After suffering the first defeat of his career in the semi finals of the SIS Live Gold Cup last weekend, the bookmakers clearly feel Milldean Panther will return to his best this evening and claim the €30,000 winner’s prize.
Installed a 4-6 chance after the trap draw, he remains on that mark and there seems little reason for him to drift this evening. In normal circumstances the brilliant Broadstrand Lad would be seen as a serious threat, but he hasn’t been rewarded for his semi final heroics.
In a contest with six inside seeds, Broadstrand Lad has been handed the dreaded stripes draw. Remarkably John Linehan’s wonderful servant has raced only once from trap six and that came in his debut over two years ago. Tonight he will have support, but clearly needs to be at his sharpest if he is to overcome his nightmare draw and claim the richest prize of his career.
Others facing a tough draw include Fastaway King in five and Piercestown Sand in four. The former is a tight railer and isn’t exactly blessed with early dash — not a good combination when drawn out in five.
Piercestown Sand is a multiple winner from trap four, but the favourite is drawn on his immediate inside which is not ideal. Should the pair go to the bend together, Milldean Panther would almost certainly head him into the back straight.
Mines A Pint is the rank outsider of the field in trap two, but he could have a bigger impact on the race than most. An early pacer, he seems certain to contest the early lead which could give Milldean Panther something to worry about.
Milldean Panther has yet to reproduce his very best form but, after three races since his return from a winter break, he should now be approaching his peak.
He looks the part in a contest that could be run to suit and expect a suitable reception from the Shelbourne stands if he does.
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