Draw may swing it for Mozzletoff

THIS year’s Sporting Press Irish Oaks has been right out of the top drawer and this evening there are two ultra-competitive semi-finals down for decision.

Mozzletoff remains favourite to come out on top in next week’s decider, but she faces a stiff test in the opening heat where she must take on last weekend’s fastest quarter-final winner Beaming Olive and the talented Cool It Baby.

Throw big finishers Inshaarla and Maggies Whistle into the mix and it’s a contest befitting the final itself. On the strength of a favourable five draw, Mozzletoff is given the nod, but she needs to be at her most potent with Beaming Olive a serious threat from trap four.

The second semi comprises of six inside seeds with the early exchanges likely to be even more pivotal that normal. Despite suffering defeat in her last two outings, Puppy Oaks champion Droopys Twirl will start favourite and she looks certain to take some stopping.

The obvious threat is the progressive Mutual Decision, who posted a stunning 28.41 last week, but she looks badly housed on the rails despite her seeding. Expect the superior power and pace of Droopys Twirl to carry her into the final on the back of a victory.

Elsewhere on the card there is an intriguing clash between Derby favourite Tyrur Big Mike and the brilliant Broadstrand Lad in a supporting Open 550.

Paradise Casino is clearly the in-form greyhound in the Kerry AgriBusiness Irish St Leger and he can claim his fifth success on the bounce in the quarter-finals at Limerick this evening.

Judicial Academy is one of the favourites for outright success and he should justify his lofty position in the betting in Heat 3, while If What A Tornado can repeat the sort of form he has shown in the past two rounds he can land the spoils in the final heat.

The remaining heat looks very competitive, but on the strength of the draw Tranquil Time gets the vote over Big Appetite.

Across the border, Graham Holland will be hoping Leeview Jet can continue his love affair with Drumbo Park in the semi-finals of the Bettor.com Northern Irish Derby. Having added the 550 track record to his 525 national record last weekend, the talented brindle will again take some stopping in the opening semi.

In the second heat, Loughview Jet and Elwick Bolero can battle it out.

- National Puppy Stake champion Deerfield Music claimed more silverware at Tralee last night when running out an impressive winner of the Paddy O'Sullivan Race Of Champions, smashing the track record in the process.

Deerfield Music won by two lengths from Pablo Supreme in 29.52, taking .09 seconds off the previous record. Third spot went to Rattling Tank a further two and a half lengths adrift.

Agent set for final glory

EXPRESS AGENT, who looked an early pacer of real potential when winning his first two outings, is expected to avenge his semi-final defeat in the Matt Noonan Meat Supplies A4 Stakes final at Curraheen Park tonight.

The Jack Sexton-trained dog was expected to maintain his unbeaten record last weekend but, drawn on the rails, he missed the kick and had to play second fiddle to Impact Man throughout.

Capable of breaking better and still open to improvement, he can gain revenge on Impact Man here.

The latter stepped up on previous efforts last week and, if starting in the same slick manner from the inside, should be a major player.

Fear Gorm looks the part in the opening semi-final of the Red Mills All-Ireland Series Trial Stake.

Johnny Hickey’s runner blazed the trail when bagging a 10th career success in 29.15 last week.

The second semi-final can fall to Ballyhooly Queen.

Jim Dowling’s runner set the standard in the heats, coming from off the pace to score in an impressive 28.57. Ballyhooly Queen is likely to have to do it the hard way again here but this strong-running type looks capable of doing so.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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