Supermac could foil Raffa in Laurels heat
The market mover this week for the Irish Independent Irish Laurels has been the Moss O'Connor-trained Midtown Raffa but last year's Consolation Laurels winner will have his work cut out to win Heat 3 in the second round this evening at Curraheen Park.
Midtown came through strongly last week to win from Iceroad Driver but one suspects he will have to improve on that running if he is to maintain an unbeaten path through the classic.
He has early-paced Iceroad Driver among the rivals again while Southest Suzie and Skywalker Echo are serious rivals. But I feel the major stumbling block for Midtown will be PJ Fahy's Tyrur Supermac (9.04) which has a good inside draw and should improve substantially following last week's first run around the circuit.
Fastest first-round winner was the Graham Holland-trained Gaytime Hawk (9.19) and I see no reason to oppose him in Heat 4 where he should have too much all-round pace for Bruno Ya Know and big-finishing Mimis Ace.
Holland can also take the opening heat with the ideally-housed Coran Sky (8.34) which failed to cope with Blue Cafu last week but meets nothing of that calibre here. Others worth an interest in the heats are the aforementioned Blue Cafu (8.49) which gets the vote to score at the expense of Ballymac Matt. Others that make appeal are the locally-owned pair of Drive On Royal (9.34) and Burgess Rumble (10.04).
Six Irish in semi-finals
There will be no fewer than six Irish runners in the semi-finals of the RPGTV Scottish Derby at Shawfield this evening and Fraser Black's Save The Don (8.58) could make his inside draw tell in the second heat where Peter Cronin's Tynwald Bish will also be to the forefront all the way.
Pat Buckley can win the third heat with either Lenson Sanchez or Coolavanny Jap (9.15) and the latter could be the one. Cronin's Indigojack is also in this with prospects while kennel companion Tynwald Rodney (8.42) will be bidding to curtail the Pat Rosney pair of Newinn Yolo and Swift Hoffman in the first heat.
Biggest race of the weekend in Ireland is the Gain Feeds Cesarewitch final at Mullingar tomorrow where the Family Day fun kicks off at 2.30pm with the racing starting at 4pm.
Hot favourite to lift the top prize in the Ces is Paradise Maverik (5.45) and he can land the odds. Pat Buckley's charge will be helped by Native Hut seeking an inside route and he should get first run on Droopys Bomber. Trio punters should remember that Coolronan Bigmac has never finished out of the first three in 27 outings and he may repay support from Trio punters.