'Verge' and 'Star' to take top prizes
There will be a low-key start to the Shelbourne Park season with two nine-race cards at the track tonight and tomorrow. However, the big guns won't be resting for too long with the €20,000 Best Car Parks Gold Cup scheduled to commence on Saturday, January 20.
Following the five-nights-per-week schedule for the few weeks prior to Christmas, most of the better-class performers are enjoying a little break and it has resulted in a shortage of entries for the opening meetings of 2018.
Value-wise, the top two contests are the finals of the Tote Betting A6/7 525 and the Christmas Cracker A5/6 525. First up is the Tote contest and here the likely favourite and winner is Tommy Mahoney's Ontheverge (8.25) which led from the second bend when beating Level Play last week and may lead home the same rival this time.
The Christmas Cracker decider is a very interesting contest with Qatar Titan and Massive Mike set to battle for the early lead but the big finish of the Francie Murray-trained Family Star (8.40) may prove decisive by the end.
Local owner Liam Hughes enjoyed a good end of season and his early-paced Cuil Missile (9.40) could be the bet of the night in the A2 eighth contest.