THE big guns enter the arena at Curraheen Park tonight when the remaining first round heats of the Pat Hennerty Sales Irish Laurels dominate the card.
Much interest will centre on Derby runner-up Tyrur Big Mike in heat 11.
Conor Fahy’s ace earned a host of admirers in the Derby, rattling off a four-timer before finding only kennel-mate Tyrur McGuigan too good in last weekend’s decider.
Tyrur Big Mike is a class-act but the combination of a hectic schedule and lack of track knowledge could leave him vulnerable to the in-form Leeview Jet.
Trained by last year’s Laurels-winning handler, Graham Holland, Leeview Jet boasts a superb strike-rate here, winning eight of his 12 starts, including a recent 28.41 effort.
He produced a brilliant 3.28 split last time and, if starting in the same bullet-like manner, will test Big Mike’s mettle to the full.
Fahy has several strings to his bow in this year’s Laurels, including Tyrur Enda in heat 14.
He paid the price for a mistimed exit when bowing out in the Derby quarter-finals but he has massive early when timing it right and looks the sort to excel over this circuit.
Dalcash Cardosa can lay down an early marker by taking heat eight.
Reggie Robert’s five-times winner also has huge early pace and has the potential to go a long way in the classic.
The reigning champion Sevenheads Bay can make a successful opening defence of his crown in heat 13.
A brilliant winner last term, John O’Regan’s star was returning from a 10 weeks lay-off when overhauled close home last week and can step up on that form here.
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