Unlikely to be a British challenge for Dundalk International

How times change!

Last Saturday the Irish Derby was run at the Curragh and not one British trained colt took on the Irish for one of the most prestigious race in Europe for three year olds. Now we have the most valuable invitation greyhound race — the Boylesports International — taking place in Dundalk next Thursday and again it’s unlikely there will be a British entry.

There is still hope Bubbly Phoenix will travel to Dundalk but, remember, he did come over to Tralee for the last two weeks and fair play to trainer Paul Young and the Champagne Club. But, one after another, the top UK dogs have either retired, been injured or simply declined the invitation to contest a single race over 550 yards with a winner’s prize of €20,000.

The line-up will be completed on Saturday but Milldean Panther and Razldazl George will be in there and the likes of Kingo, Milldean Tally, Shelbourne Geoff, Quail Hollow, Captain Scolari and others are strong contenders for places.

There will be a few trial sessions tomorrow with the two Milldeans going around at 4 pm with Shelbourne Geoff, Kingo and Razldazl George being trialled before racing.

The fact that the International and the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes clash is no help either and really there is a huge case for a very thorough revision of the annual calendar. While on the subject of the Champion Stakes, entries will close on Monday for this valuable 18 dog two-run event at Shelbourne with a Champion Plate for the 18 dogs that don’t make it into the big one.

It’s not often Longford holds the limelight but this week the final of the Broadway Pet Foods Longford Derby will be run tomorrow evening.

It is the most valuable race of the week with a €5,000 prize on offer and there is a classy field with Pat Guilfoyle’s Magical Romeo having the inside draw while the other winning semi-finalist, Jason Croarkin’s Tahina Rocco goes from five. But with Cesarewitch winner Subway Ruth and the progressive puppy Paradise Madison among the opposition anything is possible. It could be another big evening for the Guilfoyle family as Magical Romeo is owned by the trainer’s mother Alice.

The major event in progress is the Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn at Harold’s Cross with the semi-finals to be run tomorrow. Two of the three unbeaten contenders, Dogwithacollar and Stallone Bart clash in the first heat and the early pace of Bridie Moore’s charge Stallone Bart could swing it. Incitatus also comes into the picture here.

The veteran St Mullins Pride has been very impressive and he has been blessed with a trap one draw in the second heat. He is going to take beating but Razldazl Dmagio and Shaneboy Dream may not be far away. Dmagio was my long-range fancy and he still can find his top form.

Harold’s Cross are resuming their Sales on August 25. Sales haven’t been staged in Dublin for a few years now but it is hoped that combining this auction with the quarter-finals of the Irish Derby will attract extra buyers. Entries will close on Tuesday, August 14. It has also been confirmed that the Puppy Oaks at the Cross will again be sponsored by Greyhound & Pet World, Abbeyfeale and the 24 bitch puppy (Aug ‘10) event will commence on Friday, July 20 with a winner’s prize of €2,500.

There will be graded finals at Curraheen each night this weekend and Saturday’s card will also include the first round of the O’Riordan Bros. Tarmacadam A3 Tri-Distance as well as the weekly Getting Out Stakes and Saturday Special.

Saturday week’s card will include the one-off Ladbrokes Derby Trial Stake as well as the Burgess Getting Out A1 550 and the GOBA Saturday Special A2 575. There are various graded events coming up in the next few weeks and then there will be the annual regulars, the Irish & European A2 (Bg) 525 on July 28 and the GOBA Past Presidents A3 (No Bg) on August 4.

The voluntary painting work postponed from last Thursday at Youghal will take place this evening at 7 pm and all volunteers are e welcome. The painting will resume on Saturday at 12 noon. Free admission is now in operation for all Monday and Friday meetings during July and August.

They’re packing them in at the fundraisers in Limerick each weekend and there are two this time. Tomorrow will see the St Joseph’s Foundation, Charleville at the track and there will be a 13 race all-sponsored card with the weigh-in between 6.25 and 7 pm.

On Saturday the benefit will be in aid of Na Piarsaigh GAA and the card will include the semis of the Ladbrokes Derby Trial Stake and the Emly GAA D4 750. There will be an additional meeting on Monday with three finals of GOBA Stakes for A1 525, A3 525 and A3 600 while the semi-finals of a further three GOBA Stakes will also be run. There will be a Sale for 75 lots next Tuesday and the first trial will be at 9.30 am.

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