Razldazl Rioga heads home defence in Betdaq Race of Champions

In a week when the when the finals of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks, the Bettor.com Northern Irish Derby and the Track Supporters Munster Derby will be run, another major event will be the semi-finals of the Betdaq Race of Champions at Tralee on Friday.

This two-run €15,000 to the winner event will close to entries this morning and the management will have the task of selecting the top twelve to go into the hat.

It has now been confirmed that there will be two British raiders and both Bubbly Phoenix and Young Sid were given trials around the circuit on Friday, clocking 28.46 and 28.54 respectively.

Trainer Paul Young was delighted with both dogs, particularly as they had just endured the long car and ferry journey to County Kerry. He plans to come over on Thursday this time so the dogs will be nice and fresh for their outings.

But there will be a strong home defence of the major prize with Laurels champion Razldazl Rioga backed up by the likes of English Derby challengers Shelbourne Geoff and Droopys Jet, Cox Cup winner Quail Hollow, rising star Dear Pa, Produce Stakes winner Power Of God, Juvenile Classic winner Airforce Diva and local flying machines Ballymac Vic and Cashen Mafuma. Dear Pa was fastest in the weekend trial sessions when clocking 28.23 though rumours suggest that one of the above named clocked an even faster time in an unofficial spin!

A piece of history will be made for the final night, Saturday week, with the weekly Vigil Mass being staged a 6.15 instead of 7.30 pm to avoid a clash with the greyhound meeting. It just shows how the local community are rowing in behind this massive promotion that will be televised live on Sky Sports.

Also coming up in a matter of weeks is the richest one-off race in this part of the world, the Boylesports International at Dundalk.

It will be run on Thursday, July 12th and two confirmed runners thus far are last year’s Irish Derby champion Razldazl George and this year’s Scottish Derby winner Barefoot Maestro. Milldean Panther has also been invited and will run if he is fit and well following his injury lay-off. He is expected to have his first trial next week.

Frances O’Donnell’s Refuge Of Sinner was fastest in the semi-finals of the Munster Derby on Sunday when clocking 28.94 in leading home Shaneboy Spencer and Moreton Marauder.

The other semi went to Colette Kiely’s Shaneboy Spencer which led all the way for a short head verdict over Glenanore in 29.03 with Bling Bling Buzz in third.

Draw for Sunday’s final: 1 Shaneboy Spencer; 2 Shaneboy Nelson; 3 Moreton Marauder; 4 Glenanore; 5 Bling Bling Buzz; 6 The Other Peach (w).

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