The semi-finals of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby will be down for decision tomorrow night at Shelbourne Park and Derry owner, Paul Ellis has both ‘Farloe Blitz’ and ‘Farloe Rumble’ vying for a place in next week’s prestigious final.
Both greyhounds ran really well in their heats last week and ‘Farloe Blitz’ was the most impressive of the two when winning his heat in great style. He was running from his favourite trap one and he flew from traps and lead into the first bend by three lengths. There was some bunching behind him and he was six lengths clear along the back straight. There was no sign of him fading around the final bends and he ran out a four and a half length winner in a fast 29.44 for the 550 yards.
Derry butcher Ellis’ other dog, ‘Farloe Rumble’ ran really well to qualify. He fell from traps in his heat and was last going into the opening bend but there was some crowding around at the first bend and ‘Farloe Rumble’ took advantage, tracking well on the inside to go third. He had no chance of pegging back the two dogs in front but he maintained third place, five and a half lengths behind ‘Gaytime Hawk’ who won in a blistering 29.34 - the fastest time thus far in the Derby.
‘Farloe Rumble’ runs in the first semi-final tomorrow night and it is the most open looking of the two semi-finals. ‘Farloe Rumble’ must break better in tomorrow night’s race if he has any chance of qualifying. however, his trainer Owen McKenna said after last week’s heat there was a big run in ‘Farloe Rumble’ so let’s hope it’s tomorrow night.
‘Farloe Blitz’ runs in the second semi-final from trap two and it looks a real thriller as he meets ‘Ballymac Matt’ who runs from trap one. The betting says it all about this semi as ‘Farloe Blitz’ and ‘Ballymac Matt’ are joint favourites at 5/2 to win the Derby outright. And in tomorrow night’s race both greyhounds are 11/8 joint favourites to win the semi-final. My view is that this semi-final will be decided at trap rise and ‘Farloe Blitz’ must lead ‘Ballymac Matt’ on the run to the bend. If you take last week’s form into account, he looks to have a great chance of doing so as his split time was a lot faster than ‘Ballymac Matt’. If he repeats that form, he would have a major chance of making it through to the final of the blue riband final in Irish greyhound racing.