in Trap 3 and will be hard to lead.
The favourite will undoubtedly be Trap 4 Confident Rankin but the trap draw could have been kinder and I expect him to struggle being so far from the fence and could make his exit from the competition.
Trap 5 Laughil Billy will need a flyer as there isso much early pace on his inside but he should not be underestimated as he is a top class hound on his day.
The most interesting runner is the English challenger Sawpit Sensation on the outside. He will not be able to live with his rivals on the run up to the opening bends, but if there is any bumping or crowding, and there is a massive chance of that, he could dodge the early skirmishes and power down the back straight. If he is close off the last bend he will rattle home at a decent price.
Heat 3- The Derby favourite Ballymac Vic put in a faultless performance last week and if repeating that kind of run would be hard to beat. He has been inconsistent at the trap rise in the earlier rounds and if he doesn’t blast out I expect him to be in trouble.
Trap 4 Cuil Cougar is a massive runner, if he leads he is a completely different dog that when he is in behind, therein lies his chance.
Trap 1 Killbarry Rover has a great draw on the inside and has improved throughout the Derby but he will have to be foot perfect to win this heat.
The value bet in the race has to be Airforce Diva in Trap 6 at 10/1 with the sponsors. She is one of the best bitches in the land on her day and she will keep a straight line from the traps, while the inside runners have the potential to have a barging match on the crucial run up. She has the ability and the gears to win.
Heat 4- Skywalker Puma has taken the scalp of Droopys Jet for two weeks running, but his lack of early pace will make life difficult for him from his Trap 5 draw. He needs to avoid any first bend crowding and if doing so his finishing burst can see him qualifying, which is the name of the game.
Trap 6 Camas is drawn to perfection again and his wide style of running should see him dodge the trouble spots, he can exploit any messing from the inside runners.
Trap 1 Tyrur Sugar Ray has unbelievable gears and has finally got his beloved Trap 1 draw. We are going to see something special from this lad one night and I think it could be this Saturday night.
The Cesarewitch winner Subway Ruth will need a flyer from her Trap 4 draw but this talented lady has nothing to prove and with a bit of luck, she can qualify for the semi finals
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012- 3rd Round Preview
The dust has now settled after two great nights of action at Shelbourne Park last week and now we have eight heats of the third round to look forward to. With qualification the name of the game at this stage, all participants will be hoping for luck in running to keep their Derby dreams alive.
The most important factor in any race is the trap draw. Time wise there is not much that separates these runners so the draw begins to become the main indicator into how you see each race unfolding.
Heat 1- Tywald Bolt restored his big reputation in round two showing tremendous pace to run out one of the most impressive winners of the second round. He will need to be on his toes early though as he is mad for the rails and his draw in Trap 4 could have been kinder. The three dogs inside of him have early pace so we could see a barging match on the run up to the opening bends. Stay Thirsty is perfectly housed on the outside and could be the value to knick this race, with a trouble free run.
Heat 2- This is now a four dog race after the unfortunate withdrawals of Tyrur Justin and Star Head. Whoever leads in this heat should take the beating, Dusseldorf in Trap 6 has a great draw and the same could be said about Dolores Ruth’s Razldazl Apollo in Trap 4. With her kennel running back into form at the right time, this young dog could still be improving.
Heat 3- Sparta Maestro will be a very short price in this heat and will be looking to confirm his position at the top of the ante post market. He hasn’t put a foot wrong so far in the competition and has his desired draw in Trap 6. Airforce Diva left her rivals for dead from the trap rise in the second round and connections will be hoping for a similar display of all round pace. Razldazl Luke in Trap 1 is a big price but don’t underestimate his talent and he has the draw to get competitive.
Heat 4- The reining Champion, Razldazl George showed some of his old sparkle last week but will need to continue in that form to make the quarter finals after a tough draw in Trap 5. His main opponents are likely to be the Cesarewitch winner Subway Ruth drawn directly on his inside in Trap 4 and the very exciting early paced Dragon Shield on his outside, this race will be a cracker!
Heat 5- This is the most interesting and open heat of the third round and we are definitely going to see a major casualty of one of the most fancied runners. Coolykereen Imp moves to the middle straight from trap rise so he could bump into both Tibetan Skies in Trap 2 and Tyrur Sugar Ray in Trap 3. I think the best outcome for Tibetan Skies would be to slightly miss the break, as Tyrur Sugar Ray is mad to get across to the rails and will surely tangle with the inside runners. Droopys Cain has been sluggish so far in the competition and needs to up his game, but we all know what an unbelievable fast greyhound he is on his day and should never be ignored
Heat 6- The connections of the current ante post favourite, Ballymac Vic, will be hoping he can get his starting technique correct as he has fluffed his lines so far. His electric early pace has got him out of bother on both occasions but with the best bitch in the country, Cabra Millie, perfectly house in Trap 1 on his inside there is no room for error.
Heat 7- A race littered with early pace, we can expect fireworks on the crucial run up to the first bend. Confident Rankin has the plot draw in Trap 1 but with Danmar Benny and Razldazl Rioga drawn beside him, it will be a buckle to gain the crucial lead coming out of the second bend. Camas in Trap 6 is one of the most consistent dogs in the competition and he will maintain his wide position throughout the race. If the inside runners tangle, he will pounce and put the race to bed.
