Vanrooney tailor-made for Wimbledon tilt
Fresh from winning the JP McManus Irish Cup, New Inn trainer Owen McKenna will bid for another prestigious prize when his Puppy Derby and Gain Masters hero Vanrooney challenges for the Racing Post Juvenile at Wimbledon tonight.
The Sky-televised card will have three Irish-trained greyhounds in action as the build-up to the English Derby gets underway in earnest. Apart from Vanrooney in the Juvenile, McKenna will have Sidaz Eagle in a supporting open while Tipperary Town handler Michael O'Donovan is bringing over Laughil George for another open.
Vanrooney is quoted the 7/2 second favourite for the Juvenile with the Pat Rosney-trained Mileheight Alba the 3/1 favourite. It looks an extremely open contest with the likes of Paul Young's Jaytee Lightning and Charlie Lister's Redbrick Stuart also strongly fancied.
Vanrooney is a dog noted for his very strong finishes and may well be tailor-made for the Wimbledon circuit, judging by how he performed around Harold's Cross and Waterford in registering his major Irish victories last year.
Meanwhile, Cabra Buck has been established the 15/8 favourite by the firms for the final of the Tote Gold Cup at Shelbourne on Saturday.
The betting then goes 3 Paradise Silva, 4 Glenanore Dancer, 5 Kilgraney Tomson, 6 Ardfert Thunder and 25 Clipper Carlton. There will an additional meeting at Shelbourne Park on Monday, March 24 in conjunction with the Radio Days Conference, which will have 1,400 delegates in town from all over Europe.
As a result it is likely that the resumption of Wednesday racing will be on April 2. On the subject of race dates, Tralee will resume their Tuesday meetings next week with a special Students' Night.
A number of significant trials were run in pre-racing sessions at Shelbourne and Limerick on Saturday.
Star of the Shelbourne bunch was Dave Buckley's Paradise Madison with a 31.16 spin over 575 yards and he may run on Saturday's supporting card.
Meanwhile at Limerick a number of dogs were put through their paces for the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake and all eyes were on Eugene Price's Deanridge Pennys which stopped the clock in 28.48. Liam Dowling's Vulturi went even faster when posting 28.41 while Dolores Ruth gave three of her charges a run: Razldazl Danann 28.57, Razldazl Pacino 28.68 and Razldazl Yeats 28.71.
Harold's Cross has the scene to itself this evening and it could be a meeting for the striped jacket. Two that will race from six could represent the bets of the night. Joe Horan's Maireads Bel (8.37) made a promising racing debut and can build on it in this A5 contest while Paul Kennick's Clydal Nellie (9.29) can always be relied on to run a big race.