Yankee bidding for Champion defence
Since it was first run back in 1986 no greyhound has ever managed to win the BoyleSports Champion Stakes on two occasions but the Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Yankee will bid to end that sequence when he contests the second semi-final at Shelbourne Park this evening.
A word of caution has been expressed by Hennessy as he reports that Yankee will need tonight's run as he returns following a five-month absence since he was injured in the Best Car Parks Gold Cup final in February.
He is well drawn in trap one but the vote in this contest must go to the Johnny O'Sullivan-trained Native Chimes (9.57), which ran powerfully when running up the Laurels final a week ago. He will be much happier over this 550 yards distance and looks near banker material.
The Graham Holland-trained Clonbrien Hero (9.42) has the form to land the opening heat, where Swithins Brae and Gurteen Feather represent the biggest dangers.
The fancy for the third heat is the Gerry Melia-trained Frisky Luck (10.12) from an ideal draw. Biggest dangers are Crossfield Will and Droopys Loom.
After last night's opening session of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup, the remaining five first-round heats will be run this evening at Dundalk, and reigning champion Heisman (9.50) may find Ollie Bray's Bakery Lane a little too hot in his first run of 2018.