Curious Boy can lead way in Independent Laurels
The favourites face contrasting assignments in the quarter-finals of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park this evening but Curious Boy and Farloe Rumble can both progress to next weekend's semi-finals.
After a dreadful outside draw last week, Curious Boy (9.18) finds himself ideally housed in trap one in the opening heat, and trainer Gerry Holian reports the dog to be in "top form".
Curious Boy defied the draw last week to post a new record time of 27.85 and the near veteran tracker is given a confident vote to lead home Rural Hawaii and Twilight Tear.
Farloe Rumble (10.03), on the other hand, would love an inside draw but is positioned in trap six in the concluding heat. Even worse, he has the early paced third favourite Quietly on his inner in a very testing heat.
However Owen McKenna's charge is running at the top of his form and should qualify for the semis along with Quietly and Droopys Ford.
Graham Holland has three runners in the second heat, Skywalker Manner, Little Nidge and Coran Sky, but the race can be won by the Brendan Matthews-trained Leave At Dawn (9.33) which is due a good start and can lead home Skywalker Manner.
The unbeaten duo of Civility Counts (9.48) and Mucho Macho Man have been doing everything right in the classic and can progress from Heat 3 along with well-drawn Must Be Jack.
The eagerly awaited ECC Timber Open 550 starts at Shelbourne and we can anticipate some flying performances. The two favourites for this three-run event will be Cahir Castle and Priceless Brandy and they can further enhance their glowing reputations.
Paul Hennessy's Priceless Brandy (9.27) has the inside draw to swing the opening heat over highly regarded Keplar Nine and Russmur Flyer. McKenna's Cahir Castle (9.57) also wears the red in Heat 3 and will be strongly fancied to lead home Coolavanny Mason and company.
Rio Vincenzo (9.42) and Bull Marker look the big two in Heat 2, while the final heat could be a real thriller with Sober Call (10.12), Tyrur Siucra and Kiss And Hug the likely qualifiers for the semi-finals.
The Clonmel Track Supporters' Club have put huge work into the promotion of the Munster Derby and the final heads a top-class 10-race card tomorrow evening (7.30).
The Munster Derby boasts a terrific €10,000 prize for an A1 contest and the draw has certainly favoured the Niall Dunne-trained Skywalker Nimrod (9.30).
The Ray Patterson-owned dog led all the way when holding off Dromscarra Ruby last week and he can again poach an early lead. The main dangers are likely to be Dromscarra Ruby and Mustang Kasco, though both can struggle with their outside draws.