THE FINAL of the North West Greyhound Supplies 575 will be the feature race on the Lifford card on Saturday night and after last week’s semi-finals the final looks a very open race.
In the first semi-final last week Smurfing Season, owned by Eunan McBride, was a well punted favourite after finishing 4/5 from an opening show of 5/4 as the dogs were placed in traps. However, the March ‘15 dog had to really work hard to win.
Well away and leading up to the bend it looked as if it was going to be an easy win but, going into the back straight, Verrazano from trap one shot into the lead by a couple of lengths and looked the likely winner. However, approaching the third bend, Smurfing Season started to close up and around the bend he tracked well and went into the lead coming into the home straight. From there the strong stayer went on to win by over a length in a time of 32.27 for the 575 yards.
The second semi-final was a fierce betting event with May’s Kimberley, owned by Vincent Toner, from trap five punted from 2/1 to 4/6. Also in the betting ring Tahina Freddie was a steady 3/1 but just before the off there was a surge of money for Stall de Engine, owned by Niall Minto from trap three. He was 7/2 but as the hare went into motion he was a rock solid 5/2 second favourite.
As the lids went up it was a level break but on the long run up to the bend Stall de Engine went to the front and he got plenty of help at that stage as there was trouble behind him with several runners getting baulked along the back straight. Boley’s Fella from trap one was second at that stage but he never looked like pulling back Stall de Engine and he didn’t as Stall de Engine won by almost two lengths in a time of 32.00. May’s Kimberley, the gamble of the race, ran a real eye-catching race after getting badly baulked in the first bend trouble to finish third just over three lengths behind the winner.
Looking at Saturday night’s final, a case can be made for at least four of the runners and it will be a lively betting market. However, I’ll select May’s Kimberley to win for his Newry based owner, Vincent Toner from trap six as I would expect him to improve alot after his first run at the track last week. The first race will be at 7.50pm as normal.
North West Greyhound Supplies 575 Final (In trap order) - Stall de Engine; Verrazno; Smurfing Season; Boley’s Fella; Burma Milly; May’s Kimberley.
There will be racing as normal at Brandywell Stadium on Monday night and the first round heats of the Guys and Dolls 500 will be the main races on the card.
In this competition the dogs will all race against each other in one competition while the bitches will race against each other in a separate competition.
When the two finals of each competition is decided the first three dogs in their final and the first three bitches in their final will then run against each other in the main final to decide the outright winner.
Congratulations, meanwhile, to Brendan Duffy and the Central Kennels on winning the Boylesports Derby Trial stake last Monday night at the track with Central Boss. The January ‘15 dog is one of the best dogs to race at the new track since it opened and he again showed his brilliant early pace to lead in the final. From that point it was race over as Central Boss cruised home to win by over six lengths in a fast time of 28.78 for the 525 yards.
Don’t forget, the first race on Monday night will be at 8pm.