'Mason' looks the part in Kingdom Derby
The busy pre-Christmas programme commences at many tracks countrywide this weekend and two valuable competitions get under way this evening.
Tralee's Kingdom Stadium will be the venue for the T Nolan CVRT Test Centre Kingdom Derby and the traditional December event has attracted a high-class entry.
The third heat really catches the eye with the vote going to Pat Buckley's Scottish Derby runner-up Coolavanny Mason. He has been very busy all season but retains his form well and can lead home Ballymac Coyote and Colarhouse Gerry.
The votes in the other heats go to Lughill Robbie, Misty Nidge and the brilliant early pacer Holycross Lad. The latter could be the best idea of the outright winner.
The Gold Collar first round will be the highlight at Shelbourne and there are four very open contests. Ollie Bray's Bakery Lane would prefer an inside draw but can clear the bend in the opening heat and lead home Drive On Mike.
Noel Walker's Fast Fit Alex has just reached the veteran stage but has maintained his form and looks the part in the second heat.
Following her disappointing run in the TV Trophy at Towcester on Wednesday, Roxholme Magic won't be coming to Shelbourne for the 1,025-yard Marathon next Friday and the great staying bitch has been retired to the paddocks. Entries for the Marathon close on Tuesday morning.
Enniscorthy stage the first of their December Friday fixtures tonight and the card features the Speedrite Open Unraced 525.