THERE are no major competitions currently in progress at Shelbourne Park but tonight’s card is packed with real quality as many of Ireland’s fastest trackers prepare for their respective targets.
Chief among these targets is the Sporting Press Irish Oaks which will close to entries on Monday at 2pm with the first round to be run next Thursday and Saturday. At lunchtime yesterday there were just 40 names in the book but this is expected to soar over the weekend.
A number of the fastest bitches in training will flex their muscles in the fifth race this evening. The likes of Cool It Baby, Tyrur Tinkerbell and the hugely fast Mozzletoff will be amongst the favourites to win the Oaks. Much will, of course, depend on the start, but on all known form Mozzletoff is perhaps the safest bet in this contest.
There are plenty of big names in action, chief amongst them the likes of Tyrur Big Mike and Broadstrand Lad, who have the Champion Stakes and Derby in their sights. The pair met last week in an Open 550 with the latter emerging on top, but things could be very different tonight over the sharper 525yds trip.
Tyrur Big Mike lines out in trap five and despite being flanked by fast starters looks a probable leader. In contrast Broadstrand Lad is drawn tight to the fence in the dreaded trap one box. The combination of racing from different traps and a rails berth could see John Linehan’s dog dwell a little at the start. With this in mind Tyrur Big Mike is nominated to return to winning ways.
As an added bonus there is a top class Open 750 on the undercard. Helmet Boy, Skywalker Cindy and Slick Season are already proven over the extended trip and look certain to play a major part, while Fleeting Image looks to have a bright future over six bends if his latest effort is an accurate guide.
The presence of 2010 Tote Gold Cup winner, De Ex Factor, really makes the contest however. In what is his first start over the marathon trip, it’s impossible to know what to expect. Should he see out the trip there is no doubting he could take some beating.
Across the water, the Irish raiders will be hoping for further glory in the Williamhill.com English Derby as the second round comes to a conclusion. In all we have eight representatives in action this evening with Makeshift and Barefoot Bullet standing out as our best hopes.
Dolores Ruth’s Makeshift lines out in the final heat and has a favourite’s chance of emerging on top. He has been drawn in the red jacket which should suit if he can hold the fast starting Romeo Reason (drawn in two) to the bend.
Notabodder for Boy
NOTABODDERBOY rates an automatic choice in the Wilton Shopping Centre A5 550 Stakes final at Curraheen Park tonight.
The Moks Syndicate owned runner has dominated the stake in recent weeks and can confirm his superiority here.
A wide-margin 30.36 first round winner, he again ran his rivals ragged when following up in 30.27 last week.
Notabodderboy looks a cut above the opposition and, though certain to start at restricted odds, has to get the vote. Wee Black Beetle has twice chased home the selection in the stake to date and should again be thereabouts.
Baulked at the opening bend when beaten six lengths in the semis, Wee Black Beetle has room for improvement but it’s difficult to see her turning the tables.
Both Turbine Teddy and Bone Idle Jack, separated by the minimum margin in 30.54 last week, merit consideration but have been done no favours by the draw.
The fast-improving Castlelyons Kris looks the part in the opening semi-final of the RNLI A3 525 BG Stakes. This fellow showed pace and determination when getting up close home in 28.87 last week and has sound claims from another inside slot.
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