Hero heads contenders for Produce Stakes
The next major track event will commence next week with the BIF Produce Stakes set to kick off at Clonmel.
As usual, entries are slow to come in but it will be the usual story with a rush of names going into the book next weekend.
As of yesterday, Clonmel manager Eddie Anderson reported that there are 20 names in the book with the 525-yards classic framed as a 72-dog event.
Among the names entered are Gerry Holian's Emers Superstar, Chris Houlihan's Cashen Mickey Joe and Saturday's hugely impressive Curraheen winner Harley Dogson.
Kirby Memorial victor Boylesports Hero is also likely to be Clonmel-bound so the richest-ever Produce Stakes, with a winner's prize of €30,000, is sure to be another cracking competition.
Anderson stresses that owners of A1 and A2 racers should consider entering their dogs. "Dukes Special and Whiteys Hawk both won the Produce Stakes in recent years, coming from A2 events and, remember, under the new track ratings 28.70 is now an A1 time," he said.
This is a big time of the season for the younger trackers and the traditional Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake will commence at Kilkenny on Friday. This has become established as a real nursery of future champions and a glance through the entries would suggest that this year's event will be right up there.
Among the names worth noting are Owen McKenna's Quietly and Farloe Blitz, Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Zar, Fraser Black's Romeo Ballistic, John Linehan's Ghost Town and Droopys Pace, Paul Hennessy's four-strong team and Valentia Slate from Frances O'Donnell's kennels.
Entries close this morning for the 48-dog event but already there are 49 names in the book. The draw will be made this evening. This event leads into the Red Mills Champion Juvenile, which begins at Kilkenny on June 6.
Tonight's card at Harold's Cross is a tough looking affair but one that could repay support is Ronnie Craven's Lolos Alexander (9.30) in the final of the Des Cowan A5/6. This one came through strongly to win the semi-final and may get the better of Rushwee Hawkeye.