New Laurels sponsorship brings added bonuses

The week started on a very encouraging note with news of Red Mills’ sponsorship of the Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park for a three year period. It is a great boost for the sport in the south and will allow all involved to plan well into the future.

Apart from the bare sponsorship of the classic there are a couple of side attractions. For instance, owners of bitches have a nice incentive with a €3,000 prize on offer for the bitch which achieves the highest placing in the Laurels.

The other one is the first ever Live Industry Forum which will be beamed live from Curraheen Park on Monday, October 15 on and other websites. The panel consists of experts from all areas of the industry and questions will be submitted in advance from the public and also from the floor on the night. The Forum will consist of two parts, the first dealing with the Red Mills Laurels final to be run five days later and the second part a discussion on the overall greyhound industry.

It is a huge week on the track scene with the final of the Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel on Sunday the highlight. Trainer Owen McKenna is in a very strong position with his three finalists but the fastest in the semis was Pat Buckley’s Paradise Martini. Completing the line-up will be Murt Leahy’s Ballybough Hawke and Chris Houlihan’s Cashen Mafuma.

The draw has really thrown the cat among the pigeons and all six must be respected. Camas was slowly away last weekend but is capable of going up better but the early lead could be battled out between Paradise Martini and Cashen Mafuma.

The latter is a bit far out in five but he has the early pace to play a major role. Paradise Martini moved sharply wide last weekend from trap one and may be well housed in three. He is worth following again.

Saturday’s meeting at Tralee will be a benefit for Kerry Ladies GAA and an added bonus will be the presence of all the Kerry Rose of Tralee contenders.

There is a very interesting entry for the Red Mills Champion Unraced which commences at Kilkenny on Friday night. It promises to be a tremendous meeting with a fascinating eleven heats to be decided and some extremely choicely bred puppies in the line-up, some of them with the potential to match!

Saturday is going to be a big night for Owen McKenna who has the red-hot favourite Airforce Diva in the final of the Puppy Oaks at Shelbourne and this magnificent prospect looks banker material with the progressive Tantallons Kay likely to chase her home. The big question is whether Airforce can emulate Dalcash Diva and Droopys Twirl, the last two winners of this event who went on to complete the Puppy Oaks and Irish Oaks double?

The other big Saturday meeting this week will be staged at Limerick where there will be a series of semi-finals to various stakes. The big one is of course the Roche’s Feeds Oaks and here a few big names exploded on the scene last week with Ger Kiely’s Airmount Swank clocking 28.38 and kennel companion Airmount Pearl 28.42. Tomorrow’s meeting at the track will be a benefit for St Munchin’s College.

The English Derby reaches the second round and sixteen Irish trained runners will be in action between tomorrow and Saturday nights. The Irish bankers tomorrow can be Razldazl Rioga and Shelbourne Geoff while Tynwald Bolt has the beating of Razldazl Bugatti with the draw in his favour if he can repeat last week’s brilliant effort.

There will be a going-away party for Brian King at Thurles tomorrow. Brian ran the Shelbourne Stud at Nenagh very successfully for many years but is retiring back to the UK and all his friends are invited to join him tomorrow night.


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