New sponsors up Champion Stakes' prize fund to €32,000
The Champion Stakes, which commences at Shelbourne Park tomorrow week, has a new sponsor as Hamilton Architects has stepped in to back the event which will have a prize fund of almost €32,000.
Hamilton Architects has been involved in most of the greyhound stadium developments in the country. The company is also involved with the proposed Wimbledon development.
Shelbourne GM Patrick Flynn revealed that Hamilton will also be sponsoring six smaller stakes in addition to the Champion Stakes and will bring their sponsorship portfolio to more than €50,000.
Seamus McCloskey, a senior partner in Hamilton Architects and the man behind the Mineola prefix, said that "it is a privilege to be associated with such a top-quality series".
The Champion Stakes and Champion Plate will start on July 19 with the finals on July 26. The winners' prizes for the Champion and the Plate will remain at €20,000 and €4,000 respectively.
The fact that four will qualify from each heat for next week's semi-finals will remove some of the pressure from the three heats of the Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross.
Just one will fail to qualify from the second heat due to the absence of Shanless Becky where the winner should be Darragh Morrissey's Woe Katie (9.40). Phil Gough's Sparta Katy (9.25) was very impressive in her first-round victory and gets the vote to lead home Razldazl Pacino, Lodge Lady and Kiltrea Roisin in Heat 1, while Sidarian Lisa (9.55) can lead all the way in the concluding heat.
Tyrur Arthur, the favourite, has been described as "almost certain" to miss the final of the Broadway Pet Foods and Fast Trap Longford Derby due to injury. PJ Fahy said yesterday that "he is almost certain to miss the final with a shoulder injury. It is not looking good".
A fully fit Tyrur Arthur would be expected to take the €5,000 prize but with the doubts we must look elsewhere and the trap draw certainly favours Surley Bassi (9.45), one of the two comrades Nigel McGarry has in the race. She looks sure to get a great run with Blenhiem Cracker likely to run wide on the corner.
This will leave the likes of Limekiln Narco, Whaoo Wheoo and Fernhill Dusk struggling to get a clear run and it would be no surprise if we ended up with a McGarry 1-2 as Whaoo Wheoo is well capable of getting involved.
The final of the Kerry Group Hospital Stake will be run at Tralee with the trap very much in favour of Willie Barry's Movealong Bob (8.58) but strong cases can be made for the likes of Ballymac Cable and Lassa Exception.
The first round of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup will be run at Thurles and best betting propositions should be Midtown Raffa (9.00), Star Ace (9.15), De Real McCoy (10.0) and All About Ya (10.15).