Star trackers on Kirby Memorial programme
The card for Saturday's magnificent Con & Annie Kirby Memorial finale was completed yesterday and some of our top trackers will be in action in a number of races.
It was surprising that Liam Kennedy had a real struggle to fill some of the open races given the lack of open racing in the continued closure of Shelbourne. But the final programme still guarantees a top-class gathering.
One of the more interesting races is the Open 550 where Scottish Derby-bound trio Good News, Coolavanny Mason and Jaytee Denver will take on reigning Irish Derby champion Rural Hawaii.
Clare native Austin Whelan, who has a fleet of pubs in London, will have fancied runners in all three major finals on Saturday night.
He will have the favourite Bentekes Bocko, which he owns jointly with Beverley Lochead, in the final of the €80,000-to-the-winner Kirby Memorial at Limerick, while his bitch Droopys Smasher will be one of the favourites for the final of the Wallace/ Murray Irish Cesarewitch at Navan.
But Austin has also bought Killinan Rosie which is a finalist in the Pat Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks at Curraheen Park. All three greyhounds are trained by Pat Buckley but the timing is bad for Whelan as his wife Gemma is due to have their sixth child the same day!
Racing tonight is at Kilkenny where the card includes heats of a Track Supporters A5 Stake and two that make appeal are Springwell Sip (9.00) and fortunate reggie (9.12).
Back in January the Michael Meade-trained Springwell Sip won well in heavy ground at Kilkenny and has slipped in grade since. He is certainly well capable of winning such a contest.
Margaret Fortune turns out Fortunate Reggie and he has had only one run when joint favourite for a puppy final at Enniscorthy in November. He appears to have buckets of potential and may be worth support.