Guilfoyle hopes Shoemakers impressive form can continue

There should be a fine welcome for recently-crowned Sprinter of the Year Shoemakers Lad when he turns up at Curraheen Park for the semi-finals of the Kudos Supersprint on Saturday.

Trainer Pat Guilfoyle was delighted with the dog’s performance last weekend in what looked a rough race. He appears to have an easier draw in the second heat, where John Linehan’s Broadstrand Lad will be a big rival.

Linehan, who also has Tooclosetocall in this heat, was thrilled when his Droopys Twirl was named Bitch of the Year on Sunday in Athlone and reported they still hope to get her back to defend the Oaks title.

The opening semi-final of the sprint looks tasty and all six merit consideration. Graham Holland’s Cambushmore was impressive last weekend and he may again lead home the likes of Cashen Malouda and Greenane Bingo.

The Curraheen card also includes the final of the Crossfield Kennels Puppy Oaks and here the clock suggests the Billy Dwan and Bernie Carr-owned Thurlesbeg Bid may be the one.

The first sales of the year will be staged at Curraheen on Tuesday, with trials commencing at 10am.

Saturday week’s card will include the semi-finals of the 12-dog Betfair Open 600 Trial Stake with the winner earning €500 and free entry to the event, which will be run at Shelbourne.

A sponsored meeting in aid of Ballinhassig GAA will be run on Thursday, April 5.

There will be no trials next Tuesday due to the sales. The €6,500 McCarthy Insurance Group Oaks will close on Monday March 26 with the first round the following Saturday.

The semi-finals of the Gallivan Murphy Hooper Dolan Juvenile Classic will be staged in Tralee tomorrow night. Liam Dowling’s local runner Ballymac Vic emerged as a real star from last week’s second round, stepping up from a solid opening round performance. This dog appeared to stay much better last week then on his first outing. He goes in the opening semi where he looks a certain leader but with Pat Buckley’s Wells Honour likely to be in pursuit. The big question will be the location of Owen McKenna’s Airforce Diva as this dog has been displaying ferocious pace from halfway.

John Linehan’s Droopys Cain has been impressive in both outings and is really screaming for 550 yards already. Question is can he get a clear run in the second semi where he has those splendid young early pacers Catching Dreams and Beaming Mark on his inner? Add in Rusheen Major and Skywalker Kate and you have an intriguing contest.

Commencing on Saturday week will be the Betfair Open 570 semi-finals with the winner earning free entry to the big 600 yard event at Shelbourne.

The other major event this year will be the second round of the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar on Saturday and here the big clash will be in Heat 4, where last year’s runner-up Kingo will be opposed by five very formidable rivals in Shelbourne Nat, Beaming Olive, Crossfield Star, Dynamic Trend and Gizmo Titan. However, Kingo remains the choice here.

Subway Ruth is my idea of the night’s nap in the opening heat while the two other heat winners can be Barefoot Hero and Rafas Wee Pet.

The final of the Kudos Creative Catering Open 525 will draw a crowd to Limerick Stadium with the prospect of a great clash between Lass Cause and Cashen Mafuma but with Hidden Jester and Olympic Honcho thrown in for good measure. The card also includes the semi-finals of the Kudos A1 575 while there be a Guaranteed Trio pool of €1,000 on offer if a full field competes for the concluding Open 525. There will be no racing on Monday night. There will be no racing at Galway on Saturday week due to the Connacht v Munster game. An alternative date will be announced shortly.

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