The nerves will be starting to jangle for connections of all remaining runners in the 2017 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby ahead of tonight's quarter-finals, not that I'd feel sorry any of them or anything, they are after all exactly where the rest of us all want to be!
We got our treble up last week and we'll have another go tonight for it appears the draw offers the opportunity to cash-in again, albeit quite a bit tougher. The selections will again omit Clares Rocket however with the main reason being lack of value but also because the outright favourite has his most dangerous task of the event thus far from a tricky closing heat.
Stick me to the wall and I still say he'll win but this time he has runners capable of matching him to the bend and the star of the show so far may see a dog tonight for the first time in a month! If Typical Ash was breaking well, Rocket's draw would be even worse but despite his vicious early pace, the Holian runner has to improve his break to bother the favourite. One that can bother him though is Buckos Dream and I would be surprised if he is not on Rocket's inner at the bend.
Although plenty far away in Trap 3, Skywalker Manner could well be upsides that pair at the bend also if back to his early paced best and that's not even considering the possibility that Good News could fend off Manner to the bend; a line of runners approaching the bend in tight quarters is certainly a possibility.
A word of caution though and something that must be looked out for as the hare approaches traps is whether Clares Rocket repeats his mis-timed break of last week. Some may have missed it but he made a very early drive at the trap door a week ago. It was so early that he had time to reset himself for the eventual trap rise but this was a heart-in-mouth moment that his legion of supporters will not want repeated.......settle lad!
Heat 1 Trap 5 Sonic. The heat appears to be a good make-up for Sonic who should not be inconvenienced by Jaytee Barracuda in the opening exchanges. It must be a bit of a nightmare for Graham Holland with three in the same heat but his Clona Kid looks assured to command the inside and regular readers could probably guess what I think will happen at the bend once Drive On Tipp has a backside in his eye-line.
I expect Drive On Tipp to switch out and move off the bend in search of a sight at the hare; with both Pension Plan and Hey Bound highly likely to be on his right at this point, bumping is very possible. Even Sonic may be in danger of a small tip despite being wider out but he is very much fancied to get around in second place or very close to it and Clona Kid would want to be gone a long way in front to entertain fending him off. You could probably find a more straight-forward 8/11 shot somewhere today but if he's going to win, we have to have him! 8/11 Boyles
Heat 2 Trap 6 Kilgraney Ace. It pains me to go against Native Chimes here, especially after he lined our pockets last week but the Ace is back on song and with an ideal draw tonight, looks assured of clear passage to the back-straight where his slick early pace can have the heat settled before turning for home. Expect Chimes to power around the inside runners at the second bend before going in pursuit but Ace is clocking well and should last home. 11/10 Boyles
Heat 3 Trap 4 Droopys Cabaye. The one to make the treble value but not selected solely on those grounds. Cabaye faces into a very tough heat where again, some supreme talents are in danger of elimination. Housed beside fellow unbeaten runner Tyrur Harold, who was in our treble last week, crucially Cabaye is on his inner. At first glance it looks lethal with Burnt Beans on the opposite side but the selection has not put a foot wrong at traps so far and if these race in tight quarters to the bend I would want to be on Cabaye every time.
Having stood close to the first bend, especially in Round One when he had threatening company alongside, Cabaye behaves live a scary monster entering the turn and is thoroughly willing to take the ground of any and all runners without any regard for his own safety....in other words, he really wants it! If I wasn't backing him in this heat, I wouldn't back any of the others for that very reason, I just couldn't be against him. Backing him to win that early battle amounts to backing him to win the race for if he turns first, he will not be passed and even that last comment was hard to type when you know Jaytee Jet is going to be powering from halfway....some heat! 3/1 Boyles
TREBLE pays 13.5-1 on Boyles
***Anyone passing through Nenagh on their way to Shelbourne tonight, give me a buzz. I can't make it tonight (not happy) but I have a few passes if anyone is near me today.