High-class Van Gaal faces test
In some years the BoyleSports Derby Plate hasn't got a great response from connections of the Derby entries.
But this year's event is an exception, with most of the casualties from the opening two rounds of the classic figuring in the draw for tonight's opening round.
The question facing most punters will be, "how good is Tyrur Van Gaal?"
PJ Fahy's dog is hugely pacey but lacks racing experience for a race in which Slippery Fred, Barefoot Artist and Deanridge Pennys provide high-profile opposition.
However, if Tyrur Van Gaal (9.28) can repeat his terrific 29.43 run from last weekend he will take the world of beating not alone in this Heat 3 but in the entire competition.
Slippery Fred is an obvious danger.
There are few bankers in the seven heats, but Pat Guilfoyle's Laughil Duke (9.58) was a 29.45 winner in the opening round and is perfectly drawn this evening. He will be a short price but looks a snip here.
Graham Holland's Riverside Pat (9.13) is not the best drawn in Heat 2 but he has the ability to win this contest where big-finishing Country Legend could be his closest challenger.
Larry Dunne's Slippery Snowy (8.58) was hugely disappointing last weekend but can make amends from a trap six draw in the opening heat, where Tyrur Mata and the well-drawn Jaytee Valencia look the biggest dangers.
Others worth noting in the heats are Murt Leahy's Material Man (9.43), Paul Hennessy's Jaytee Valencia (10.13) and Peter Cronin's Gyp Rosetti (10.28).
A most interesting runner in a supporting heat of an A2 Dual Distance is the talented youngster Droopys Latina (8.13), which displayed huge promise when winning first time at Waterford.
The Gain Leinster Oaks will start this evening at Enniscorthy and there are three open-looking first-round heats down for decision. Being an A2 competition, we can expect a few springers to emerge.
One worth following could be Paddy Kehoe's Forest Acusla (8.45), which was a finalist in the Red Mills Bitch Unraced at Newbridge and should find this company to her liking.
The new Turf TV coverage of racing at Curraheen, Mullingar and Youghal will kick off next Tuesday at Curraheen, with racing starting at 7.0.
Curraheen have introduced an attractive series of special offers in conjunction with their Tuesday meeting, and one which really catches the eye is the €17.95 package which includes admission and racecard with main course served in the Laurel's Restaurant.