Having made a brief attempt to break into the Australian greyhound scene, Enniscorthy trainer Pat Gordon is again making his way back to the top of the Irish training ranks.
His biggest success came via Fatboyz Nodrog in the final of the Champion Stakes back in 2009 and on Saturday night he will have a reasonable chance of landing the Gain Open 600 with Skywalker Farloe.
In recent weeks Gordon has been hitting the tracks with a few very decent young prospects but the big one could be Skywalker Farloe on Saturday when he wears the stripes and is currently quoted the 100/30 second favourite by the firms. The general 6/4 favourite is Ballymac Matt with Leave At Dawn and Greenwell Hulk at 5/1, Droopys Bomber at 7/1 and Deanridge Pennys 14/1.
Having scored a massive double last weekend at Tralee on Friday and then Shelbourne on Saturday, Graham Holland sets out in pursuit of another prestigious prize when the ECC Timber Champion 550 commences at Shelbourne on Saturday.
Rural Hawaii, which just beat Laurels hero Midtown Raffa in the Boylesports Race of Champions on Friday last, will have to face a tough field which includes kennel companion Hovex Prince in the third heat.
The sponsor PJ Fahy is making a strong bid for his own prize with a four-strong team comprising Oaks semi-finalist Tyrur Mairead, impressive weekend winner Tyrur Mata, Tyrur Tolan and the interesting debutant Tyrur Serena.
It promises to be a top-class competition for emerging contenders for the Boylesports Derby and among the strong fancies would be Tyrur Mata, Skywalker Rory, Ballybough Mike, Balline Bolt, Skip Glory and Tucker Foley.
The lack of staying races can be very frustrating at Irish tracks but Shelbourne has been increasing its quota of such racing in recent times and tonight there will be one 550 contest, one over 575 yards and no fewer than three over the 750 distance.
Bet of the evening is Reggie Roberts' Issys May (9.58) in a heat of the Novice 750. This daughter of the brilliant Frazzled went into the notebook when staying on strongly at the finish of the Gain 600 first round heat where she was only a length-and-a-half behind the noted strong runner Vulturi. This is an interesting contest with Millridge Magic and Uncle Paul holding prospects but the Rathangan bitch can score.
In the other heat Willie Mullan's Thank Me (10.13) has made a hugely promising start to his career and has won both his outings. He stayed the 575 very strongly and the indications are that he will get six bends. If he does, he should win this.
Young Jack Kelly from Ballinasloe has a big chance in the A2 final with Heathlawn Flame (9.13).