Dog chat: Sillothill Lawns can make most of trap draw in 'Champion' final
After a break of 12 days, racing resumes in Dublin tonight, with Harold's Cross staging a bumper 11-race card that includes 10 finals and the inaugural Champion of the Cross final.
Carrying a winner's prize of €1,000, the 'Champions' race is framed for the six dogs that won most races at the track during 2011, irrespective of the grade.
There is a very interesting line-up, with John Donnelly's Borromeo the form runner, but Sandra Murray's Sillothill Lawns could well prove the winner from what looks a favourable two draw.
On the supporting card, two that appeal are Georgina Horan's Jonnyfortycoats in the A3 525 final and Tom Reid's Zip Lightening in the concluding A3 670 decider.
Shelbourne Park's new season will commence on Thursday and it will shift into top gear on Saturday night when the first round of the €10,000 to the winner Tyrur Kennels Open 575 will commence.
The Tyrur 575 kicks off the open racing season that will continue with the €7,500 Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy 525, which is due to start on Saturday, January 21.
The first open event countrywide got under way at Clonmel last Sunday when the 10 heats of the Festival Open Unraced Stake provided a very interesting night of racing.
Star turn was Declan Moloney's Pagani, which raced away from his rivals for a real eye-catching victory in 28.71.
The way he came up the home straight suggested that this son of Brett Lee is going to be a very strong-running dog.
Moloney made it a double when litter brother Delonte came through late to win his heat in 29.05.
Other first round stars included Frances O'Donnell's Skip Soda with a 28.81 run, Graham Holland's early paced Jacobs Courage in 28.95 and Jer Kerins' Confident Rankin in 28.98.
The six second round heats will be run next Sunday.
Heat 1: 1 Delonte; 2 Express Mission; 3 Mustang Jerry; 4 Shaneboy Nelson; 5 Marmaduke; 6 Camas (m).
Heat 2: 1 Shaneboy Grant; 2 Nastasi; 3 Killinan Cool; 4 Skywalker Puma; 5 Christys Max; 6 Vindepa (m).
Heat 3: 1 Confident Rankin; 2 Skywalker Silk; 3 Local Harbour; 4 Harveys Silver; 5 Musical Gaga; 5 Collinstown Lad (w).
Heat 4: 1 Shaneboy Allen; 2 Julies Brae; 3 Pagani; 4 Blue Ranger; 5 Rockchase Jack; 6 Blackstone Buzz (w).
Heat 5: 1 Bright Louise; 2 Sion Black; 3 Dundyven Gerry; 4 Jacobs Courage; 5 Bar Hereicome; 6 Confident Robert (w).
Heat 6: 1 Express Premier; 2 Tribal Pettle; 3 Send It Recall; 4 Annacurra Lucky (m); 5 Skip Soda (m); 6 Foxy Red (w).