Sir Paddy the hottest young gun at Clonmel
While the established stars were making the headlines at Shelbourne on Saturday, it was the turn of the young pretenders at Clonmel on Sunday, when the remaining six heats in the first round of the Red Mills Open Unraced Stake were run.
Star turn of the night -- and indeed the entire first round -- was Paddy Twohig's Sir Paddy, which followed up on his smart qualifying form to post easily the fastest time of the round.
He took it up on the first bend and the son of Droopys Scolari and Lemon Belle then pulled right away to win by five lengths from Cahernaheena Lad in a very smart 28.59.
Fate then took a hand and the draw for the second round has placed Sir Paddy and the fastest winner from the first session, Airfield Paudie, in opposition in Heat 3 next Sunday. As the saying goes, that will sort out the men from the boys at an early stage.
The big surprise of Sunday's racing was the eclipse of the strongly fancied Droopys Oddysey as he was beaten into third place behind Kieran Lynch's Reagrove Ski in 28.92, the pair divided by Thurlesbeg Onair.
The other winner to dip under the 29 mark was Liam McLaughlin's Quietly Fancied as he took over from Knotray Chief early in the back straight and went on to win by two and a half lengths in 28.84.
Meanwhile, Paradise Madison is a best-priced 4/5 with the firms to win the Shelbourne Open 575 following his highly impressive return from injury at the weekend.
The only other runner at single figures is Ringtown Snowy on 5/1, while Sidarian Lisa is at 10/1.
Sad news on the breeding front is that leading stud dog Royal Impact has passed away.
Imported from Australia by Willie Brennan, he has had a huge influence on Irish racing in recent years and he would have been 14 years of age in March.
Among his stars last year were Oaks and St Leger winner Locnamon Bridie, SIS Gold Cup and Boylesports International winner Priceless Sky, Corn Cuchulainn heroine Shanless Becky, Golden Jacket winner White Soks Roks and the 2012 Derby winner Skywalker Puma.
The racing scene belongs to Harold's Cross this evening and the best bet may be represented by Astral Dubh (8.37) in a sprint contest. His second to Pasture Lad at Shelbourne back in November has been well advertised and he should be good enough to win this.
Highview Option (9.29) has good early pace and can win the A3 event, while Affane Diva (9.55) can benefit from being lowered to A4 company in the finale.