LAST weekend’s Hennerty Sales Laurels winner Tyrur Enda will be returning to Munster for his final outings of the season after owner PJ Fahy decided to run the champion in the Red Mills Masters, which commences at Kilcohan Park on Saturday week.
Fahy had debated whether to put away the dog for the winter or to aim him at either the Masters or the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick. Eventually, the fact that Enda would have to run a maximum of just two races at Waterford swung the issue.
As Laurels winner, Enda will receive a bye into the semi-finals of the 18-dog competition on November 6. Also exempt from the first round will be the highest placed dog in the Irish Derby and that looks like being Krug Ninety Five. The first two finishers, Tyrur Big Mike and Tyrur McGuigan, have been put away for the winter in preparation of a big year in 2012. The other exemption will be for the winner of the Local Qualifier. By the way, Masters entries will be facilitated with trials before racing if booked in advance with the Racing Office.
Another top entry in the Masters will be Derby finalist Tullymurry Act and trainer Pat Buckley reports that the dog will be trialled on Saturday night.
It has been a real festive time at Limerick in the two weeks since the splendid new stadium opened its gates on October 8. The crowds have been quite phenomenal and the venue will be officially opened tomorrow night.
There is a top-class 12-race card on offer and the restaurant and suites are fully booked. Track boss Declan O’Halloran anticipates a huge crowd and is planning a real party atmosphere with no fewer than three musical groups booked to provide entertainment before, during and after racing.
Top race is the Open 525 where Paul Hennessy’s Colorful Champ is the likely favourite in a race where the opposition will include the likes of Westmead Grant, Lolos Joe, Joey Jojo Junior and Mountjoy Rock. Pat Guilfoyle’s Definate Opinion, an impressive winner at Curraheen on Saturday, will be the favourite for the 575 where English Derby third Krug Ninety Five will be among his rivals.
Dolores Ruth’s Champion Stakes hero Makeshift makes his comeback in the 550 where he will face such as Jim Said So, De Ex Factor and Oran Legend. It will be a fully sponsored card with all winners receiving between €650 and €700 plus trophy.
Saturday’s meeting at Limerick will be a Benefit for Newport GAA Club and we understand that the Liam McCarthy Cup will also be on show.
There will be classic action at Harold’s Cross tomorrow evening when the semi-finals of the Vetsearch Recharge Irish Grand National will be run. Four UK challengers remain in contention for the jumping classic and three of them, Whiterock Champ, Bigstrongpup and Junior Mac, meet in the opening heat where Bockos Bullet will take all the beating. Fastest first round winner was Bear Grylls and the Tony Byrne trained dog will need to be on his toes against the likes of Slick Saxon, Clonrooske Guy and Nebuchadnezzar in the second heat.
There are two finals down for decision this weekend. Most valuable is the Tennents Gold Cup decider up at Drumbo Park on Saturday and here the Graham Holland trained Leeview Jet has been installed a 4-5 favourite by the track layers to land this £6,000 decider. Owned by Breda and Mary Delaney from Ballincollig, Co Cork, Leeview has been sensational in the event and his early pace can see him add this prize to the Tipperary Cup he already collected.
The final of the Kilford Arms Hotel A2 will be run at Kilkenny tomorrow night and John Keena’s A Ok can maintain his unbeaten run if he makes one of his fast starts.
The three semi-finals of the Red Mills Southern Sprint will be run at Youghal tomorrow on a programme that also includes the semis of the Friends of Youghal A2 and the Rising Fire Unraced Stake.
The Southern Sprint is a really high class two-bend event and there will be interesting clashes in each of the three qualifiers. Carlows Pride can lead home Seanachie Serena in the first. The second semi looks a real cracker with heat winners Yes Boss, Burn Em Up and Exotic Diamond all in there along with Mumhan Aris. The third heat could go to Pure Pepper, though Talavara Step will be dangerous.
There should be a big crowd at Newbridge for what looks an intriguing night of racing in the Molloy & O’Donnell Oaks where Calling Spice and Air Force Ellie will renew rivalry in the opening heat. Air Force was the fastest first round winner, but can she get as good a run at the early paced Calling Spice this time? The semi-finals of the Mannion Builders Supplies National 750 will be run on Saturday at Shelbourne with Cooladerry Fizz and Mustang Johnny the likely winners.
Then on Sunday it will be the turn of the Munster Puppy Cup second round at Clonmel where we will get another opportunity to assess Owen McKenna’s Farloe Force after his scorching first round effort. He has buckets in hand on the clock while another likely winner is Michael Delahunty’s Little Bargain.
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