MICHAEL FORTUNE: Limerick ready to roll

TOMORROW is all about the future of Irish greyhound racing.

The future stars will be battling for honours in the final of the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby at Harold’s Cross while an event of even more importance takes place in Limerick with the opening of the magnificent new €20 million stadium.

Stadium boss Declan O’Halloran has been hugely impressed with the level of interest from the local community and the bookings up to Christmas are extremely encouraging. Tomorrow is a sellout in the restaurant and a massive crowd is anticipated for the historic meeting. Quite obviously, the real test will come in the gloomy post-Christmas months of January and February but a solid base will, hopefully, have been built by then.

There are four top-class open races lined up for tomorrow night and the star attraction will be Pat Guilfoyle’s Cesarewitch and Dundalk International winner Definate Opinion in a heat of the two-run David Pearl Open 550, where he will come up against the classy Monlesa Alsation.

The other heat has the brilliant bitch Skywalker Queen in the line-up. Shelbourne Dawn and Burn Em Up could battle it out in the open 525 while Cooladerry Fizz will take all the beating in the open 750.

The new shop, to be operated by the Greyhound & Pet World from Abbeyfeale, will be open for business tomorrow and on all racing nights.

Those who want to watch the soccer international from the Aviva Stadium will be facilitated with screens dotted around the stadium showing the action.

The same applies at Harold's Cross, where a new big screen has been installed on the first floor level for sporting events. However, Cross punters should arrive early to avoid the traffic congestion that will be caused by 50,000 fans trying to get to the Aviva Stadium.

The Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby final could develop into a battle between old rivals Lolos Joe and Kerrydale Lar. This will be their sixth meeting inside two months and the tally stands 3-2 in Kerrydale’s favour. This race could be decided by the break and Lolos Joe does look ideally positioned in three to lead around the bend.

Kerrydale will be running on strongly, as will Tom O’Neill’s Dream Walker, Robert Gleeson’s Bling Bling Dano, Pa Fitzgerald’s Melodys Royal and Denis Shanahan’s Kielduff Merc. It promises to be a cracking contest and the vote goes to Lolos Joe.

Bling Bling Dano has been sold and will be joining Kelly Macari after the Puppy Derby or the St Leger at Limerick.

Saturday night will, of course, be all about the Pat Hennerty Sales Irish Laurels semi-finals at Curraheen where Tyrur Enda is strongly fancied to maintain his unbeaten record. His early pace should see him lead around the bend from Sevenheads Bay and Pablo Supreme and from there it should be plain sailing.

Unfortunately for the Fahys, Tyrur Bucko misses the second semi and his absence will make things that little easier for Dalcash Cardosa in the inside box. He will face a severe task to the bend against Tubbertelly Dubh and if there is any bumping between the pair then Kiowa Myth is sure to be flying at the business end.

Entries for the Laurels final night will close on Monday and the all open card, with €1,000 to the winners of the eight races , will comprise of opens over 525, Bitch 525, 550, Bitch 550, 575, 750, Puppy (September 2008) 550 and Puppy (November 2008) 525.

New special deals have been announced for Curraheen, Shelbourne and Harold’s Cross. In the case of Curraheen, it will be Sizzling October Thursdays with admission, race card, €4 Fast Food Voucher and €2 Tote Bet, all for just €10. Similar deals are on offer for Shelbourne on Wednesdays and Harold’s Cross on Tuesdays.

Finally, sad news from Australia is that renowned greyhound vet Dr Jim Gannon died suddenly on Monday.

Some years back, Dr Gannon produced, in conjunction with Pat Dalton, a beautifully illustrated 16-page ‘Guide to Injury Detection in the Racing Greyhound’.


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