Paradise Madison to thrill bumper crowd
Considering it is the first open competition of the year, the Shelbourne Open 575 has attracted a top-class entry and a bumper crowd is expected at the Ringsend venue tonight.
The quality of the entire 11-race card is very satisfactory considering the early stage of the season, but the main focus of attention will centre on the appearance of Paradise Madison in the final race, which is the fourth heat of the 575.
Plagued by injury throughout his career, but officially the fastest greyhound ever to race at Shelbourne Park, Paradise Madison (10.30) is being handled by his owner Dave Buckley who yesterday said that the dog "will improve for the run".
He missed a prep race last weekend due to a family bereavement, and will need to be pretty forward to negotiate what is a tricky assignment.
In Hawaii Kinsale he will be taking on a young dog of huge potential over this distance, while Gizmo Classic represents one of last year's team of top performers over this trip. However, such is the class of Paradise Madison that he is nominated to resume winning ways.
The Paul Hennessy-trained Ringtown Snowy (9.45) is very strong over this trip and he is probably the bet of the evening in the opening heat, where Ballyana Foxtrot is a serious rival.
There will be an interesting clash of generations in Heat 2 where John McLoughlin's defending champion Slip The Genie is well housed in six. However, the Davy Reynolds- trained youngster Fifo (10.0), an unlucky runner-up in the Gold Collar at Harold's Cross, earns the vote as a value selection.
The third heat is a very open affair, but Graham Holland's improving bitch Sidarian Lisa (10.15) may just get the call over Airlie Dazzler and Abbeyville Tipp.
On the supporting card, Graham Holland can have a couple of other winners with Garryvoe Jet (8.04) and Rockburst Beryl (9.0) nominated as reasonable bets.
Another worth noting is PJ Fahy's Tyrur Arthur (9.30), which showed his real potential last week and hails from a kennel that is absolutely on fire at the moment.
Denis O'Malley's Airfield Paudie set the pace in the first heat of the Red Mills Unraced at Clonmel on Thursday with a 28.88 return, but one anticipates a few faster runs tomorrow when the remaining six heats are to be decided.
The high-profile runner on the card is Droopys Oddysey (8.30) which brings a big reputation into the competition. Paddy Twohig's Sir Paddy (8.0) may prove to be a better-value betting proposition in Heat 5.
Garryvoe Jet 8.04
Rockburst Beryl 9.0
Tyrur Arthur 9.30