The final of the Track Lotto sponsored 525, with a winner’s prize of E1,260, will be the main race on the card at Lifford Stadium tomorrow night.
by ‘The Tracker’
The two semi-finals of the competition took place last week at the track and both where very competitive.
In the first semi-final ‘Clonleigh Cherry’, owned by Ollie Hepburn, was the one the punters went for and she was a solid 6/4 favourite as the dogs where placed in traps. Fastest away though was ‘Line of Defence’ from trap three with ‘Clonleigh Cherry’ from trap four a close second as the bend approached. ‘Smurfing Evita’ from trap six also showed good pace and took a slight lead around the opening bend and along the back straight from ‘Line of Defence’ with ’Clonleigh Cherry’ a couple of lengths behind in third.
Approaching the third bend, ‘Line of Defence’ took over the lead but ‘Clonleigh Cherry’ was closing right up on the inside at what was the crucial point of the race as ‘Clonleigh Cherry’ went for a daring run up the inside only for ‘Line of Defence’ to cut the bend and force ‘Cherry’ to check back badly and drop to third place.
‘Line of Defence’ had a three length lead coming into the home straight but ‘Clonleigh Cherry’ had moved back in to second and this strong stayer was closing fast up towards the line but she just failed by a half a length to catch ‘Line of Defence’ who won in a time of 29.37. ‘Smurfing Evita’ held on in third to also make it through to tomorrow night’s final.
In the second semi-final ‘Tyrgal Bonnie’ from trap five was the even money favourite but it turned out to be a race that there was a lot of trouble in. ‘Robbies Silver’, from trap three, led up from ‘Brickfield Spy’ in trap four with ‘Tyrgal Bonnie’ from trap five also showing good early pace.
As they went into the first bend, ‘Robbies Silver’ moved off the bend and checked up both ‘Brickfield Spy’ and ‘Tyrgal Bonnie’. ‘Robbies Silver’ still led along the back straight with ‘Brickfield Spy’ and ‘Tyrgal Bonnie’ just behind but the third bend ‘Brickfield Spy’ moved up and tried to go through on the inside but as he did ‘Rbbies Silver’ checked up and tyrgal bonnie was badly baulked as well.
At this stage, with all this trouble, ‘Droopy’s Geealong’ who was well off the pace early in the race took full advantage and shot into the lead with ‘Riada Princess’ who also was well behind taking second place. ‘Droopy’s Geealong’ stayed on well from that point and won by over two lengths in a time of 29.43 from ‘Riada Princess’. ‘Brickfield Spy’ recovered well after all the trouble and got third place to clinch the final qualifying place from this semi-final.
Looking at tomorrow night’s final, it’s very open on form and there is just over a length on the clock between four of the runners. A case can be made for any one of them but in my view, the best drawn dog in the final is ‘Clonleigh Cherry’ in trap two. She can make up for her very unlucky run in the last week’s semi-final and win the E1,260 pot for her Lifford based owner. ‘Line of Defence’ from trap three looks the main danger to the selection.
The first race will be at 7.50pm as normal on Saturday night.
Track Lotto 525 Final (in Trap Order)
1 Riada Princess; 2 Clonleigh Cherry; 3 Line Of Defence; 4 Brickfield Spy; 5 Droopys Geealong; 6 Smurfing Evita