The 2023 Irish Greyhound Laurels Final is set to feature the much anticipated showdown between Jacktavern Bolt and Carrick Aldo this Saturday. Both dogs produced impressive semi-final performances, each posting a winning time of 28:20.
Jacktavern Bolt made it nine successive victories, showing his customary early speed to beat Glory Baz and Easy Razzle in the first semi-final. Carrick Aldo was very strongly supported in the second semi-final, and despite a slow start from traps, recovered quickly to run out a four-and-a-half-length winner.
David Murray, trainer of Carrick Aldo, said on Greyhound Racing Ireland’s Talking Dogs podcast: “People are commenting on his tendency to miss the break, but he’s really driving the first two bends. Once he gets into full stride, he has got a superb turn of foot. Hopefully he’ll get it right on Saturday night. If he comes out with them he will make it easier for himself. He stays the 525 yard trip strongly. It’s an open final and we’re looking forward to the big night.”
Graham Holland is three-handed in the final, and commented on GRI’s weekly podcast: “Glory Baz is a new recruit to the kennel. He’s done well and we are still learning about him. High Trend is very quick into his stride, he’s a good railer and could be difficult to pass. Jacktavern Bolt is our number one and has done more than we could have expected. He’s an energetic dog, nothing phases him and he seems to bounce back from his races well. The inside trap could be tricky – the dog in Trap 2 likes to be on the inside so hopefully they’ll avoid each other. The Laurels is one of my favourite races on the calendar and we’re eagerly looking forward to it.”
Owen McKenna has twice won the Laurels with Boherduff Light and Catunda Harry. He’s represented by Role Model and said on the Talking Dogs podcast: “She’s one of two bitches in the final, so hopefully we’ll win the best placed bitch prize. I think she’s ideally drawn in four as she’s a bang middle runner. I think she could be the best drawn dog in the race, but we’ll need a but of luck to go our way. She’s capable of a 28:20 around Cork. The Holland dogs on her inside are all top dogs, but High Trend needing the inside could hinder Jacktavern Bolt. I think Carrick Aldo is the fastest dog in the race and the one to beat.”
The local Cork contingent will be supporting Blarney based John Linehan’s Easy Razzle. Linehan trained Runninta Seeya to win the 2020 Irish Greyhound Laurels, and Easy Razzle has already bagged a prestigious prize having won the Munster Oaks last month. A Puppy Oaks finalist earlier this year, Easy Razzle produced a creditable effort to chase home Jacktavern Bolt in the semi-final. Linehan said on the Talking Dogs podcast: “She just lacks early tactical speed to the first bend. She’s doing her best work late on, and it’s an honour to reach the Laurels Final on home turf.”
The Bar One Racing Irish Greyhound Laurels Final is due off at 8:50pm this Saturday. The full digital card for Saturday’s meeting is available to view below.