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Irish Greyhound Derby Semi Finals: Trap by trap draw to Saturday’s Shelbourne action

Twelve compete on Saturday night but only six dogs will make it through to next week's final


Lights, Camera, Action! Shebourne Park receives the televised treatment this week with live coverage on RTE from 7.30pm on Saturday night. A chance for us to showcase the sport in all its brilliance.

Hard to believe that we will know the new champion in just under a weeks’ time so let’s go through the class role of 2016 and here’s a trap guide to help you pick the winner.

First Semi-Final


Trap 1 Ela Alecko:  A young dog with a huge future. Brilliant early pacer that will find himself at home bang on the rails but he will need to get working from boxes. A dog that rarely goes ‘un-backed’ and  leading to the elusive first turn will not be an easy task. Trap draw helps the cause but will need to carry luck.

Trap 2 Farloe Rumble: Bidding to make the final for the second year on the trot. An incredibly consistent all-rounder who seems to thrive under the pressure of competitions. Yet to strike a winning blow in this year’s event but one to be feared if steering a safe passage through the early part of the race. Hard to dismiss.

Trap 3 Ballymac Matt: The reigning champion. One of the fastest in training when things go right but has yet to hit the heights of last year’s campaign. Tricky trap draw to overcome as he is certain to go in search of a berth closer to the inside. On that basis, we will be keen take him on!

Trap 4 Cahir Castle: Blessed with a massive engine. Little could compete with this fella from bends 2-3. Strapping individual who shot to fame with some exceptional spins around Shelbourne pre-derby. Another who will be headed for the inside from trap rise and could find bother. Where will be when they go around the first bend?

Trap 5 Sonic: The deserved fav for the 2016 crown. Each and every year this event unearths a young pretender that goes on to be star and this fella is it. Starts, stays and blows dogs away down the back. He is a credit to connections and the dog has been nothing less than sensational over recent weeks. One slight issue this week is that he taking on a few older heads that have been here before… could they be too cute for him? Hard to see it!

Trap 6 Escapism: Late and fast, look out on the run home… he’s coming! Flying finisher with massive pace. Often rides his luck early but goes into overdrive after the second bend. Will steer a wide path which should, in theory, keep him free from trouble. Hard to know how much ground he could gift some of these at the start but don’t forget, trouble looms large on the inside. This lad would gladly pick up the pieces on the run home.

Winner: Farloe Rumble


  • Farloe Rumble
  • Sonic


  • Farloe Rumble
  • Sonic
  • Escapism


Hare over to the latest Derby betting on PP.com

Second Semi Final

Trap One College Paradise: Big middle pacer. An interesting type that is certainly capable of something special. Has yet to really stretch out at Shelbourne given some of the scarcely believable runs he has done down the country. Ran a very funny third bend last few weeks but in the hands of man that knows how to win. Dismiss at your peril.

Trap Two Holycross Leah: New found member of the Elite Ladies Club. Running out of her skin at present and improved beyond all recognition.  Purely bad luck to have walked into some of the best performances of the competition but has ran with deserving credit each time. Been a quiet keep for us throughout the event and certainly one to stay on the right side of again.

Trap Three Gyp Rosetti: Blinding early pacer – Not a surprise to us last week when winning in fine style. A smash breaker that is amongst the best around when on the bunny but in this race, he will head inwards towards the rails. Needs a similar start to stay in the mix here.

Trap Four Roxholme Barkley: On for a three timer. Might impressive over last 2 weeks but this will be his toughest assignment yet. Should get room to manoeuvre on the run-up and will need to stride clear at the bend to hold his chance. A dog in form but needs luck here.

Trap Five Sidarian Pearl: Ireland’s leading lady at present. An exceptional talent mirrored in the form of her mum, possibly better? Sensational to date with races won from trap rise as she missiles to front and stretches clear. Clearly improving and clearly enjoying her racing. Trap 5 is a concern given recent trap draws but if she can stay straight on the run-up, it will take a brilliant one to catch her.

Trap Six Rural Hawaii: Box draws win races. Arguably the best drawn dog of the night. Another brilliant early pacer that should get a clear run down the outside. In great form of late and arguably running as consistent as ever. Can he lead trap 5 on the run-up? Every chance on that draw.

Winner: Rural Hawaii  


  • Rural Hawaii
  • Sidarian Pearl



  • Rural Hawaii
  • Sidarian Pearl
  • Holycross Leah

What do you think?