Derby champ Laughil Blake has another Easter Cup trial
Though the actual confirmed entries are still well short of the required 36, it does look as though the €25,000-to-the-winner Dandelion Bar & Nightclub Easter Cup will live up to its billing when it commences at Shelbourne on Saturday week.
Entries will close on Tuesday next but in the coming days such leading contenders as Derby hero Laughil Blake and the classy group comprising Droopys Nidge, Tyrur Supermac, Tyrur Van Gaal, Tyrur Tommy, Sidarian Blaze and Skywalker Farloe will all be trialled again over the Shelbourne track in advance of their return to action in the competition.
Blake, which moved very well in a sprint trial last Thursday, will have a run over 525 yards this evening prior to racing and then on Saturday most of the others will go through their paces.
The form of the GMHD Juvenile Classic at Tralee will get an early test this evening when two dogs which failed to survive the first round last Friday will contest semi-finals of an A3 competition at Shelbourne Park.
Granted, both Barefoot Artist and Mustang Legacy are very inexperienced trackers and haven't the best draws in the world but their presence will add considerably to the action on this card. It will be a surprise if they don't play a very active role in their respective races.
I felt that Barefoot Artist (10.06) ran a particularly fine race on Friday when he disputed to the bend but was shuffled right back around the corner. Trap five will be no assistance and it is a tricky contest with the likes of Larry Dunne's Slippery Vincent and Lorraine Moore's Zoro Supreme sure to be fancied rivals.
Sean Bourke's Mustang Legacy (10.20) goes in the second semi-final of the stake and he displayed fine pace in his Tralee outing before finishing at the rear behind Hovex Prince. What worried me slightly was that Mustang didn't negotiate his bends all that well but he did show a lot of pace. Tony Winters' Coolykereen Fire is a very lively-looking sort while Kathleen Pomfret's Freedom Snowdrop is better than he strike rate suggests.
A dog which showed huge pace when he appeared at the venue back in early January is Terence McCroary's Fernhill Obama (8.00) and the Lifford runner will be well fancied to win the A6 opener. Again, there are some interesting rivals but Fernhill definitely has the pace to collect.
The Clonmel Trial Stake for the Kirby Memorial will not be run on Sunday next as the event has been cancelled due to a lack of entries.
Qualifiers are being run at tracks all over the country for the most valuable event on the Irish calendar with the exception of the Boylesports.com Irish Derby.