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Big Three winners to clash in Shelbourne spectacular


Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE


Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The question was asked yesterday and I couldn't supply the answer. Have the Irish Derby, Laurels and St Leger winners ever met in a race in the same calendar year as their great successes?

Well, that's just what we have in the Boylesports.com Night of Stars 550 on Saturday at Shelbourne when Paradise Silva, Vimmerby and Laughil Blake go head to head in the €10,000 spectacular.

There were no betting shows on the races yesterday but the racecard form-guide suggestion is that Laughil Blake will be a marginal favourite at 10/11, with Sidarian Blaze at 7/2 actually shorter than the Laurels winner Vimmerby at 9/2 and the St Leger hero Paradise Silva at 11/2.

An indication of the class of the race is the likelihood that Derby finalists Emers Superstar (Irish) and Metro Jack (Scottish) will probably go off at double figures.

The quality of the eight Night of Stars contests tends to overshadow the quarter-finals of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake, but these four races are full of interest, with particular relevance for the future.

The English-bound Ollie Bray-trained Bubbly Zeus is the favourite with the firms at 4/1, along with Tyrur Tommy. But the latter is a doubtful runner and more's the pity.

As the name suggests, Bubbly Zeus (ex Above The Clouds) is owned by the Champagne Club and he has been bought by Steve Fluin and associates with next year's English Derby in mind.

Best bets

The final of the A3 525 is a very interesting race at Shelbourne this evening and the likely favourite is the Paul Jennings-owned Laughil Duke (8.45), which is a younger half brother to Derby winner Laughil Blake.

He was very unlucky in his first two outings and, while he looks a dog that will benefit from a longer trip, it would be no surprise to see him go well under 29 seconds tonight in a race where Kilgowan Kiwi and Zero Twenty are threats.

Paul Hennessy runs a nice sort in Kilara Diva (8.30), which has graduated through a novice stake at Kilkenny, losing twice before winning the final, and she may be up to making a successful Shelbourne debut.

Clonmel changes

There will be no racing or official trials at Clonmel tonight.

Racing instead will take place on Saturday when the first race will go off at 7.49, with the weigh-in between 6.45 and 7.15.

The card will include the heats of the Mary O'Reilly/ Supporters Club Tri-Distance and the racegoers will now be able to view and bet on the Night of Stars action from Shelbourne courtesy of Inter Track.

Irish Independent