Shaneboy Alley was the biggest casualty of the semi-final of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore yesterday as the ante-post favourite on www.betfair.com went out in heat three.
After a slow start out of the boxes, the 8/11 shot was then crowded at the second bend and struggled to get into the race. That allowed Lemon Pluto to capitalise and win the semi-final, with Express Giant the other dog to book a spot in the final.
Eden Star now heads the betting for the Monmore showpiece after he qualified behind Shaneboy Spencer in heat two on Monday. Barrie Draper’s dog clocked a time of 28.31 out of trap three. Despite showing early pace, he was forced to check at the opening bend but ran on well to come home behind just over a length behind trap two.
The win for Shaneboy Specer will be some consolation for Liz McNair as their stablemate Shaneboy Alley went out of the competition on the same card. The November09 greyhound led from start to finish of the 480m contest after going off at odds of 2/1.
There was also an exit at Monmore for Sussex Cup winner, Loughteen Blanco. Heat one of the semi-final was very messy as there was lots of trouble at the opening bend. The winner of the £10,000 top prize at Hove had to settle for third place when running out of trap four. Behind him in the field in fifth was Strategic Review and Daddy Knowsbest a spot further behind.
The crowding in the first heat allowed Lightning Sky to capitalise at odds of 33/1, while Freddy Thelegend was just a head behind crossing the lines at 14/1.