independent

Friday 18 April 2014

dog chat

The entries continue to pour in at Shelbourne for the eight Night Of Stars races to be run on Saturday's celebration programme at headquarters.

Most of the top performers came through their weekend outings in fine form and are ready for action, provided they are selected for the elite contests.

But one notable casualty was Ballymac Vic, which was below form when contesting a 525 at Shelbourne and was later found to be struggling with a virus.

A final decision on Skywalker Puma's participation will be made this morning, but as of yesterday he was still a likely runner in the Track Bookmakers Open 550. Matt O'Donnell reported that the Derby winner had a sore toe, but he will defer a decision until as late as possible.

Saturday's St Leger winner Cashen Mafuma will also be in the line-up as one of the exempted runners.

The 550, like all the other seven races, will feature the best greyhounds available, including a few from the UK, and the signs are that there will be a massive crowd present.

admission

The normal general admission fee of €10 will apply, but the restaurant club tickets cost €100 and include dinner and wine.

It's a fantastic opportunity to just turn up at the stiles, pay the tenner and be guaranteed one of the greatest nights of greyhound racing you could ever wish to enjoy. The 12-race card will be completed by the four quarter-finals of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake and the chance to see Ollie Bray's scintillating Paradise Madison in action again.

He made history in the past two weeks as he became the fastest greyhound ever over 525 yards at Shelbourne – destroying the record previously held by Milldean Panther.

He has drawn the opening heat on Saturday, where he will wear the black jacket, and he will face stiff opposition from the highly regarded Farloe Buddy and Leamaneigh Story.

Another young dog to burst on to the scene in the second round was the Tim O'Donovan-trained Melodys Gamble.

Having only the third race of his career, Melodys Gamble came from behind to win, crossing the line in 28.43, and the impressive style of the victory suggested that there is much better to come.

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