Dog chat: Enda and Krug set to clash in Masters semi-final
Tyrur Enda and Krug Ninety Five join in the chase for Red Mills Masters honours when that competition reaches the semi-final stage at Waterford on Saturday.
Along with local qualifier Hello Ringo, they were exempt from the first round due to their Laurels and Derby performances. The draw has pitched all three into opposition in the first heat, which is completed by big early pacers Razldazl Lord, Fatboyz Nodrog and Jonny Whiteside.
Tyrur Enda moved impressively in his trial on Saturday when clocking 28.19 over 525 yards and owner PJ Fahy reported him in very good shape afterwards. The good run to the bend over this 550 trip should be ideal and he will take all the beating. Fraser Black's Krug Ninety Five also had a spin on Saturday and did 29.80 for the 550 yards.
The other semi is a red-hot affair with all three heat winners, De Ex Factor, Colorful Champ and Fatboyz Tyson, involved. Throw in national record breaker Leeview Jet, Beaming Dilemma and Tyford Comet and qualification for the final is not going to be easy.
The big race of the week is the final of the JP Moran & Trevor O'Donnell Oaks at Newbridge on Sunday where the winner will be in line for a €60,000 bonus in the event of her going on to win the 2011 Irish Oaks at Shelbourne. The Paul Hennessy-trained Air Force Ellie has been the revelation of the stake and her 28.41 run on Friday night was a superb effort.
This is a classy final and it is possible to make cases for any of the other five runners. Paddy Power has issued betting on the final and they have Air Force Ellie at 11/8 with Fatboyz Dizzy at 3/1, Shelbourne Dawn 4/1, Fridays Aries 7/1, Doodle Doo 8/1 and Da Dancer the 10/1 outsider.
Also on Sunday, the final of the Munster Puppy Cup will be run at Clonmel and the big shock here was the elimination of Farloe Force in the semi-final, where he was very badly baulked on the opening corner. It leaves the final wide open and the battle for early supremacy between Archaton Linda, Cool Dude and Little Bargain could decide it. Colourful Fox will be finishing fastest, but he is not the best drawn.
The death has occurred of the legendary Johnny O'Connor, who won an All-Ireland hurling medal with Waterford in 1948 and turned out Patricias Hope to win the second of his English Derbys in 1973.