Easter success beckons for Vic
The absence of Droopys Adler is a blow to the final of the College Causeway/Killahan Phanter Easter Cup at Shelbour ne Park, but favourite Ballymac Vic should use the opportunity to gain an overdue big-race success.
Liam Dowling's dog was one of the stars of last year and, at this early stage of 2013, he looks a more mature greyhound. That was in evidence in the semi-finals, where he overcame a slow start to not just qualify but win his heat.
He's unlikely to get away with such a sluggish start this time, but he is usually a much faster starter and he possesses terrific pace to the turn and down the back. Off a level start, he should be able to shoot clear, and he can gain the victory his talent deserves.
Cabra Buck, drawn one, has also been aided by the absence of Droopys Adler as he tends to move middle on the run-up. He has been flying out of traps in recent outings and there is a concern that he and the favourite could clash in the early stages.
That being the case, North Bound could be the one to benefit. He was badly baulked when making his charge at the first bend last weekend but recovered well to qualify.
Ashfield Impact rediscovered his trapping boots last week but trap four is not ideal. He'll need to flash from traps to clear those on his inner. Hillcroft Champ looks up against it.
Punters should get the night off to a bright start by siding with Forest Ralph. Pat Norton's dog is dropped to A2, a grade which he should prove well above. He has a 28.15 run to his credit and just two runs ago he was contesting the Easter Cup. This is significantly easier, and he should take full advantage.
Tomorrow night’s card at Clonmel features the second session of the first round of the Red Mills Produce Stakes and Glenanore Dancer looks drawn to take heat 10.
Tom O’Neill’s dog was a finalist in the Unraced Stake over course and distance and he was an impressive winner at Limerick when last seen.
He looks capable of further progress and can make the most of a favourable draw.
Juvenile Classic winner Farloe Calvin puts his unbeaten record on the line in the following heat, but he’s quite well drawn outside modest breaker Gunite Basil, and looks set to bring his record to a perfect five.
Owen McKenna’s dog shower terrific early pace in Tralee and that should be enough to carry him clear in this company and he should not be caught.
A little earlier in the night, National Puppy Stake winner Leamaneigh Turbo can make a quick return to winning ways.
He produced possibly the best performance of the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake when winning his quarter-final in 28.16.
He exited at the next stage and was disappointing last time, but heat eight provides a winning opportunity.