MICHAEL FORTUNE: It’s no myth - Kiowa is the real deal

Classic action returns to Curraheen Park this weekend with the start of the 2009 Cashmans Irish Laurels and many of the best in training will take their chance in the Southern classic.

The action kicks off tomorrow evening with five opening round heats featuring the likes of Tyrur Giovanni, St Louis Spirit, and Archaton Pine but the majority of the big names will be in action on Saturday night.

One very interesting participant is Kiowa Myth. He became the first US racer to participate in an Irish classic when taking his place in the opening round of the Paddypower.com Derby, only to crash out at the first hurdle. He did makes waves in the Derby plate however, eventually finishing third in the decider when starting favourite.

His return to the US has been delayed to allow him take his chance in the Laurels and if he handles the Curraheen Park circuit he could go a long way in the competition. Many will feel that the 525yd trip may not suit, but if this fellow can avoid serious traffic problems in the early rounds, he could keep qualifying and it would be no surprise if he was a major player come the latter stages of the competition. For the record Kiowa Myth faces a tricky draw in Saturday’s Heat 11. Racing from trap four he must take on the likes of Cash Dream and Gilbeyhall Jake.

Fatboyz Nodrog meanwhile is a non runner in Heat 15 of the Laurels on Saturday night.

Recently recovered from a back injury, the Champion Stakes winner now has a bout of coughing and will be sidelined for a few weeks.

Meanwhile at Youghal the semi-finals of the Catunda Harry Champion Stakes should attract a huge attendance tomorrow evening when the card will also include the first round heats of the Shanagarry A2 Stake. Then on Monday the final of the GOBA A5 tops the card with a winner’s prize of €1,500.

In Dublin the youngsters will be the star attraction this weekend as Harold’s Cross Puppy Derby dominates the action on Friday night. Expected to shine once again are the ‘Westmead’ brothers Grant and Bond. Both will certainly come on for their first look at the circuit last weekend and that is a frightening thought for those looking to oppose them.

Grant lines out in Heat 2 where he is again opposed by Grangecon Brian, but the main threat may come from Puppy Oaks winner Raughlan Rose. Texacloth winner Westmead Grant should be too good for his rivals however and he can emerge a comfortable winner.

Westmead Bond has a bit more on his plate however in the contest of the round. He again races from trap six, but will need a better start than last week if he is to see off the likes of Tullymurry Act and Lynnway Lorian.

The celebrations are continuing down in Kerry following last week’s Derby final and College Causeway will be paraded at both Listowel Races and Tralee Greyhound Stadium today. It is doubtful if the festivities will quite reach the level of the high jinks in Lixnaw on Sunday evening when I understand that “new greyhound guru” Kit Walsh conducted the fare in some style.

It was a wonderful occasion at Shelbourne and we await with interest the future plans for this great dog. Wouldn’t it be appropriate now if Derby third Cashen Legend now went on to show them all how in the Laurels which, of course, he won last year.

There are high anticipations of some very fast times in the third round of the Future Champion Unraced Stake at Enniscorthy tonight. All the talk thus far has been of the Top Honcho/ Sly Fox litter bred by John and Helena Murray and all four members remain among the final 18. The track should be well worth a visit this evening.

The saddest news of recent times has concerned the departure of Eamonn Mackey from Kilcohan Park and he will be sadly missed by all supporters of the track. We cannot afford to keep losing such great doggy men as Paddy Ryan, Gus Ryan and Mackey from the tracks. They are not easily replaced.

Meanwhile, Kilcohan will be the venue for the semi-finals of the Droopys Stud Munster Oaks on Saturday and Cabra Tiny and Maries Peer may well pay to follow in what is developing into a really strong bitch competition.

The other major provincial event this weekend is the Fair Warrior Sprint at Mullingar on Saturday, jointly sponsored by Broadway Pet Foods and Fast Trap Kennel Supplies. It has reached the semi-final stage and the first semi looks a real cracker with the likes of Shaneboy Nadal, Growling Billy, Tahina Speed and Ibetx Dot Com all in action.

The second one is no less competitive with Compass Mikey, Tearaway John, Clondoty Shane and Kinash Crash all sure to be strongly supported.

Believe it or not folks, but there has been another change to the Munster Puppy Cup at Clonmel. The prizemoney has reverted to that originally advertised which means that the winner will receive €9,800 with the second taking €3,900 and the third €1,955.

It is confined to greyhounds of AO/A1 or lower and whelped on or after November ‘07. Entries close on Friday, October 2nd.


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