Irish trio shine at Shawfield

The Irish team has made a fine start to the Scottish Derby and three members will be in action in the semi-finals at Shawfield on Saturday.

In Tuesday’s second round Owen McKenna’s Farloe Force was joint fastest qualifier as he won easily in 28.93, a time that had earlier been posted by his former kennelmate Farley Blitz, which is now handled by Barrie Draper. Farley led home the other McKenna runner Pablo Supreme by two and a half lengths.

A second Irish winner on the night was Pat Buckley’s Beaming Supreme which had a length in hand of Westmead Grant in 28.96. The other heat winner was Charlie Lister’s Taylors Cruise in 28.99.

The draw has placed Beaming Dilemma (T.1) and Pablo Supreme (T.5) together in the opening semi where Farley Blitz and Bubbly Razldazl are two major threats. However both Irish dogs are well housed and could well qualify for the final on Saturday week. Farloe Force looks the one to beat in the second heat and it will be very disappointing if he fails to make it to the final.

The draw for Saturday’s semi-finals is:

Heat 1: 1 Beaming Dilemma, 2 Westmead Bolt, 3 Bubbly Razldazl, 4 Farley Blitz, 5 Pablo Supreme, 6 Ballymac Well.

Heat 2: 1 Farloe Force, 2 Brittons Empire, 3 Taylors Cruise, 4 Manilla Flash (m), 5 Grayslands Bubba (m), 6 Westmead Grant (w).

The raiding party opted for the Scottish target rather than the College Causeway/Killahan Phanter Easter Cup which reaches the semi-final stage on Saturday at Shelbourne. Two cracking open contests are in prospect with Makeshift likely to go off favourite for the first heat. However Dolores Ruth’s dog will need to fly out if he is to get the better of Broadstrand Lad, Tyrur Carey and Droopys Joe.

In the second heat I fancy Slippery Bob to recover winning form after his brush with elimination last week. He is capable of taking the bend from Mozzletoff and can hold the anticipated challenge from Razldazl George.

Curraheen will feature the semi-finals of the McCarthy Insurance Group Oaks and here the punters face three teasers. The first heat stands out with the clash of early pacers Calling Spice while Six Joys must also be respected. Tyrur Tinkerbell could well be the one in a hot second heat where Borna Del will have loads of support, while Borna Client and Ballymac Linda could be the big two in the other.

After a very interesting first round last weekend, the Red Mills Produce Stakes really moves up a gear with eight second round heats on Sunday. It usually takes a competition such as this a few rounds to “settle” but the names to emerge so far include Spearhawk, Colourful Bolt, Colorful Marco, Power Charge, Tarbrook Texan, Shelbourne Geoff, Piercestown Sand, Happy Hermit, Beaming Olive and Elegant Rumble. One would expect the winner to emerge from this group but I wouldn’t be surprised if something such as Rebellious One or Rockchase Bullet yet came through to make a major impact.

In my youth the McCalmont Cup at Kilkenny was one of the great open events of the annual calendar and attracted all the big names of the era. It has slipped considerably over the years but has enjoyed a real revival since the relaunch of the stadium and now, under the sponsorship of Broadway Pet Foods, it is as good an A1 competition as there is during the year. There is a tremendous line-up for this year’s competition which will commence tomorrow.

Among the entries are the likes of last year’s classic hopefuls Mesedo Blue, De Ex Factor, Monlesa Alsation, Dromore Dazzler, Kilmalady Torres, Royal Tornado, Burn Em Up and Welesbourne Dan.

There will be a meeting with a slight difference at Harold’s Cross tomorrow where the big European Greyhound Adoption Network fundraiser will be staged. There are all sorts of attractions lined up and there will even be a novelty terrier race run during the night.

The terrier race will be run after the third race on the card while there will be a Buster Draw run to be decided by the finishing order of the eighth race on the night.

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