No export of dogs to China - for now

There will be no exporting of greyhounds from Ireland to China, in the near future at least.

This news emerged from a meeting between the Minister of State Shane McEntee and the Irish Greyhound Board this week. But it was agreed the Board should continue to explore the possibility of developing the proposal to assist in the management of greyhound racing in China.

In the Dail Adjournment Debate on Wednesday evening, Minister McEntee told Deputies: “I met the chairman and Chief Executive of Bord na gCon to discuss the proposal and made it clear I am not in a position to approve the project as presented.

“It was agreed that Bord na gCon would modify its proposal to exclude the export of greyhounds from Ireland but would continue to explore possibilities of developing the proposal to assist in the management of greyhound racing in China.

The entries were flooding into Wimbledon yesterday for the Williamhill.com English Derby which was due to close at lunchtime. However, because entries were caught up in the post due to the recent Bank Holidays, there was extra lenience showed regarding the deadline.

There is a strong Irish entry and some of them were trialled yesterday. Pa Fitzgerald’s Melodys Royal impressed observers as he broke slowly, ran wide early but stayed on strongly to win his trial in 28.69.

Another to impress was Peter Cronin’s Juvenile Classic winner Rockview Head as he stopped the clock when beating Rockview Sail by eight lengths in 28.53. Cronin’s Jonny Whitesox led all to beat Springlawn Bert by four lengths in 28.85. Fastest of the session was ex Dolores Ruth trained Local Dee Jay as he won in 28.41.

Paul Hennessy’s Barefoot Bullet, unraced since the Irish Derby final, will be going into the classic without a trial around Wimbledon but handled the track extremely well last year.

Meanwhile the big one on the home front at the moment is the Hegarty Bookmakers 600 which reaches the semi-final stage and there was disappointing news yesterday when Tyrur Domingo was withdrawn due to injury and so scuppers the much anticipated clash with Kingo on Saturday night.

PJ Fahy said yesterday; “When I saw what happened in the race on Saturday I knew it could be a problem and the vet has confirmed the worst news. He has a sprained hock and will be out of action for a month to five weeks. It is most unfortunate as I felt there was a huge run coming from him. We will now aim to get him back in top form for the Derby”.

There was double bad news for Fahy as his other Hegarty runner last Saturday Tyrur O’Gorman has fractured an elbow and will be out of action for a couple of months.

Kingo still has a tough test on hand with the likes of Droopys Joe, Skywalker Cindy, Whatsupjack and St Louis Spirit forming the opposition. Fatboyz Tyson looks the one to beat in the other semi.

Owen McKenna’s Tubbertelly Dubh was the glittering star of the Larry Dunne 525 last week and he has again drawn the inside box in the second semi at Shelbourne. He looks sure to lead early in a race where McKenna provides half the runners.

Deerfield Music didn’t get away well last week but could do better here and could emerge as the danger. In the other heat Leeview Jet has a perfect inside draw and may get the better of Ballymac Tipp and Cian Abbey.

Maurice Ryan’s Amazing Decision has been withdrawn from the first semi-final of the other big Shelbourne major, the Healthcare & Transport Services Puppy Oaks and her place will be taken by Pretty Mix. It is an interesting contest with a big three of Droopys Twirl, Olympic Stunner and Wonder Wag and they should make it to the final.

In the second heat Shelbourne Abi will be bidding to continue on her unbeaten path but she has to cope with the fast starting Montblanc and this could be a very interesting battle.

While the stayers may be rather thin on the ground so far this year, there will still be pretty hot fare in the semi-finals of the Barry’s Tea 750 at Curraheen on Saturday. Both races look open and fastest first round winner Kielduff Merc will be well fancied in the opening heat.

However I would expect Colourful Fox to lead here and it could be tough in behind with Kielduff, Group Skater and Nurse Jackie all sure to be delivering strong challenges.

The second heat will probably see Kerryroad Baba and Dawningoftheday battle it out for favouritism but there is precious little on the clock between the entire field here and Rockchase Zico and Piercestown Boy could be the owners to fight out the qualifying places.

The semis of the Broadway Pet Foods McCalmont Cup at Kilkenny will be run at Kilkenny tomorrow and Tom O’Neill’s Turbo Charge can make up for losses incurred last week with a smashing inside draw in the second heat.

In the other heat Mickys Trickster has to overcome a dodgy six draw. De Ex Factor looks a sure qualifier but can he win from five? Perhaps the well drawn Glenske Bond could make the most of his inside draw.

Meanwhile the remaining eight heats of the Lee Strand 550 will be run at Tralee tomorrow. Tuesday’s first session was a good one for Kilmallock’s Willie Barry as he chalked up a double with members of his Mustang Yank/ Movealong Sutty litter. Movealong Rover posted the fastest time of 30.26 in winning the last heat and one wonders will the time be beaten tomorrow.

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