DECLAN Dowling, Sales and Operations Manager at Tralee Track, is very pleased with the interest being shown in this year's unraced juvenile classic which commences at the Oakview venue on February 21.
The sponsors once again are Gallivan, Murphy, Hooper, Dolan, the Killarney insurance company, and, very interestingly, the managing director of that company, Denis Murphy, who comes from a great Brosna doggy family, will have a runner in the Greyhound and Petworld Oaks at the national coursing meeting which starts this Saturday morning in Powerstown Park.
That runner is Shadow Hunter, which won her trial stake at Rathkeale and is a well-fancied 20/1 shot in the long-odds betting.
It will be Denis's second runner at the national meeting, having gone there with City Terminator three years ago, and it will be the fifth runner for the Murphy family at Powerstown Park, the first being Chief Stoker back in 1986. Needless to say, there are a lot of Kerry runners in both the Derby and the Oaks and the connections of all of them are wished the best of luck.
Meanwhile, business continued as usual at Tralee Track last Saturday night and the feature event on the programme, the final of a €600-to-the-winner A6 525 sweepstake sponsored by the track supporters' club, was won by the Pat McMahon-trained Fiachras Light, which asserted control on the back straight and won by three lengths from Killahas Mike in 29.37.
Three semi-finals of another sweepstake sponsored by the track supporters' club, for A5 class over 525yds and worth €800 to the winner, were also run off and the three winners were Adoremus (29.71), Fairest Dance (29.54) and Clannclainne (29.61).
Despite having the slowest winning time, Adoremus can win the final this Friday night.
Other winners: Rocking Jessie, 29.73; Goldmine Kisses, 18.03; Dilton Pearl, 30.01; Anascaul Sonny, 18.19; Hawthorn Head, 17.81; Baltovin Maeve, 29.06.
* THE best of luck to the Tarbert connections of Parish Hero, which bids for a prize of €4,000 in the final of the Vetsearch Virbac Calci-D Open Sweepstake at Limerick Track this weekend. Parish Hero finished a close third behind Farley Rio in the second semi-final last Saturday night, while, interestingly, the first semi-final was won by Tralee 525yds record-holder, Mind The Net.
* A reminder from Jonathon Best about the Kerry GOBA meeting at Tralee Track (Thursday at 8pm).