Jaytee Valencia can get better of Lurriga Gold at Curraheen Park

The semi-finals of the Gain Cup 2016 take place on a good card at Curraheen and the inside runner can prevail in both.

Jaytee Valencia, who contests the first of them, is a renowned early pacer who tends to make all when he wins his races, so it was very encouraging that he was able to come from just behind the pace to take his quarter-final heat.

Drawn to wear red this time, he has the early dash to slip around in front, and can maintain a strong enough gallop to see off the challenge of Lurriga Gold, who was a clear-cut winner in each of the previous rounds.

Greenisle Rover could be value to take the second semi-final. He finished runner-up behind Jaytee Valencia last weekend but showed brilliant early speed to get up inside that rival on the run to the bend. A repeat of that pace should be enough to see him turn in front once more, but he’s capable of a quicker break.

Holding that inside position is key to his chance, and he can do so at the expense of impressive quarter-final winner Bar The Sizzler. The two should be clear early but Greenisle Rover represents a value bet to fend off the likely favourite.

Others worth noting on the card are Moorstown Dessie in the opener, Scampie Girl in the second, and Whitty Elijah in the closing race.

At Shelbourne Park Lenson Panda can take the second quarter-final of the Best Car Parks Gold Cup. The Pat Buckley-trained dog was returning from a long lay-off when getting up on the line to defeat Hee Haws Sheriff in the opening round, and can be expected to have come on for the run.

He should have little trouble leading down the outside, and is fancied to prove too strong for Skywalker Pearl and Borna Sounds.

Fair Taxes put up a fine effort when runner-up to Slippery Fred in the first round, and can go one place better in the third quarter-final. Francie Murray’s dog has the pace to put up an early challenge to the progressive Tarsna Havana, and can prove the stronger in the closing stages.

Fastest first-round heat winner Slipper Fred can make the most of a favourable draw to take the first heat. Larry Dunne’s dog has the early pace to clear the two runners on his inner, and that should put him on the road to victory. Hee Haws Sheriff may put it up to him early, but Lenson Sanchez is a strong runner over this trip, and can build on last weekend’s fine effort in defeat behind Tarsna Havana. He rates the greatest danger.

Race 1:

Moorstown Dessie (nap) (Satin Eva)

Race 2:

Scampie Girl (Soviet Defence)

Race 3:

Harlem Princess (Broadstrand Post)

Race 4:

Ryecourt Molly (Carrowkeal Bart)

Race 5:

Rockforest Jill (Ballyboy Legend)

Race 6:

Not Unsusal (Ballygibbon Kirk)

Race 7:

Cedrus (Key Largo Jetski)

Race 8:

Fionn Bound (Miniconjou)

Race 9:

Jaytee Valencia (Lurriga Gold)

Race 10:

Greenisle Rover (Bar The Sizzler)

Race 11:

Whitty Elijah (Gringos Ace)


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