Much will depend on how they negotiate the opening turn of the quirky Plough Lane circuit, but barring serious traffic problems all three should qualify for next weekend’s £75,000 decider.
Barefoot Bullet is our sole representative in the opening heat, where he has a favourites chance. Track record holder Taylors Sky is the biggest threat, although the early pace of Fifis Rocket could also see him involved.
Razldazl George will start favourite for the second heat where he is flanked by fast starters. Dolores Ruth’s powerhouse may be better off coming out slightly slower than his neighbours. If doing so he can track the leaders into the back straight before pouncing late. Melodys Royal faces a tricky draw in the same heat, but he too has the pace to go close if avoiding the wide running Bellers Bud in the opening yards.
At Shelbourne the cream of Ireland’s female talent will feature in the second round of the Sporting Press Oaks. Highlight of the round is Heat 2 where leading fancies Mozzletoff and Cool It Baby will be joined by Holly And Berry and Inshaarla.
Puppy Oaks champion Droopys Twirl will start a hot favourites in Heat 7, although she can’t afford any mistakes with Lady Lucialle and Killacolla Glory amongst her rivals.
Beaming Olive can follow up her opening round victory in Heat 3 despite a rails draw. Calling Spice in Heat 6 and Droopys Indi in Heat 8 also look likely to score.
The concluding opening round heats of the Leger dominate the action at Limerick this evening. It’s difficult to pick a likely favourite in many of the heats, but that isn’t the case in Heat 11 where Paradise Casino should continue his wonderful run of form.
After two stunning recent efforts at Shelbourne Park over 575yds, the Pat Buckley trained star is chosen to run out a comfortable scorer. PJ Fahy will also be hoping for a winner or two with the likes of Tyrur Valdez, Tyrur Lohan and Tyrur Carey all appealing in their respective heats.
Another worth keeping an eye on is the progressive Rustle Of Leaves in Heat 9. Trained by Pat Guilfoyle, the talented black has won five of his seven career starts and looks set for a bright future.
MILLBANKSCARFACE, hugely impressive in the heats, can underline his claims in the Macroom Motor Services Stakes at Curraheen Park by taking the second of tonight’s semi-finals.
Owen McKenna’s rising-star turned in an explosive performance last week, making all in a fastest of the round 28.43.
As that was only his fourth race and his first round this circuit, Millbankscarface has plenty of scope for improvement and has to be followed.
Broadstrand Dan didn’t enjoy the run of the race (held up at the break and again at the third bend) when third in 28.71.
John Linehan’s Produce Stakes finalist can leave that form behind and reads the main danger.
Cracking Man, sent off long odds-on when a two and a half lengths second behind Millbankscarface, can bounce back in the first semi-final.
Power Charge, a 28.71 heat winner, is an obvious danger but Graham Holland’s Cracking Man has the inside line and this can prove decisive.
The card also features the final of the Shanagore Kennels A2 525 Stakes and the in-form Mellery Blue looks the business here.
This nine-times winner lines up on the back of impressive 28.50 and 28.78 victories and has sound claims from an improved trap two draw.
Paid Paddy impressed when posting a 28.78 run in last week’s semis but could struggle to clear Mellery Blue on the run to the corner.