Dog Chat: Champ in top form for assault on St Leger
The opening skirmishes completed, we can anticipate some cut-throat action in both the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick and the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake at Shelbourne this weekend.
Indeed, the greyhound world enters pre-Christmas mode this week, with Shelbourne and Harold's Cross both set to race on Friday and Saturday nights each weekend up to December 18.
It's going to be a hectic time and filling four cards per week will present its own headaches for racing managers Declan Carey and Derek Frehill.
The new Limerick Stadium has got off to a tremendous start and the remaining four nights of the St Leger will boost their figures handsomely.
There should be a huge crowd for next Saturday's meeting, which features eight second-round heats.
Colorful Champ and Farley Blitz share favouritism in the books of Boylesports and Paddy Power, varying between 8/1 and 17/2, while Makeshift and Farley Turbo come next at odds between 9/1 and 10/1.
Fastest first-round winner Christmas Box hasn't hit a chord with the layers just yet and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his Heat 8 clash on Saturday with Colorful Champ and Beaming Dilemma.
Colorful Champ was very impressive in winning his heat at the weekend and looks capable of going a long way in the Classic.
The draw hasn't been too kind to the Farley brothers as they clash in Heat 5, where fast-starting Huckabees Kid, long-priced heat winner Nicken Shaw and Skywalker Queen will make things difficult.
The draw for the second round of the National Puppy Stake has given Owen McKenna's Farloe Force a great chance of making up for his weekend defeat by Hardy Buck. He looks set for a thrilling tussle with Tommy O'Donovan's Simple Class.
Mozzletoff is another set to step up this time, with Marie Gilbert's flying bitch likely to lead them home in Heat 2 and Mossie O'Connor's Deerfield Music has an excellent chance of getting his head in front in Heat 4.
But fastest first-round winner Rockchase Zico faces a really tough test in Heat 3, where Modern Man, Cool Dude and Pennys Viking will test him to the limit.