Derby stars chasing Mulvaney 600 prize
The Derby may be over at Shelbourne but to look at Saturday's card one would be forgiven for thinking that the premier classic has been extended by another few weeks, such is the quality of the offering at Headquarters.
The Mulvaney Family 600 has taken over the role of the feature event immediately following the classic and the entry has surpassed expectations, with a Derby winner in the line-up as well as a few of the impressive winners on last Saturday's spectacular card.
The Derby winner is of course the Liam Dowling-trained Ballymac Matt, which won the 2015 classic and was a finalist last Saturday. He never got into that race with a winning chance but he is still a mighty force and will be a major attraction next Saturday.
Other high-profile entries in the 600 yard competition are three winners from last weekend, Water Fern, Slippery Louise and Boylesports Duke, while other big names sure to get involved are Hovex Blaze, Farloe Joey, Vivaro Swift, Skywalker Rossa, College Paradise and Ballyhooly Henry.
An interesting card is topped off by the finals of the three National Unraced Sales finals and this means another chance to assess the talents of the huge prospect Good News, which is owned by Sandra Guilfoyle and John Kennedy.
On the subject of the Derby final, it has been confirmed that it was every bit as big a success as we had thought.
GM Patrick Flynn reports that it was a record-breaking fixture in many aspects with an attendance of almost 5,000 generating huge figures on the Tote and with the bookmakers.
He said: "Yes, it was very successful from our viewpoint and from a trading viewpoint it was quite exceptional.
"The Restaurant, Pavilion and Carvery all reported capacity figures and a figure of almost half a million Euro with the bookmakers was extremely encouraging".
Reaction from sponsors Boylesports has also been positive, but the final decision on next year's sponsorship is in the hands of John Boyle, who is currently on holidays.