Manner can close in on Laurels defence
A year ago Skywalker Manner raced to glory in the Irish Independent Irish Laurels, and he can move a step closer towards retaining the title when he contests the second quarter-final at Curraheen Park this evening.
Graham Holland's star performer had a major hold-up due to a hock problem but he seems to have got over that problem and last week he displayed his famed early pace to score a decisive victory. He gets a narrow vote to see off Ela Alecko and Kilgraney Ace in this heat.
Manner's kennel companion Clonbrien Hero is the favourite to take the classic but he faces a really tough assignment in Heat 1 where Barefoot Painter, Jaytee Dutch and Kilgraney Denver will be major dangers.
Arclight Bolt and Drive On Razer are the big two in Heat 3, while Philip Lynch's Toker Forest can lead home Loskeran Vardy in Heat 4.
The young stars will be on trial at Shelbourne in the Champion 550 and there will be huge interest in the running of Longford record-breaker Tyrur Harold as he makes his debut in the ownership of PJ Fahy.
He goes in Heat 4 where Black Farren and Brandyandbaileys will make it a tough test but Harold may prevail. Others worth noting are Javielenko (9.12), Coolavanny Pet (9.27) and Native Chimes (9.42).
The Beam Night has been one of the highlights of the Kilkenny Track season for many years and there should be another large turn-out tomorrow evening (7.30) when an unusual feature will be the involvement of two British challengers from the Mark Wallis kennel.
He has Shlowdown Sally and Ribble Atom in action on a card where the feature event is the Connolly's Red Mills Cup 525.
Declan Byrne's Black Tom could grab a decisive early lead.