Entries racking up for Champion Stakes
While entries for the Hamilton Architects Champion Stakes won't close until tomorrow morning the list was beginning to grow yesterday, with half the required number of entries for the Champion Stakes and a smaller number entered for the Champion Plate.
Both are 18-dog events with winners' prizes of €20,000 and €4,000 respectively. But as Shelbourne racing manager Declan Carey acknowledged: "A lot of dogs were being checked out and they won't be entered until this morning."
The list of entries early yesterday afternoon read: Honour And Glory, Cabra Buck, Vimmerby, Indigojack, Blenhiem Cracker, Vanrooney, Paradise Madison, Deanridge Pennys and Pennys Deanridge.
Among those entered for the Champion Plate are Lemon Pumba, Skywalker Legend, Jacks Ace and Skywalker Star.
The final of Ireland's six-bend Classic, the Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn will be run at Harold's Cross on Friday and the firms have established Cant Catch Patch and Razldazl Pacino as the 9/4 joint favourites to take the €13,000 prize.
Cant Catch Patch has really thrived in this competition and Pat Roban's charge must have a terrific chance on her five-and-a-half length victory over Sparta Katy, with Borna Champ a close third.
The other heat saw John McLaughlin's Slip The Genie turn over the favourite Razldazl Pacino, where she flew from traps and then held the persistent challenge of Razldazl by half a length in 42.22, with the baulked Sidarian a long way back third.
The Frances O'Donnell-trained Skywalker Aurora is unbeaten after two rounds of the Surehaul/TSC Open Unraced Stake at Clonmel and he is living up to his breeding lines.
Aurora is a son of Derby winner Skywalker Puma and is out of Oaks heroine Skywalker Queen and he impressed on his debut, winning in 28.84.
He was even more impressive in the second round as he led on the opening bend to win by six and a half lengths from Slanestown Jacko in a best-of-the-round 28.56.
It was a good night for the litter as Aurora's litter brother The Other Benson won the opening heat in 29.20. A third comrade Skywalker Malard also made it through to the semis. The other heat was won by the Denis O'Malley trained Castleivy Crash in 28.78.
No trainer has a better record around the Cross than Liam O'Rourke and he can have at least one winner with Affane Diva (9.30), a very likely sort from what should be a perfect draw in A6 grade, which is well below the grade she has been contesting.
Others worth noting on the night include Doorock (10.15), which is trained by Michael Mulleady and should be well capable of winning in A4 grade, and Dan Carr's Glown Clara (10.0), which looks perfectly drawn in the outside box.