Published 03/07/2010 | 05:00
With the threat of the Dog Breeding Establishment Bill now eased, the focus can return to the track action, with the build-up to the Ladbrokes Derby under way.
Tonight's card at Shelbourne includes the Derby Trial Stake and the heats of two very interesting open competitions, with many of the contenders likely to figure in the top bracket of the Derby betting lists.
Having missed his engagement last week due to a slight setback, Mesedo Blue returns to action in the Trial Stake and looks an assured leader of the 550-yard contest. He should stay there but can afford no mistakes with St Louis Spirit, Cookies Fantasy and Tyrur Brennan in the mix.
Barefoot Bullet is Paul Hennessy's best chance of Derby honours and he returns from an injury lay-off in the second heat of the ECC Timber Open 525. A recent trial suggests he is in top form, but he might need the outing where he has very formidable opposition from dual Derby finalist Oran Classic and Fatboyz Tyson.
St Leger winner Bar Blackstone and Derby finalist Belvedere Champ look the big two in the first heat.
Owen McKenna has hopes of a double in the heats of the Tyrur Rhino Open 550 with Farley Turbo and Farley Blitz. The latter may be the better betting proposition with Graham Holland's Cabra Legend getting preference over Turbo. On the supporting card, one that appeals is PJ Fahy's Tyrur Gasco in the sixth contest.
The Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup swings into action this evening. Likely heat winners include Chicken Supper, Hurry On Black, Forest Boss, Carib King and Shelbourne Dawn.
At Curraheen today the Derby Trial Stake will be run and Pat Guilfoyle's Definate Opinion may just get the better of the well-drawn Callums Lad. Big race of the weekend is the final of the Supporters Club Munster Derby at Clonmel tomorrow where Paul Hennessy-trained He Told Ted can lead home.
5pts Tyrur Gasco 9.0 Shel Pk
3pts Bar Blackstone 10.0 Shel Pk