Gain Feeds have confirmed their continued sponsorship of the Irish Cesarewitch classic at Mullingar and have broken new ground with the provision of a special €1,000 prize for the trainer of the winner.
The Cesarewitch has been run at Mullingar since the closure of the Navan track in 1999 and among the most famous winners of the 600-yards classic in that time have been super dam Mega Delight and dual hero Definate Opinion.
This year's event will commence on Saturday, March 16 with the final on Sunday, April 7. The winner's prize has been increased to €8,500.
The big two of Glenanore Dancer and Ashford Castle have made it through to the final of the Red Mills Open Unraced Stake at Clonmel on Sunday.
The Fraser Black-trained Ashford Castle gave a really fine performance when coming from behind to collar Glenanore on the final bend of the semi-final and win by two lengths in 28.70.
The other semi-final was claimed by the Graham Holland-trained Ballyhill Beryl as she flew from traps and ran out a four-lengths winner from Christys Bolt in 28.63.
The new grandstand was open to the public on Sunday at Clonmel and there was a good reaction to the new facility.
Indeed, it was reflected in the betting and attendance figures on the night and that, after all, is the thinking behind the venture.
The new facilities should be well tested over the coming weekend when the Festival of Racing will be staged each night from Friday through to Monday and with a 7.30 start each evening.
Saturday will be a busy night on the tracks, with the semi-finals of the Joe Dunne Memorial at Shelbourne and the second rounds of the Feramo D Open 525 and Guinness Trophy at Limerick and Curraheen Park respectively.
Pick 6 Jackpot
It has been confirmed that the €70,000 Pick 6 Intertrack Jackpot will operate on the usual contests next Saturday, races seven, eight and nine at Limerick followed by races 10, 11 and 12 at Shelbourne.
Harold's Cross has the racing scene to itself tonight and there is a pretty tough graded card. One that might pay to follow is Mary Buggy's KILGRANEY BOLT (9.0) which shaped very promisingly at Kilkenny and the form of his latest second was boosted at Shelbourne last week.