Heat 8- A rematch from the second round between Droopys Jet and Skywalker Puma and the former should come out on top with a more favourable draw close to the rails. He checked badly at the third bend last week which gave Skywalker Puma the chance to close rapidly, he needs to not make the same mistake. The fly in the ointment is Razldazl Bugatti as he can lead and could take Droopys Jet ground. This would set the race up perfectly for the fast finishing Skywalker Puma
Another Derby Fan, Lar Sutton has shared this video of Derby hopeful Sparta Maestro, as Aoife chats with Phil Gough about their Derby hopes.
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012- Opening Round Review and 2nd Round Preview
There were very few shocks in the opening rounds of the Irish Greyhound Derby with the exception of the early exit of Razldazl JayfKay at a very short price. Dolores Ruth’s kennel appears to not be firing on all cylinders at the minute but if there is marked improvement to come from her runners, its bad news for the opposition.
Camas Crash and Droopys Jet were the stars of Wednesday night’s action, both exploiting their plot draws and displaying exceptional pace to draw clear from the opposition, off the second bend.
The sole English challenger Sawpit Sensation has the Shelbourne Park faithful talking on Thursday night with a strong running display to clock a very fast time. It was also a very good night for the Tyrur kennel with the extremely talented pup Tyrur Sugar Ray bouncing out of a bad draw and leading all the way. Let’s not forget Tyrur Big Mike who turned back the clock with another massive display of electric early and middle pace.
Sparta Maestro bounced back to form with a clear cut win on Saturday night and although Skywalker Puma was beaten in the same heat, his backers would have been pleased with his finishing kick after an average start and meeting trouble at the first bend. The Derby favourite with the sponsors, Ballymac Vic took a hefty bump leaving the boxes but his scintillating early pace brought him to the lead going into the first bend and it was plain sailing after that.
The draw for the second round has thrown up a few conundrums. Ballymac Vic meets Droopys Cain in heat 4; both runners will need to be on their toes early as the opposition are certainly no pushovers.
Droopys Jet has lost his coveted one box in Heat 5 and we will see what he is made of coming out of trap 4. Skywalker Puma is on his inside in trap 3 and the talented pair of Tyrur Willyjoe and Stay Thirsty on his outside, there could be fireworks and a possible early exit for one of the more fancied runners.
Heat 8 is the early pace battle of the second round with Camas Crash, Razldazl Bugatti, Confident Rankin and Tyrur McGuigan all drawn together, it will be some buckle into the opening bends and there could be carnage.
Sparta Maestro has drawn a nice heat and he has his favoured draw in trap 6, he should qualify with the minimum of fuss.
Irish Greyhound Derby 2012- The Contenders
The Greatest Greyhound Competition in the World has an early start date this year with the first round heats commencing on Wednesday 1st August.
Owners and trainers throughout the land will be putting the final touches to their preparations in the hope of fulfilling their dreams by lifting the crown in early September, lets have a look at a couple of possible contenders.
Sparta Maestro- brilliant winner of the Puppy Derby and the Larry Dunne Open Final, this brilliant tracker runs Shelbourne Park exceptionally well He recently contested the Champions Stakes where the draw could have been kinder, nevertheless proved his well being and is a serious contender for the crown.
Droopys Cain- this boy has unbelievable raw pace but seems to find trouble spots in his races. He is capable of doing some very quick times when everything falls into place so it would be of no surprise to see him make the final. He has proven his current well being with his latest trial of 29.38 over the 550 yards, not many have ever gone quicker than that
Ballymac Vic- A lightly raced tracker who started his career around Tralee, he burst onto the scene displaying electric early pace in all of his races. A recent second in both the Race of Champions and the Champions Stakes is an indication of the heights this improving young dog can reach.
Skywalker Puma- the 550 yard trip for the Derby is tailor made for this dog and he is handled by one of the legends of the game, Matt O’Donnell. A decision to side step the recent Champion Stakes could be a masterstroke as the Derby is the toughest competition in the world. He clocked a stunning time on a tough Kilkenny track a few weeks ago and has already proven himself to be top grade when contesting the Larry Dunne Open earlier this year.
Confident Rankin- there is nothing flashy about this runner, he starts and stays consistently clocking fast time along the way. His ability to run Shelbourne Park very well will stand him in good stead and could be a value bet to go very close in this competition.
Tyrur Sugar Ray- purchased after one run around Shelbourne Park by his high profile owner, he has taken his time to find his feet contesting open races from the very start of his career. His tendency to want the rails on the run up to the first bend is in his make up, but there is no doubting he has some serious gears and I have a feeling he can do something special over the course of the Derby rounds.
Captain America- trained by a Francie Murray who can do no wrong at this present time, this early paced runner burst onto the scene of the Produce Stakes at Clonmel in May. After a short lay off he has come back to clock serious times around the sprint distance at Dundalk and at Shelbourne only last weekend. This could be one runner who has come in under the radar but I expect fireworks when he hits the track