Wednesday 23 August 2017

Shea can confirm his Kirby Memorial superiority

It wasn’t just the clock that sorted out the Fraser Black-trained Vancouver Shea from the remainder in that opening run through the competition. (stock pic)
It wasn’t just the clock that sorted out the Fraser Black-trained Vancouver Shea from the remainder in that opening run through the competition. (stock pic)
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The major question facing punters at Limerick Stadium tonight will be whether first-round stars Vancouver Shea and Drive On Tipp can justify their domination of the long-odds betting market in the second round of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake.

It wasn't just the clock that sorted out the Fraser Black-trained Vancouver Shea from the remainder in that opening run through the competition.

The way he accelerated past the highly regarded Jaytee President on the opening two bends was breathtaking.

He assumed control of the race in those few yards and raced on to stop the clock in a brilliant 28.35.

He has a difficult enough task in Heat 4 but on what we saw last week Vancouver Shea can be too strong for the Liam Dowling runners Toocoolforschool and Brandyandbaileys.

The Graham Holland-trained Drive On Tipp is one of the best early-paced performers in the competition and he can poach an early lead in Heat 7 which can see him home. Main dangers are Jaytee Samurai and Higher Level.

Holland has a strong team and his own bitch Rackethall Jess has the power to come through to win the opening heat from kennel companion Lughill Robbie and Borsalino.

Liam Dowling had a four-timer last week and he is sure to get a few qualifiers again this time. One that can lead them home is his Coolavanny Pet in Heat 2. This bitch has a scorching 28.22 run to her credit around Shelbourne and, while she would prefer an inside draw, she can wear the stripes successfully.

Also on tonight is the first round of the Wallace & Murray Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar and the one to beat in this 600 yard classic is Droopys Smasher, which would dominate Heat 6 at her best.

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