New season of greyhound racing starts at Brandywell

FOLLOWING the Christmas and New Year break, racing resumes at Brandywell on Monday night with the first meeting of the new season due to take place.

Call You Tonight with (from left) Darragh & Ryan McGranaghan and Patsy Doherty.
Call You Tonight with (from left) Darragh & Ryan McGranaghan and Patsy Doherty.

Greyhound supporters will no doubt be delighted to get back to the action and the first meeting of the year is one to get excited about!

Indeed, the final of the The Paul's Butchers and Track Lotto sponsored sprint Final will be the main race on the card on Monday night and it’s expected to be an intriguing battle for honours.

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The semi-finals were contested before Christmas but the final couldn't be run before the break due to the heavy frost. Conditions will be favourable for Monday's final, however and the card will go ahead from 8pm.

'Clonalis Farloe' with Pat Barrett

Looking back at the first semi-final of the competition, Call You Tonight was a very impressive winner in her first round heat . She had been disappointing when mistiming the break in her race but in her semi-final it was a different story.

The September '20 bitch, owned by Letterkenny based Ryan McGranaghan, flew from trap two and she had the race over as she went well clear on the run to the bend. She then ran on really strongly to win by just under five lengths in a good time of 16.88.

Clonalis Farloe ran on for second with Slowdown Rumble getting the last qualifying spot for the final.

In the second semi-final Blackstone Dylan was the evens favourite to win for local owner Kevin O'Kane after his good win in the first round heats in a time of 16.74. However, he really had to work to win his semi-final.

'Blackstone Dylan' with (from left) Orla Wray and Kealan O’Kane

Do It Laylah from trap three led by a few lengths to the opening bends and into the home straight but Blackstone Dylan and Mineola Atlast were now closing fast. Going to line Blackstone Dylan showed good track craft to run up the inside to just get up near the line to win by half a length in a time of 17.05 with Do it Laylah holding on in second and Mineola Atlast a half a length behind in third also qualifying for Monday night's final.

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So looking at the final, Call You Tonight will start favourite after her good run in the semi-finals but with the trap draw being made on the night she will need to be drawn on the inside to take full advantage of her early pace.

The same thing applies to Blackstone Dylan who also loves the inside and he recorded a good time of 16.74 from trap one in his first round heat when he broke well.

It's difficult to look outside the front two in this final as the rest of the field have a good bit to find on the clock so I'll take a chance with Call You Tonight to win this final for her Letterkenny based owner with Blackstone Dylan a big danger if he is drawn on the inside of the favourite.

'Do It Layla' with Andrew White
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So don't forget, the first meeting of 2023 is on Monday night with the first race at 8pm.