The Night of Stars card was finally decided upon yesterday afternoon after so much speculation, and the big news is that the magnificent Irish Derby winner Laughil Blake has drawn trap six in the Boylesports.com 550.
He is guaranteed to go off a strong favourite in a contest that would do justice to any Derby final ever run.
Among the opposition are the ideally drawn Race of Champions winner Sidarian Blaze, Laurels winner Vimmerby, St Leger winner Paradise Silva, Matthews.ie International winner Metro Jack and Derby finalist Emers Superstar.
It will obviously be seen as the star race of the night but the title could belong to any of the seven other Night of Stars contests, all of which carry a handsome winner’s prize of €10,000.
Take the BIF 525 where the evergreen Ballymac Vic is ideally drawn in trap two and has in opposition the likes of Puppy Derby first and second Quietly and Farley Blitz, English Puppy Derby winner Lenson Sanchez, Juvenile Classic winner Vans Viking and Laurels finalist Newlawn Impact.
There is a quality UK entry, with their top contender being Paul Young’s English Derby runner-up Droopys Ward as he contests the concluding 600 where he will have to take on the likes of Paradise Maverik, Derby finalists Vulturi and Borneo and Joe Dunne Memorial winner Deanridge Pennys.
There was a surprise late by English Derby favourite Mind The Net from the 550 to the Dandelion 575, where he will meet the 600 track record holder Greenwell Hulk as well as last year’s winner Exocet and the flying Droopys Nidge, which will be attempting this distance for the first time.
King Kane, winner of the TV Trophy across the water, comes over for the 850, where among his rivals will be fellow British runner Fizzypop Magic, Pat Dalton’s Volcano, last week’s Limerick record breaker Lodge Lady and the brilliant young stayer Ballymac Bonnie.
The other staying contest, the VC 2015 Derby Syndicate 750 has a British challenger in Borna Champ, which ran up the Corn Cuchulainn at Harold’s Cross before being sold. Big names in the betting market here will be well drawn Barefoot Agent, Sidarian Lisa and Sparta Katy.
Last week the Graham Holland-trained Rockburst Beryl (9.15) let us down on her return from a lengthy absence but she is likely to have benefited from the run. If she comes on the slightest from the run she should score this time when she again contests an A3 contest.
Another that will take beating is James Kenny’s Killourney Spy (9.0), which ran a cracking race here last time and a repeat of that running would suffice.