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Athletics: Stars to align for memorable night at Shelbourne

There has been a huge response to the recently announced Night of Stars, which is to be staged at Shelbourne Park on Saturday, December 1.

It promises to be a fantastic occasion, with eight championship races over all the main distances and with all the champions in action. The winning owner of each race will receive €10,000, with the runner-up claiming €1,000 and the third-placed €500. Each race will have an individual sponsor, while the other funding method for this ground-breaking event will be through €100 club membership tickets, which will entitle the purchaser to admission, dinner with wine and participation in a number of draws.

All queries should be sent to Night of Stars, Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium, Dublin 4, or to news@igb.ie.

Meanwhile, the Betdaq Night of Champions in Tralee on June 30 is beginning to take shape and latest word is that the featured €15,000 Race of Champions will be a 12-dog two-run event.

Among the confirmed entries are UK challengers Bubbly Phoenix, Coolavanny Bert, Jaytee Pedro and Uncle Sid as well as home runners Razldazl Rioga, Airforce Diva, Ballymac Vic, Broadstrand Lad and Shelbourne Geoff.

The final of the Cox Cup will be run at Newbridge on Friday and it boasts a terrific line-up with buckets of early pace. The run to the bend will be as crucial as ever in such a tight contest and best drawn is Danny Potter's Danmar Benny, though he is held by Francie Murray's Quail Hollow and Seamus Graham's Eabhas Fantasy on recent form. Quail Hollow is unbeaten in the competition and is the one to watch.

The final of the Barry's Tea Open 750 tops the bill at Curraheen Park on Saturday and the big question is whether Chris Houlihan's Dogwithacollar can be close enough to make his finishing burst tell to full effect.

Shine And Hope, Skywalker Cindy and Mountaylor Ace are all capable of setting a strong pace and none of them would be easily caught. Stallone Bart and Dream Winner complete the line-up.

Meanwhile, the quarter-finals of the Irish Oaks will be run at Shelbourne on Saturday, with Smoke Pixie the new favourite at a best-price 6/1. Her 28.31 run last Saturday was a brilliant effort and her six draw will make her very hard to beat in Heat 2.

Borna Gem is another moving very well in the Classic, while College Maybe and Cabra Millie are others to beat in the heats.

Irish Independent