Panther value at 7-4 to win in better than 29.59

He may have lost his unbeaten tag but Milldean Panther remains the talk of the greyhound world and he will attempt to get back on the winning rails when he contests the final of the €30,000 SIS Live Shelbourne Gold Cup on Saturday night.

His presence drew a huge crowd to the track on Saturday night and we can anticipate another bumper attendance this weekend. By the way, those intending to travel are advised to get there a little earlier than usual as traffic will pick up from just before 7 pm following the rugby international in the adjoining Aviva Stadium.

Despite his defeat, Milldean remains a raging hot favourite and the firms have even started betting on the winning time and the Panther’s winning distance. Of the advertised bets I am inclined to favour a little at 7-4 for him to win in better than 29.59 with Boylesports, and 5-2 over three lengths with the same firm.

The thinking behind this is that if he wins the likelihood is that he will clear the bend and get a clear run and with three races behind him he should be rapidly approaching peak form and he should do better than 29.59 if the weather stays kind.

Trainer John Linehan produced a flying puppy in the form of Droopys Cain in the Juvenile Classic at Tralee last weekend and this son of Ace Hi Rumble and Droopys Laramie represents the owners of the kennel’s star trackers Broadstrand Lad and Droopys Twirl. He wasn’t fastest but he looks sure to improve significantly and his clash tomorrow in the first heat with Coolavanny John and Beaming Mark should be most interesting.

Tomorrow’s Tralee card also has the first round heats of the A5 Sweep while Saturday’s meeting will be a benefit in aid of Ardfert Community and there will be the usual bouncy castle, face-painting, terrier racing, spot prizes and an auction of a classically bred bitch pup by Westmead Hawk out of Ballymac Dot.

On the subject of Tralee, the track received a massive boost this week with the announcement of the monster Kerry GAA meeting on June 30th which will feature the Betdaq Race of Champions and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

There is so much happening this week it will be difficult for racegoers to keep track with it all. The second round of the Kudos Supersprint will draw them in at Curraheen on Saturday and the first heat is a real crowd-puller with competition favourites Shoemakers Lad, Knockglass Billy and Barefoot Allstar occupying the four outside boxes and with three heat winners on the inside, Broadstrand Dan, Hawkeye Warrior and Burgess Star. This is a devilish draw and the four box influences the vote in favour of Shoemakers Lad.

Incidentally, Shoemakers Lad will be one of the contenders for the Annual Greyhound Awards which will be presented at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on Sunday (1 pm). Ssome tickets are still available at €35.

Tomorrow week’s meeting at Curraheen will be a benefit in aid of Ballygarvan GAA and entries close on Tuesday for Open 525, A1 525 & 575, A2 525 and A3 575. Also closing on Tuesday is the Cork GOBA Getting Out A2 575 to be run on Saturday week. Prior to that entries close tomorrow for an A2 Novice 750 to be run next Thursday. The first Sales of the year will be staged on Tuesday week, March 20th and the catalogue is available from the Racing Office.

There was a great return to Monday night racing at Limerick this week with the heats of the Kudos Catering Open 525 producing some splendid racing, highlighted by the new record 28.21 set by Graham Holland’s Lass Cause. This daughter of College Causeway is ideally housed in six in Saturday’s semi-finals and can again lead home Cashen Mafuma.

The card will also include the Donie Cusack Memorial A2 550 while tomorrow’s meeting will be a fundraiser in aid of Newcastle West Rovers and there will be a guaranteed €800 trio Pool on the first race. Monday’s meeting will feature the first round heats of the Kudos Creative Catering A1 575.

It also promises to be a busy weekend at Waterford where tomorrow’s card features the final of the Montos Carhumore @ Stud 550 and the first round heats of the Avalon Kennels A4 Stake. Saturday’s meeting will be a benefit in aid of Passage East GAA Club but there will be no racing on Saturday week, St Patrick’s Day.

The first round of the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch will be run on Saturday with Kingo the leading fancy to collect the top prize.

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