Sidarian Blaze to spearhead Holland charge
It seems that at Shelbourne Park we move on from one huge Saturday meeting to another and tonight's gathering has the mouth-watering menu of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake final along with the six first-round heats of the Gain Christmas Oaks.
The best advice for all punters this evening is to keep trainer Graham Holland on-side as he has a very strong team that could result in multiple winners for the Golden-based handler.
His big runner, of course, is Sidarian Blaze which will go to traps as favourite to land the €15,000 Puppy final. This is a most precocious youngster with blistering early and back straight pace and a trap one draw has really played to his strengths for this evening's contest.
In all finals, the inside box is a definite advantage and this decider is certainly no different. There is an abundance of early pace in the line-up and Sidarian's draw can enable him to lead into the back. If he does, then it could be a case of open the gates as he is devastating down the far side.
But it is not as simple as that projection might suggest. In Emers Superstar, Blenhiem Tricks, Boylesports Hero and Borneo you have four young racers that all could show the way off the second corner.
In contrast, Cashen Maureen will be doing all her racing late and cannot be ruled out of claiming a place on the podium.
If the favourite is to be turned over then the enigmatic Boylesports Hero could be the one. He is due a fast start and he is as fast as any greyhound in training. But logic must reign and Sidarian Blaze (10.0) gets the nomination.
Trainer Holland is also launching a powerful challenge for the Gain Christmas Oaks and a number of them will go off as favourites.
We will side with Rockburst Pearl (9.15), Sidarian Lisa (9.00) and Rockburst Beryl (9.45) to be Holland gems, while PJ Fahy's Tyrur Rosaleen (8.32), Tina Cooke's Lughill Sandra (8.46) and Eleanor Turner's Ketch Up Bell (9.20) are other Oaks fancies.
(ALL SHELBOURNE PARK)
Tyrur Rosaleen 8.32
Lughill Sandra 8.46
Ketch Up Bell 9.20
Sidarian Blaze 10.00
There will be no fewer than 13 meetings in Ireland tonight with the Christmas outings now at their peak.
Indeed, there will be two programmes in Dublin, with Harold's Cross also staging a 10-race card which kicks off at 7.45.
The meeting at Kilcohan will be a benefit for Bigwood Community with proceeds going towards the provision of a kids' playground.