Sidarian Blaze well placed to take International glory
Sidarian Blaze has been installed as favourite to win Saturday's Matthews.ie International at Dundalk following yesterday's trap draw.
The all-Irish line-up promises to produce a cracking race and Sidarian Blaze has been drawn to run from trap three, with Boylesports Hero in five.
But they are surrounded by some cracking trackers and nothing can be taken for granted in this €20,000-to-the-winner invitation contest over 550 yards.
The field also includes the English Derby final favourite and Scottish Derby runner-up Mind The Net, Scottish Derby finalist Metro Jack, the fastest dog in this country ever over 525 yards Paradise Madison and the Northern Irish Derby winner Atitboy.
The first betting shows have Sidarian Blaze as a best-priced 7/4, with Boylesports Hero the 9/4 second favourite. They then go 4/1 Mind The Net, 6/1 Paradise Madison with Metro Jack at a very big 10/1 and Atitboy the 25/1 outsider.
It promises to be a terrific night of racing at Dundalk with an excellent supporting card and the big race is due off at 9.15.
Dave Buckley, owner of Paradise Madison, unveiled another flying youngster when Beaming Chap was easily fastest in the opening round of the Unraced Stake at Clonmel.
The son of Tullymurry Act and Beaming Olive was passed on the opening bend by Tigogot but came storming back to take it up again around the bottom bends, before pulling clear to beat that rival by four lengths in a fast 28.61.
Second fastest winner was Sean Roche's Ballymartin Blue, which had four and a half lengths in hand of Blonde Nipper in 28.78.
But surely the most interesting result of the night was the victory of Skywalker Aurora in the concluding heat.
This fellow is a son of Irish Derby winner Skywalker Puma out of Irish Oaks winner Skywalker Queen and he is trained by Frances O'Donnell for Ray Patterson.
He is the first winner for Skywalker Puma and, one suspects, the first of many.
The Diarmuid Graham-trained Nom De Plume has been withdrawn from the semi-finals of the Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross on Friday.
Nom De Plume's absence from the inside box in the first semi is another plus for the sure favourite Razldazl Pacino, which goes from two in the same race.
Liam O'Rourke is the leading trainer at Harold's Cross and his Run Farley (10.15) will take all the beating in the A4 550 as he steps back from 750 yards last time.
Another worth noting is David Dunne's Glow Dubh (10.0), which has been running very well at Dundalk.