Greyhound Racing: Brilliant batch of rising stars ready to storm scene
After a famine of Friday night Open action this year, we find ourselves with an embarrassment of riches tonight, with three leading competitions in progress on the southern circuit.
It should prove to be particularly informative in terms of the younger talent coming through, with the first session of the €80,000 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick and the second round of the GMHD Juvenile Classic at Tralee containing some of the hottest properties in the sport.
A number of the major fancies for the Kirby Memorial will be in action tonight, and three that should enhance their prospects with big runs are SLIPPERY ROBERT (9.45), JACKSALLSTAR (10.0) and ORAN MAESTRO (10.15).
Larry Dunne's Slippery Robert was the impressive winner of the Joe Dunne Memorial at Shelbourne and should be much too good for these rivals, best of whom could be Ladbrokes Star.
Peter Cronin's Jacksallstar is one of the fastest young dogs in training and looks to be on a different plane to his Heat 6 rivals, while Joe Dunne Memorial favourite Oran Maestro should have things easy in Heat 7.
Davy Reynolds reports that Oran has been held up in his work but is sharp enough to line up here.
Stand by for some very big runs at Tralee, where a few new names may emerge. The big stars of the opening round were Willow Man (10.15) and Farloe Calvin (10.30), and they can shine again this evening.
Pat Buckley's Willow Man should make full use of the outside draw to lead home Ardfert Warhawk and Ballymac Jordan, while Owen McKenna's Farloe Calvin looks banker material.
Paul Dillon's BUA LAVENHAM (9.30) ran a big race behind Farloe Calvin and can come good in Heat 2, where Deerfield Lloyd is an interesting opponent.
At Curraheen Park tonight the Kudos Supersprint gets under way and Michael O'Donovan's STONEPARK CRASH can stake his claim for outright honours in the first heat.
His draw in trap two is close enough to the rail for this inside racer to thrive and he should have the beating of the field.
NICKEN BUILDER, winner of the Guinness Trophy, has the early pace to make a useful sprinter and he will take beating in Heat 2, while MILLBANK MARTIN could defy an unsuitable draw in the third qualifier.
Number of the day
24 The percentage of winners from the inside box over 525 yards at Limerick in 2012, compared to 12pc from the outside box.