Betfair to sponsor free admission for first round of ‘600’ at Shelbourne

Betting exchange company Betfair plan to make a splash with their initial foray into major greyhound racing sponsorship this weekend.

The first round of the Betfair 600 will be run on Saturday night at Shelbourne and all racegoers entering the stadium through the turnstiles will be admitted free in a very generous sponsorship.

The big surprise about the high quality entry for the Betfair 600 is the presence of Easter Cup winner Tyrur Big Mike. There must be serious question marks over his stamina and particularly how he will far on his third or fourth time over the trip.

He goes in Heat 3 where he will meet such as Kingo and Royal Patrol. Derby winner Razldazl George wears red in the opening heat and is quoted the 4-1 favourite by sponsors Betfair.

Greyhound View, Ireland’s weekly TV magazine programme, returns to the screens this evening for the first episode of a series that will run right through to the end of November.

The half hour programme will initially, at least, be shown on Thursday nights onTG4 at 9 pm and on Setanta Ireland at 10.05 pm. Tonight’s first episode will include coverage of last weekend’s action from the College Causeway/ Killahan Phanter Easter Cup final and the Curraheen mix of the McCarthy Insurances Oaks final and the return of Milldean Panther in the Formula One Grand Prix. In addition the programme will reflect on the finals of the SIS Live Gold Cup at Shelbourne and the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar.

The Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel is already down to the quarter-final stage and trainers Owen McKenna and Pat Buckley have very strong hands. McKenna has four very formidable contenders remaining and must be the favourite trainer for top honours with his squad of Airforce Zulu, Confident Rankin, Power Of God and Camas.

All eyes will be on Milldean Panther at Curraheen Park on Saturday when the John O’Flynn Jnr trained flying machine contests the final of the Formula One Grand Prix. His performance in Saturday’s final was quite awesome for the pace shown from the second bend but he has yet to show the early pace which made him such a wow factor last backend.

A trap five draw in this final is no assistance whatever, particularly as he has sprinters Cambushmore and Knockglass Billy on his inner. However, if he can avoid early crowding he looks the winner of the €2,500 but it would be welcome to see him show that early zest of last year.

Saturday’s meeting is a fundraiser for Blarney Girls Scouts which Mitchelstown GAA will be at the track tomorrow night with Michael Horgan leading their big to raise finances. No better man! News of a few big events coming up — the Macroom Motor Services Stake (2010 whelps) will start on Saturday, May 12th and the Barrys Tea 750 will commence on Saturday, May 19th.

The special Cork GOBA all-sponsored night will be held on Saturday, May 5th and among the races on the night will be A1 525, A4 Non Winners 525 (at least 4 races run), D2 750 and a Veterans Race for the six oldest entries closest in current race grade. The card will also include the finals of the five 12 dog sweepstakes which will commence next weekend and which will have winners’ prizes of €500 or €600: A2 (Bg) 525, A3 (Bg) 525, A4 (Bg) 575, A4 (Bg) 525 and A5 (No Bg) 525. There will be a D4 750 next Thursday night while Saturday week’s GOBA Getting Out race will be a €350 A1 550.

The Lee Stand 550 invariably produces some very interesting racing at Tralee and also unearths a number of new star trackers. A glance through the first round draw suggests that this year’s event will be well up to the high standard of previous years.

The first eight heats will be run tomorrow while the remaining eight will be run on Saturday.

There is a full entry of 48 for the Roche’s Feeds Oaks at Limerick on Saturday and a few that strike me as likely heat winners are Tyra Cool, Lass Cause, Tailteann Queen and Killinan Dancer.

Thurles Track has reported a 37% increase in Tote betting for the first quarter of the year and it has been decided to switch back from Tuesday to Friday night racing to further boost the Tote revenue. The move to Tuesdays was not a success.

The draw for the Betfair 600 at Shelbourne on Saturday night is:

Heat 1: 1 Razldazl George; 2 Socks Rocks; 3 Son Of Pride (m); 4 Ders Always One (m); 5 Tyrur Djokovic (w); 6 Monleek Force (w).

Heat 2: 1 Lemon Velvet; 2 Bawna Missile; 3 Lismadine Jack; 4 Kereight Bear (m); 5 Slick Seattle (m); 6 Pool Hawk (w).

Heat 3: 1 Fastaway King; 2 Smart Fantasy; 3 Royal Patrol (m); 4 Tyrur Big Mike (m); 5 Shine And Hope (m); 6 Kingo (m).

Heat 4: 1 St Louis Charlie; 2 Dromore King; 3 Razldazl Will (m); 4 Barefoot Hero (m); 5 Star Addition (w); 6 Big Momma Pumpin (w).

Heat 5: 1 Dynamic Trend; 2 Ringtown Ben; 3 Ogie Tom; 4 Tyrur Willyjoe (w); 5 Airlie Impact (w); 6 Crossfield Star (w).

Heat 6: 1 Tibetan Skies; 2 Ardkill Star; 3 Rockchase Bullet; 4 Boy Band (m); 5 Gizmo Titan (w); 6 Vito Dawn (w).

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