Greyhounds: Paradise Madison faces stern test in star-studded line-up
While the presence of Paradise Madison alone would elevate the College Causeway/Killahan Phanter to a loftier plane, the quirks of the draw have presented us with a Derby final-like confrontation in the opening round at Shelbourne Park tomorrow night.
There was a buzz of excitement last Saturday when Paradise Madison had his first four-bend run since December in a pre-racing trial, and his 28.12 run reminded us of the sheer class of this terrific tracker.
It has long been felt that he wouldn't be seen at his best until moving up to 550 yards, and he has that opportunity tomorrow.
But drawn against him in the second heat is the brilliant Night of Stars winner and SIS Live Gold Cup runner-up Ardfert Thunder, as well as leading youngsters Cabra Buck and Droopys Adler. It's going to be a real test.
Mind you, the third heat is no playground either, with another of our genuine stars, Ballymac Vic, facing serious opposition from North Bound, Camas and Money Talks.
The stars will be out in force on what promises to be a terrific night's racing right from the opening heat, where Kereight King will be opposed by such as Camas Crash and Laughil George.
Tyrur Sugar Ray appears to have a terrific draw in Heat 4 on his seasonal debut and Refuge of Sinner will take all the beating in the final heat.
The best action on the track tonight could be at Tralee, where the first round heats of the John & Mary 'Killeacle' Dowling A1 570 will be run.
This is an open event in all but name, with a host of former open performers. Two of the most interesting runners will be COOLAVANNY AGGIE (9.45) and HEY BIG SPENDER (10.15), which ran with distinction in the recent Juvenile Classic.
Friday is party night at Harold's Cross and the 13-race programme provides one or two possible wagers.
HEAD MOLLY (9.18) is an interesting runner. Jerry Melia's charge was caught close home by Cheese Please last time but can avoid a similar fate here.
While Tony Hatch's RUN SAMSON RUN (9.32) may look toughly graded, the make-up of this race suggests he could get a lovely clear run and he is worth support.
On his best form John Hand's COMPLETE PETE (9.46) is well treated and is another to have on your side.
Number of the day
10,000the figure in euro at which the Pick 6 Intertrack Jackpot will resume tomorrow night.