Apollo withdrawal means five-runner final
Saturday's Billy Mulvaney Memorial 600 final at Shelbourne Park will be a five-runner affair following the withdrawal of the injured Highview Apollo.
Highview Apollo injured a toe when finishing second behind Blenhiem Cracker in the semi-final on Saturday, when it was noticeable how he uncharacteristically lost ground on the run-in.
As the winner's prize is more than €5,000, it means that no reserve will be allowed. Highview Apollo's defection will see the two market leaders Ballydoyle Honey and Laughil Duke contract further.
Ballydoyle Honey is assured of being a strong favourite to lift the prize and trainer Graham Holland reports her to be "bouncing" following her impressive semi-final victory.
Shelbourne manager Declan Carey is hoping to have a high-class open race supporting card on Saturday for the Mulvaney final and requires entries for open races over all distances before the card is completed today.
Skerries trainer Marie Gilbert has been enjoying a good run recently and had a four-timer at Shelbourne last week. She can again pay to follow this evening at headquarters where her Swords Wizard (8.30) can defy an awkward draw in five to win the final of the A3/4 525 Stake.
The Barbara Lowndes-owned tracker has a fair chunk in hand on the clock and he has the early pace to lead from an early stage with Time Call the likely threat.
A welcome move this year has been the introduction of regular novice and graded contests over the 750 yards trip and this move should result in a much greater pool of six-bend racers, which will certainly be welcomed by the punters.
There are a few interesting runners in tonight's novice race in which Michael Kelly's Deanmill Katy (8.45) gets the vote to beat Jimmy Buckley's Jumeirah Millie.
There was the usual intense interest in the first round of the Future Champions Unraced Stake at Enniscorthy on Monday, when Pat Buckley scored a high-profile double with Droopys Roddick and Droopys Nine.
Roddick didn't shine early but he suddenly took off down the far side and won by ten and a half lengths from Banagher Brae in 29.24.
Another Buckley runner, Droopys Nine, simply flew to the bend and won by seven and a half lengths from Sand Pigeon in 29.03.
However, the run of the night was the 28.91 from John and Len Tuohy's Trade Biscuit, another member of his flying Bombastic Shiraz/ Trade Annika litter, and he looked pretty special as he led all the way for a ten-length margin over Dicky Thepostman in 28.91.