Peter Cronin was delighted yesterday with the running of his star tracker Crokers Champ in his first look at Wimbledon since last year's English Derby final, where he was a close third behind Salad Dodger.
On Saturday night at Curraheen Park he was honoured as last year's Sprinter of the Year and his clock of 16.21 for the sprint distance in yesterday's trial was highly encouraging when you consider that he broke a hock last September and he has only had a few sprint trials since.
Cronin explained that the dog "went up with the traps but in the circumstances it was a fine effort. I will bring him back next Wednesday for another trial and hopefully that will tell us even more".
Cronin also gave trials to Tynwald Bish (16.04), Indigo Jack (16.38), Dungill Rocket (16.33) and Tynwald Rodney (16.31).
Tommy Bolton was another Irish trainer to make the journey and his Iceroad Driver went around in 16.19.
One of the most impressive performances in the trial session came from Droopys Nidge, which joined Matt Dartnall from Robert Gleeson a month back.
This noted flying machine went around in 16.05- 16 spots faster than his kennel companion Droopys Braedon later clocked for the same distance. Braedon is regarded as a big early paced dog and would be expected to clock quicker than Nidge for the sprint distance.
There's a pretty open ten-race card at Shelbourne this evening but a few worth an interest are the Gerry Merriman-trained Jackies Flyer (9.0) in the first heat of an A3/4 Stake, the Nuala Lynch trained Tauriel (9.30) in the third heat and Tony and Brian Walsh's Skymas (10.0) in an A4 contest.
It promises to be a special night at Curraheen Park on Saturday for the final of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels and the night will be boosted by Trio Guarantees on all races. The Laurels final itself will have a guarantee of €5,000, while all other races with six runners will have guarantees of €1,000.
As a thank you to regular racegoers, 250 complimentary passes to Saturday's meeting will be handed out at tomorrow's Curraheen Park meeting.
There will be a change of race-days at Mullingar this weekend with racing being staged on Saturday and Sunday instead of the normal Thursday-Saturday schedule.
The reasoning is that Sunday is Communion day in Mullingar and there has been huge demand for the facilities to be open on Sunday afternoon. As a result the first race on Sunday will kick off at 4.0 with gates opening at 2.30.