Even the bookmakers are struggling to nominate a clear favourite although Broadstrand Lad is just about heading the market with most of the big firms. He is closely followed by the likes of Razldazl Jayfkay, Melodys Royal and defending champion Makeshift.
The John Linehan-trained Broadstrand Lad takes his chance in the final heat where he faces the likes of Tyrur Big Mike, Deerfield Music and Razldazl George..
It promises to be a tremendous contest, but Broadstrand Lad is chosen to follow Tyrur Big Mike into the backstraight before asserting in the latter stages.
Razldazl Jayfkay will almost certainly start favourite in the second heat, but he must reproduce his best from a tricky draw in trap five. With both Tyrur Enda and Makeshift drawn on his immediate inside Jayfkay will face a battle to lead around the turn. A watching brief is best advised.
The first of the three semi finals is perhaps the most competitive. It’s no exaggeration to suggest than any of the line up could come out on top, although the outright betting suggests Melodys Royal is the one to beat.
He has a tendency to run wide if challenged on the turns and that could prove his downfall. Instead we’ll side with Tyrur Domingo. The Conor Fahy-trained powerhouse is an accident waiting to happen and should he get loose there are few that would have the pace to match the son of Razldazl Billy.
Also on the Shelbourne card are the semi finals of the Champion Plate where Deerfield Sings is an interesting runner for Mossie O’Connor. At only two years of age he broke the 525yds track record on his latest start at Tralee. He makes his Shelbourne debut in the second semi-final, where he takes on the likes of Meadow Bank Owl and Tyrur Lohan.
There is an added bonus on the Shelbourne undercard with last year’s Derby champion, Tyrur McGuigan having his first outing since that famous night in an open 525. After a superb solo trial effort last week, McGuigan will start a hot favourite to open his account for 2011.