Holian's strong hand in the Tipperary Cup
The Tipperary Cup is an event with a great tradition and features some superb champions among its previous winners. This year's event will kick off at Thurles on Friday night and there are some big names in the line-up again.
Sponsored these days by Thurles Fresh Milk, the line-up for the 525-yard event features last year's Derby finalist Emers Superstar on his return to action following a very lengthy break. He hasn't raced since the Night of Stars at Shelbourne in November but Ger Holian's charge has pleased with a few sprint trials, including an 18.72 run at Shelbourne.
He figures in one of the best heats in the competition as he will meet the likes of English Derby challenger Tynwald Rodney, Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Al and Fraser Black's Brick Lane in the second heat.
Holian actually has a strong hand in the event as two of his other runners are Curious Boy and Across The Way. Curious Boy clocked a brilliant 28.28 in winning the Kerry Group Hospital Stake at Tralee on Friday, while Across The Way won another sweepstake on the same card in 28.48.
Among Curious Boy's rivals in Heat 6 will be last year's St Leger finalist Borna Central.
By the way, the last two winners of the Tipperary Cup, Dannys Zebo and Kilgraney Tomson, figure in the draw. Patrons are reminded that there will be no racing on Saturday night at Thurles due to the big hurling bill across the road at Semple Stadium.
So, the first round of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup will be run on Friday along with the final of the Thurles Sports Festival Stake.
News from Harold's Cross yesterday evening was that the Gain Corn Cuchulainn was likely to go ahead as a 30-dog competition. The draw was due to take place during racing last night.
Best bet at Shelbourne this evening can be Winnie O'Neill's Wonder Millie (9.30) in the final of the A3 525. The son of Taylors Sky was impressive on his debut last week when winning by a wide margin in 28.87 and should be good enough to lead home Crossfield Alba and Peregrine Gem this evening.
Another interesting sort worth having on your side is Peter Comerford and Tony Moore's Water Fern (10.00) which is a member of a fine litter and is well trialled. He got no chance to show his ability on his debut and can be seen in different light this time.
Now under the care of Gerry Holian, Get Set (9.45) has yet to live up to his rating but may pay to follow in the A3 ninth contest.
The build-up to the BEAM night continues at Kilkenny this evening and most interest will centre on the clash of Bar The Rebel and Hey Cracker (9.00) in the Dobbs Oil N1 first semi-final.