WITH a €20,000 carrot on offer the Boylesports Dundalk International never fails to attract a brilliant line up and tonight the 2010 one-off invitation should again produce a thrilling spectacle.
Twelve months ago Skywalker Queen emerged the victor for the fairer sex and she is in tonight’s line up bidding to become only the third greyhound in history after Farloe Melody and Dynamic Fair to successfully defend her crown.
She faces a tough task however as her five male counterparts are amongst the fastest in training anywhere in the world.
The absence of the Hegarty Bookmakers 600 winner Shaneboy Lee is an obvious blow, but he has been replaced by Westmead Bolt and his inclusion certainly doesn’t diminish the quality of the contest in the slightest.
In the run-up to tonight’s contest there has been much speculation about who should even start favourite. Tullymurry Act and Fatboyz Tyson are currently the big two in the market, although the betting suggests the former may start a marginal favourite.
There is no doubting the quality of the Puppy Derby champion, but one wonders is he going to start favourite on the strength of his reputation rather than current form. That’s not to say he can’t win. On his day the son of Top Honcho is a true star, but his record in 2010 reads two wins from nine outings and a trap one draw with fast a fast starting railer on his immediate outside doesn’t exactly bode well for his followers.
In contrast Fatboyz Tyson probably has an ideal draw in trap five. Blessed with fine early speed and stamina, the Pat Gordon trained star is already the National Puppy Stake and Joe Dunne Memorial winner. If he can again make one of his better starts it seems highly unlikely that he will finish out of the frame.
Westmead Bolt may be coming in as a reserve, but he is another with outstanding claims. It’s worth remembering his Hegarty 600 displays. In that competition he displayed outstanding pace against the fastest in training and he looks certain to really appreciate the galloping nature of the Dundalk circuit.
The same can be said for Cesarewitch winner Definate Opinion. Boasting a record of seven wins from eight outings in 2010, he could be one that represents value at around the 5-1 mark. That leads us to Tyrur Bucko, who despite his status as the outsider of the field, is capable of making a bold bid.
There seems little doubt that Bucko has the best early pace in the line up and while he would be a little susceptible to his stronger rivals in the latter stages, he is always difficult to reel in.
It really is an intriguing contest and the draw may just swing it the way of Fatboyz Tyson. After a dip in form last month he seems to have recaptured top form recently and should make a bold bid.
In searching for the main threat look no further than Westmead Bolt.
If he finds himself close at the second turn he could take some holding.
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