It's going to be a very informative weekend on the tracks, with some of our established stars battling it out at Shelbourne tomorrow for the €5,000 Tyrur McGuigan Open 575 final and, then on Sunday, the budding young stars establishing the pecking order in the red-hot Red Mills Open Unraced Stake at Clonmel.
The Shelbourne final is wide open, but the outside draw is ideal for John McGee's Gizmo Classic and he can lead home Ringtown Snowy.
The latter represents good each-way value at current odds of 10/1 (Boylesports).
The €30,000 Pick 6 Intertrack Jackpot will be an attraction this weekend with the increased advantage of the three Limerick legs being finals of competitions and so, technically, easier to solve!
Tom O'Neill's Glenanore Dancer is the star turn in the Clonmel Unraced and he should make it three from three in the second heat, while Michael Fogarty's Speed Agreed can hold off big finishing Bouncy Castle in the third heat.
It will be celebration time at both Harold's Cross tonight and Limerick tomorrow when the annual awards are presented during racing.
Top dog at the Cross was Hazel Dowling's Buchail Rosie with 11 wins, while top bitch was the Noel White-trained Kilbride Pearl with nine.
Liam O'Rourke will receive the top public trainer award for a second year on the trot after turning out 104 winners, while Mornington handler Davy Reynolds was the most successful private trainer with 25 winners.
The Limerick & Clare GOBA stage their annual benefit meeting at Limerick tomorrow with no fewer than 11 valuable finals down for decision.
There should be a mighty reception for the award-winning dogs Varra Captain and Sporry King and bitch Mohans Misty.
PAY THE LOLLY looks the banker at Harold's Cross tonight in the concluding 570 (10.25) while CUIL CONCORD (7.50) and GIZMO CLASSIC (10.00) are a likely double at Shelbourne tomorrow.
Speed Agreed (9.30) at Clonmel on Sunday completes the weekend Yankee.
Number of the day
7 The number of distances available for racing at Newbridge with the restoration of the 750 yards trap, which will soon be in operation. The full range of distances at the Co Kildare venue now is 325, 525, 550, 575, 600, 750 and 845 yards.
Two prestigious open competitions will close to entries on Tuesday next, the Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy (March '11) at Shelbourne and the Feramo-D Open 525 at Limerick.
Bound for Britain
Leading Irish stayer White Soks Roks joined English-based, Irish-born trainer Danny Riordan last weekend in advance of a challenge for the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, which starts at Crayford on February 2.
However, his Irish handler Declan Byrne says the dog will return to Ireland following that event.