Sunday 19 November 2017

Scottish owner Wallace to take over at Longford track

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The future of the Longford track appears to have been secured following the purchase of the venue by leading Scottish-based owner Howard Wallace.

For many years there have been doubts regarding the future of the stadium, but recently it had become the subject of sales speculation.

Various names were put forward, but now it has emerged that Wallace is in the process of completing the deal.

Longford has been run in recent times by a voluntary committee and according to track director Jackie Devine, that arrangement will continue.

"I spoke with Mr Wallace and he assured me that he intends to let the track progress as it has been doing with a local committee running it," said Devine.

Longford races every Monday and Friday and recently a very large crowd attended the final of the Broadway Pet Foods & Fast Trap Longford Derby.

It has a reputation for having a well-maintained surface and is a favoured trial venue for many owners and trainers from around the country.

61 entered for Derby

The entries continue to roll in for the Irish Derby and the latest situation is that there are 61 names in the book.

Among the latest batch of entries are the names of a number of leading candidates, including the 2012 winner Skywalker Puma, current leading fancies Droopys Nidge and Skywalker Farloe and last weekend's Champion Stakes winner Ballymac Vic.

Electric is hot

Despite clocking a brilliant 20.97 in the second round last Friday, Must Be Electric is still not favourite for the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk.

In fairness, Must Be Electric was only a 4/1 charge to win his heat last Friday, but he ran away with the race in the third fastest time ever recorded over the trip.

Trained by Peter Cronin for Margaret Walsh and Martin Lappin, he led all the way and won by almost seven lengths from last year's finalist Steely Passion, with the favourite Crown Champ back in third.

Crown Champ continues at top of the market at a best-price 5/1, while Must Be Electric is on the 11/2 mark.

In Friday's third round, Must Be Electric will be fancied to lead home the likes of Neds Opinion and Con Te Partiro, while Crown Champ has a tough task in the opening heat with the useful Skidroe Again, Steely Passion, Darfin Dancer and Ballymartin Ric all in opposition.

€3,000 Pick 4

Tonight's Pick 4 Jackpot pool at Shelbourne will be guaranteed to €3,000. It is the usual nine-race Wednesday programme, but a few young trackers could help to pay the expenses.

Get Set (9.45) has shown well in his last two runs and this Robert Gleeson-trained dog must have strong prospects in an A3 event where Ballyregan Billy is the obvious danger.

Owen McKenna, handler of Ballyregan Billy, can be on the mark with Business Scholar (9.15) in an A4 contest.

Irish Independent

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