Irish Greyhound Derby Tips: The best bets from Saturday's semi-finals
We're down to the last 12 in the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby, with two semi-finals of the biggest race in Ireland ensuring a huge crowd at Shelbourne Park tonight. The first three in each qualify for next week's final so here is The Lord's verdict on those heats...
"Farloe Blitz looks ready to make hay from the front."
The first semi looks a cracker with more stamina than speed it seems, although the Graham Holland-trained Gaytime Hawk (21:27) stepped on the gas from a tough draw out wide in the quarter-finals last week. That showed him as a speedster more than the powerhouse he generally is.
Therefore from a peach draw inside, he paces up handy and takes off down the back straight. Thereafter it's about who will win the battle for the qualifying positions for the classic final, and Cable Bay and Jaytee Jet will be flashing home, the latter still a young and improving stayer having a great campaign.
The second semi-final is the better of the two featuring two unbeaten dogs in the shape of Ballymac Matt versus Peregrine Falcon, and something will have to give. Both are capable of pacing up well, but can either cope with the slick starting of Farloe Blitz (21:42) who aims to reach his second successive Derby final.
Owen McKenna's dog was the beaten favourite at Wimbledon and has been showing cracking early gears, and while Ballymac Matt's times have got closer, Farloe Blitz looks ready to make hay from the front and might always be holding the aforementioned pair, with each looking strong for a place in the decider.
Back Gaytime Hawk in the 21:27 at Shelbourne Park
Back Farloe Blitz in the 21:42 at Shelbourne Park