Battle on for places in Kirby Memorial final
Published 02/04/2016 | 02:30
The battle for places in next week's final will be very intense when the semi-finals of the €80,000-to-the-winner Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake are run at Limerick.
The first semi-final (10.10) is probably the hotter of the two, but it will be a huge shock if Witches Belle and Clares Rocket fail to qualify for the decider.
Edel Twomey's Witches Belle, the only bitch left in the competition has the advantage of a trap one draw.
Graham Holland's Clares Rocket goes from trap three. In the past he has shown excellent early pace and gets the nod to lead home Witches Belle, with well-housed Eightythreelarch to chase them into the final.
While all six runners rate respect in the second heat, Droopys Roddick (10.25) and Double Oh Seven look the superior performers.
Droopys Roddick improved his starting last week and he should hold the flying late run of Double Oh Seven, with Tommys Lord also nominated to make it to the final.
A prize of €5,500 awaits the winner of the Pat Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks at Curraheen Park. Taking semi-final form Lurriga Gold is the one to beat but the first bend will be crucial and it would be no surprise if Francie Murray's Leezie Lindsay (10.07) claimed another Cork prize.
Meanwhile, the semi-finals of the Gain Irish Cesarewitch will be run at Mullingar and Pat Buckley's reigning champion Paradise Maverik (9.18) is a strong fancy for the first, with Gleeson's Droopys Tee (9.33) the choice in the second.
In the semi-finals of the Scottish Derby, three Irish runners can make it to the final, with Fair Taxes (8.42) and Leave At Dawn (9.15) likely to win while Mucho Macho Man (8.58) can chase home Ballymac Matt.