Mags Dream can make it six on the bounce
HAROLD'S CROSS and Newbridge get the post-Christmas programme on the road tonight and then there will be no fewer than nine meetings tomorrow night, headlined by a gala meeting at Shelbourne Park.
There is an all-graded 11-race card at the Cross, where much interest will centre on the performance of Vincent Maguire's Mags Dream (9.30) as he bids to make it six wins on the bounce in the A1/2 eighth contest.
It's never easy to keep ahead of the grader to that degree, but Mags Dream is a fast starter and a likely leader. Liam O'Rourke's Cheese Please was a good winner last weekend and is the main danger.
Another that will attract plenty of support is Pat Callery's Emily Next Door (10.0) in the A3 550; the step up from 525 yards should be very much to her advantage.
This young bitch has only won three times out of 24 appearances but recent strong finishing efforts suggest that there is a big run to come. Perhaps this is the occasion, with an inside draw likely to play to her advantage.
There are four graded finals on the Newbridge card.
Locally based breeder Paddy Kehoe will have two runners in the Ashford Castle at Stud A4 and his Forest Grace (9.15) looks the one to beat on a strong finishing semi-final defeat of Carrick Hill.
And Kehoe will also have Forest Simon (9.45) in the final of the Supporters' Club A1 and this fellow will have plenty of support in light of his runaway 28.76 semi-final victory.
He has no less than 26 spots in hand of Glenace on that running and that should suffice.
The pre-Christmas party season worked a treat at the greyhound stadia and figures released by the Irish Greyhound Board show that more than 29,000 people attended Christmas parties at the various venues this year -- an increase of 5pc over last year's figure.
Shelbourne Park accounted for more than 10,000 partygoers, while Newbridge, Waterford and Limerick also showed significant increases over the previous year -- it all proved that the greyhound package is very attractive.