Jose's star quality to illuminate Marathon
Full house signs could be seen at Harold's Cross this evening where the track will stage its last meeting before Christmas and a massive crowd is booked in for a real night of celebration.
The sparks will be flying in the bars, restaurant and on the terraces and the fare on the track will be of the highest order with two major finals down for decision, the Ted Hegarty Marathon and the Fast Trap Greyhound Supplies Gold Collar.
The 1,010-yard marathon has really grabbed the attention of enthusiasts over the years and this edition has been no exception, with a very high standard of performance and a truly international field for the decider.
Cloughleigh Jose (9.15) has emerged through the event as a real star over the extended distance and the bitch, owned by Vincent McKenna and Paul White, will be a short priced favourite to land the €9,000 prize.
Her acceleration in the second half of the race is truly impressive and she can overpower her rivals on her journey to the judge. Michael English's bitch Handonthefan is an obvious danger with Plutos Rena also expected to figure prominently throughout on what will be the final race of her career.
Get on 'The Lolly'
Also on the Harold's Cross card is the Gold Collar final, but this will be a much more open affair. This race should generate great reaction from the terraces as all six finalists could be termed as local runners and track regulars.
Likely favourite is Pay The Lolly (9.45), which is trained by Liam O'Rourke for Frank Fallon, and they also have litter brother Big Surprise in the line-up. Mays King and Fifo look the main threats, but the renowned finishing kick of Pay The Lolly can carry the day.
Two others worth noting at the Cross are Alan Hamilton's Daylens Rockstar (9.0) and Tony Byrne's Emmas Pride (10.30).
Down in Tralee the winner of the Tullymurry Act/Slip The Lark Kingdom Derby will earn a prize of €7,000 and the favourite here will be the Pat Buckley-trained Mind The Net (10.0).
This dog has really matured in this competition and his runs of 28.27 and a new record 28.08 have established him in the higher echelon of dogs in training. He has a fine draw in trap six and looks too good for Brogan Stranger, Ardfert Thunder and Riptide Movement.