TRAINER John Linehan and owner Kieran Ryan obviously have serious ambitions in this year's Sporting Press Irish Oaks at Shelbourne.
The Blarney handler unleashed a leading young fancy in Thursday's opening session when Droopys Indi was a highly impressive winner of her heat in 28.82 and this evening he will be heading back up the M8 with his number one hope for the classic, Droopys Twirl.
This daughter of Westmead Hawk was spectacularly impressive in winning the Puppy Oaks at Shelbourne two weeks back after earlier being an unlucky loser of the Juvenile Classic at Tralee and is now bidding to follow in the footprints of Dalcash Dvinsky who completed the Shelbourne Oaks double a year ago.
On all known form she should have matters handy enough in Heat 12 this evening where Liam Dowling's Ballymac Linda can prove to be the major threat.
It is another brilliant Shelbourne card comprising of eight Oaks heats, two open finals and two supporting open contests. Throw in the added incentive of the full Inter Track service from the Derby third round at Wimbledon and it will be a feast of greyhound action - hopefully sufficient to overcome the Champions League counter attraction.
Graham Holland's Calling Spice is likely to set a very strong pace in the opening Heat 8 but Olympic Stunner will be chasing her down at the business end. But one which has the strength to romp to victory is the Fraser Black trained Lady Lucielle in Heat 9.
Another southern challenger with serious prospects is the Brian King trained Shelbourne Abi in Heat 15 but north of Dublin can also be well served by Cool It Baby, who holds very strong claims in Heat 13.
Over at Wimbledon the ten Irish challengers will be bidding for quarter-final places in the Williamhill.com English Derby and it will be extremely disappointing if at least half that number don't make it through to the last 24.
Razldazl litter brothers Jayfkay and George represent banker bets in their respective heats while I give Barefoot Bullet and Melodys Royal real chances of victory also.
Those looking for real value could take a chance on the perfectly housed Krug Ninety Five in Barefoot's contest - he won't be too far away and would benefit from any trouble up front.
Waterford handler Peter Cronin has three left and two of them, Springlawn Bert and Rockview Head, clash in the final heat. Don't be surprised if one of them wins this heat and I am inclined to side with the latter. The Derby action can be followed on Sky Sports 4 from 9 pm.
A Cracking bet!
THE Macroom Motor Services Stakes promises some cracking fare at Curraheen Park in the coming weeks.
The €3,000 to-the-winner stake has attracted an interesting entry, with a host of the leading kennels represented.
The exciting Cracking Man, who carded a 28.43 solo spin here recently, can lay down an early marker in heat two.
Trained by Graham Holland, Cracking Man made it three wins from four starts when posting a smart 28.46 run at Shelbourne earlier this month.
Provided he handles a trap one draw, Cracking Man should take a deal of beating.
Power Charge, always in control when landing the recent Larry Dunne Consolation final at Shelbourne in 28.50 , gets preference over Produce Stakes finalist Broadstrand Dan in the opening heat.
Owen McKenna, who handles Power Charge, can also be on the mark with Cool West Bound in heat three.
This four-times winner ran up in the Produce Consolation final and a recent 17.69 trial suggest he can shrug off a trap four draw tonight.
Mellery Blue, who pinged the lid when making all in 28.50 last week, can again cheat the draw in second semi-final of the Shanagore Kennels A2 Stakes.