GREYHOUND RACING: Alamo can make most of favourable draw

The quarter-finals of the Laurels take centre stage tonight at Curraheen and Ballymac Alamo can make the most of a favourable draw in the first heat.

GREYHOUND RACING: Alamo can make most of favourable draw

He was somewhat unlucky in running last time, having been cut off on a couple of occasions, but the inside line is where he produces his best form and he should get a lovely tow around from Liss Louise.

Liam Dowling’s dog lacks a touch of early pace at this level, but has the ability to turn close to the pace. He can tuck in behind the leadersbefore using his middle and finishing speed to gain the day.

The danger may come from Drive On Royal, who was a shade disappointing last week and yet managed to post 28.54 in defeat. If at her best, she’ll make them all go.

In the absence of Bruno Ya Know, only five go to traps for the second heat, and Rastafari Vic can carry the red jacket to victory for the second consecutive week.

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Jackie Roche’s dog will have to be on his toes early to hold his position against Knocktoo Garry, drawn two, but he is progressive enough to do so. Strong over this trip, he can fend off the likely late challenge of Mimis Ace.

Coran Sky was a shade below his best in the previous round, but can make a return to winning ways in heat three.

The Easter Cup finalist has a plum draw on the wide outside and his class should carry him into contention around the opening bends.

He possesses the middle pace to take control of the race, and can be expected to get first run on likely favourite Midtown Raffa.

The last of the four heats is the most difficult, as the four outside runners have brilliant early pace and something has to give.

Baile Mhic’s turn of pace into the bend last time was most impressive, but the draw is not as favourable.

With that in mind, marginal preference is for Barefoot Apollo, who should clear the two runners on his inner, and can use his line to make all the running.

The nap goes to Ballybeg Darkey, in the final of the EPS Group A5 525.

Daniel Buckley’s pup showed a real appreciation for the inside box when leading all the way in the semi-finals, and, from the same box and with improvement likely, he has undeniably strong claims.

The danger may come from Conna Huntsman, who was third behind Blastoff Vicky in the other semi-final.

He should enjoy a good run in behind the selection and Clyda Tom, and will be hard to keep out of the frame.

At Shelbourne Park, the William Hill English Derby Trial Stake — a one-off race with 2,500 and free entry to the Wimbledon Classic for the winner — takes place, and it looks a cracking contest.

Farloe Blitz, who ran-up the Puppy Derby in 2014 and finished a close third in the Supersprint last month, can take this en route to a tilt at the British feature.

Trained by Owen McKenna, he has brilliant early speed and is short odds to lead around. If he can do that, it’ll take a huge performance to reel him in.

The first round of the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks also takes place, and the clash of Ballydoyle Honey and Droopys Streak in heat two should have a significant effect on the outright market.

Preference must be for Ballydoyle Honey, who has achieved more thus far, though October pup Droopys Streak, who posted 28.28 at Newbridge, is very much one to note for the future.

Aguasantas is better than her most recent form, around Curraheen and Shelbourne, would suggest, and she may be able to make the most of her inside line in the opening heat.

Runner-up in the Juvenile Classic at Tralee, she has the early pace to hold her pitch, and that could be difference between winning and losing.

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