Top Laurels female to earn an extra €3,000
The Irish Independent Irish Laurels is set to close to entries on Tuesday at Curraheen Park, with racing manager Brian Collins worried about the lack of entries thus far.
The 72-dog classic over 525 yards carries a winner's prize of €30,000 from an overall fund of €65,000 and the entire first round will be run tomorrow week. An additional bonus is that the best-placed bitch will win a prize of €3,000 in addition to her normal earnings.
It is hoped that a large number of entries will materialise tomorrow evening following the special Laurels Official Trial Session which will run between 5.0 and 6.0.
Surprisingly, Owen McKenna doesn't expect to have any challengers but Graham Holland yesterday confirmed that he hopes to have at least three runners, Coran Sky, Gaytime Hawk and Coolavanny Pandy. Last year's winner Vimmerby is also being aimed at the event.
It's a few years now since the tracks began to open for racing on Good Friday and it has now become almost normal, to such an extent there are eight meetings listed for this evening.
It is mainly graded fare but one would anticipate some large crowds, given the dearth of alternative things to do.
The main provincial race is the final of the Bobby Hickson Memorial A4 at Tralee and here the John Kelliher-trained Clonkil Con (9.43) can make the most of his inside draw to take the prize from Ballyglen Ace.
The card at Tralee will be a fundraiser for Lispole GAA.
Meanwhile, at Harold's Cross the final of the Mick Sylver Memorial A3 will be run and Kevin Losty's Dundrum Turbo (8.55) need only repeat semi-final running to collect.
Jerry Melia, who is to be honoured in the Hall of Fame soon, could have a double via Poormans Hawk (9.25) and Canal View Jenny (9.55).
A number of Irish dogs are due to be trialled at Glasgow track Shawfield this weekend in preparation for the RPGTV Scottish Derby which begins tomorrow week.
Pat Buckley gives Lenson Sanchez, Paradise Silva and Coolavanny Pandy trials today, while Owen McKenna will be over tomorrow with Fiery Splendour and Farley Blitz. Other Irish-based trainers taking in the Shawfield event include Fraser Black, Peter Cronin and Rachel Wheeler.
Paul Hennessy has quite a record in the FFK McCalmont Cup at Kilkenny and he has an outstanding chance of bettering it next Friday.
In Wednesday's semi-finals he supplied both winners as Ecclestone won in 29.08, and Kilara Hey Mac was one spot slower at 29.09.
Ecclestone is owned by event sponsor Michael Dunne. .