Paradise defends his Cesarewitch crown
Paradise Maverik will bid to emulate previous track stars when he defends his Gain Food Irish Cesarewitch crown when the 600 yards classic commences at Mullingar tomorrow.
Since the event was first run back in 1960 there have been three multiple winners of the Cesarewitch. In its days early years it was run at the long-defunct Navan track where Roan Hurricane did the double and he was immediately followed by Bonus Prince which, quite amazingly, won the classic on three occasions.
It then moved to Mullingar in 2000 and we again had a double winner as Definate Opinion raced to victory in 2010 and 2011. Now Paradise Maverik attempts to complete the same feat and he would have to be given a reasonable chance of achieving it.
Pat Buckley's dog swings into action in the first heat tomorrow where he runs from trap five and will likely face his stiffest opposition from Vivaro Swift and Dirt Bird Boy.
Others worth noting in the event include Pat and John McGough's Marys Note in Heat 3, Peter Cronin's Milldean Puma and Jerry Griffin's Morning Music in Heat 4, Paul Hennessy's Painstown Chief and John Fox's Philiblue in Heat 5 and Hennessy's Priceless Lassie and Robert Gleeson's Droopys Tee in Heat 6.
Seamus Leahy's two young bitches, Headford Maura and Headford Fantasy, are unbeaten after two rounds of the Red Mills/ TSC Open Unraced Bitch Stake at Newbridge and they will bid to extend those unbeaten records in tonight's semi-finals.
Headford Maura (9.15), which Seamus owns jointly with Gerry Dillon, appears to have matters very much in her favour in the first heat where she wears the red.
She has excellent early pace and can outpace her rivals early before likely showing the way home to Sandyhill Diana and Local Kid.
It will be tougher for Headford Fantasy (9.45) in the second semi. She has won two tough battles with Airmount Dvinsky in her outings to date and the two bitches clash again.
This time Airmount has the inside trap with Headford on her outer in two and also in there are Christines Bink and Mustang Evita. The superior early pace of Headford Fantasy could prove vital but this is going to be a tricky contest.
It's difficult to keep the track's leading trainer Tommy Bolton out of the news at Harold's Cross and the Geashill handler looks set to figure among the winners this evening.
Ballyglen Ace (9.40) has filled the runner-up spot in his last four races and the luck can change in this A2/3 contest. He has been running very well and the draw is ideal.
Meanwhile, fast-starting kennel companion Gilroy Kate (10.10) has won 23 of her 66 races and she can extend that fabulous strike rate by winning this A1/2 contest. When she gets her head in front she is hard to stop.