Stick with Twirl for Oaks glory

GREYHOUND followers have classic action on three fronts on Saturday night.

The final of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks will be run at Shelbourne Park, the final of the Northern Irish Derby is scheduled for Drumbo Park and the semi-finals of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger will be staged at Limerick.

The Shelbourne and Drumbo finals will be shown live on Sky Sports 4, the first occasion for two major Irish finals to be shown on the same Sky programme. The programme will run from 7.30 to 10 pm.

The Oaks promises to be a fantastic race with a tremendous line-up of bitches and, while Mozzletoff and Droopys Twirl will dominate the betting, all six must be strongly respected.

Droopys Twirl has been the fastest bitch in the competition and her sensational 28.22 confirmed her high standing.

The draw makes it tricky on Saturday but I am going to stay with the daughter of Westmead Hawk to provide trainer John Linehan and owner Kieran Ryan with their biggest payday.

But it’s imperative she gets away racing as Cool It Baby on her outside will surely head for the inside rail. There is tremendous early pace in the race with Maggies Whistle and Mutual Decision on the inside both capable of flying to the bend while the outside runners Jimney Cricket and Mozzletoff also go up very strongly.

Mozzletoff is definitely the one to beat. She has been a model of consistency with a fabulous string of early split times but it is going to take a mighty effort to clear this field to the bend from a six draw.

Droopys Twirl can lead her home with Cool It Baby the danger to both.

Cork owners could have a big night as Breda and Mary Delaney from Ballincollig will be travelling to Drumbo Park with huge expectations for Leeview Jet in the final of the Northern Irish Derby.

Four times a record-breaker at the track, he has never been beaten there in seven outings which included the Tennents Gold Cup last October in National Record time.

He has been brilliant in this competition and if he can reproduce last Saturday’s 29.51 run then he will be hard to catch.

A confirmed inside runner, the Graham Holland trained Leeview Jet wears the red jacket and can hit the bend in front and then power on to victory and a cheque for £25,000. Cian Abbey could well be the main danger from an ideal six draw.

If ever there was a loaded draw it is in the St Leger semis at Limerick where the three market leaders are drawn together in the first heat. ! Paradise Casino has improved with each run in the competition and he carries my vote to lead home What A Tornado and Judicial Academy.

What A Tornado has been the surprise packet of the Leger and has displayed an admirable level of consistency. His effort last week was incredible and if he can make a fast start here then he would test Paradise to the limit. Shelbourne Geoff is a threat to all three.

Michael O’Donovan and Pat Daly, trainer and owner of Judicial Academy, have a real chance of getting two through to the final with Big Appetite the one to beat in the second heat. Here he can lead home Killians Express and Allowdale Prince.

Another classic commences tomorrow night with the seven first round heats of the Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn to be run at Harold’s Cross. I am defying logic in nominating two novice stayers to dominate the competition, Express Trend and Olympic Stunner.

Express Trend created a massive impression in her solitary 750 at Shelbourne and has since been bought by Brendan Kehoe and is now trained by Ian Reilly. Olympic Stunner, on the other hand, has never run over the trip but shapes like a 750 natural.

Saturday’s meeting at Curraheen will be Cork GOBA Night with a number of finals and a sponsored card. The card will also include the Ladbrokes Derby Trial Stake semi-finals and the final of Red Mills A3 Trial Stake.

Just a reminder that from tomorrow week and until the end of August there will be free admission to Youghal Track on Fridays, thanks to the sponsorship of the Track Supporters Club.

There is a big meeting at Clonmel on Sunday with a number of finals, including the valuable Munster Derby and the Munster Dash.

John Linehan will be hoping for another big success in the Derby with Cooly Colebe which has to reverse semi placings with Peter Cronin’s Rockview Sail. Sally Williams could land the Dash with Vancouver Pedro.

Finally, news on the Boylesports International at Dundalk is that Barefoot Bullet is the first confirmed runner in the 550 yard spectacular to be run on July 12.

Invitations have been extended to Charlie Lister’s Scottish and English Derby winners Taylors Cruise and Taylors Sky and Kelly Findlay’s English Derby runner-up Westmead Guru.

Dolores Ruth’s Makeshift trials this evening while Pat Guilfoyle’s reigning champion Definate Opinion will have a spin on Saturday week.

Other possibles include Tyrur Enda, Leeview Jet, Mozzletoff, Droopys Twirl, Paradise Casino, What A Tornado, Judicial Academy, Broadstrand Lad and Ballymac Tipp.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

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