Crokers Champ out of Sunderland Classic
Peter Cronin's hopes of landing a major British event with Crokers Champ have been dashed with the news that he is injured and will miss tomorrow's semi-final of the William Hill Classic at Sunderland.
Last year's Sprinter of the Year has enjoyed no luck this year and was unluckily eliminated in third place in the first round of the English Derby. The Sunderland event over 450 metres looked tailor-made for Crokers but it was apparent that all was not well as he didn't gallop the bends well.
Cronin was forced to concede defeat yesterday and officially withdrew the dog. "He has damaged a TFL and, not alone will he miss Saturday's semi-final, but he will also be unable to defend his Bar-One Racing Irish Sprint Cup title at Dundalk next week."
At this stage the likelihood is that he might go for the Gain Feeds Select Stakes at Waterford and then the Night of Stars at Shelbourne.
Last year's Stayer of the Year Sidarian Lisa (9.10) hasn't run since the Night of Stars but she has trialled well and can state her case in the third heat of the Gain Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross. She won six of her last nine races over the six-bend distance and at her best would beat the likes of Crompaun Jamesy and Uncle Paul.
Brendan Maunsell's Fire Height Amy (9.25) won the Barry's Tea 750 at Cork impressively and will likely top the betting for this event. She may win this heat also but before the competition has run its course it would be no surprise if Ballymac Bonnie proves to be the outright winner.
Pat Dalton's runners always merit respect in these six-bend events and Tradition (8.40) is another top stayer from the kennel. She is well-drawn in the first heat and looks a likely winner from Shaneboy Frankie.
Droopys Oddysey (8.55) is a talented stayer and with a clear run he should win the second heat, while John Doyle's Kiltrea Roisin (9.40) could be a value proposition in the concluding heat.
Tomorrow's hurling games at Thurles have forced a change of schedule at the local track. There will be no racing tomorrow and so the first round of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup will be run at this evening's meeting.
Prior to the opening salvo being fired, I would have to fancy trainer Gerry Holian to win this event with his three-pronged challenge comprising Emers Superstar, Curious Boy and Across The Way.
Emers Superstar (8.17) hasn't run since the Night of Stars but he has trialled well and clearly has the ability to beat the likes of Tynwald Rodney and Razldazl Al. Curious Boy (9.47) and Across The Way (9.32) must also be fancied.