Dog Chat: Limerick success just the tonic for industry
It was a truly hectic weekend and the highlight was undoubtedly the opening of the new Limerick Greyhound Stadium, which received a massive thumbs-up from the massive crowds that turned out on Friday and Saturday night.
It was a tonic to witness the positive reactions from greyhound folk who travelled from all over Ireland to savour opening night of this magnificent new facility. Everything went like clockwork and the racing was top class, with the 28.35 run from Joey Jojo Junior the highlight. This was an early warning shot that puts the St Leger in his sights.
The particularly pleasing aspect of the Limerick opening was that another fine crowd turned up on Saturday and the early signs would suggest that this new stadium is going to give the industry figures a much-needed boost.
The focus will switch to Curraheen Park on Saturday, where the final of the Pat Hennerty Irish Laurels will be the highlight of a fantastic card.
Tyrur Enda has been installed the 4/7 favourite to lift the €35,000 prize, with Tubbertelly Dubh, at 7/4, his only serious market rival. You can then have a 16/1 punt on third-favourite Kiowa Myth.
PJ Fahy's Tyrur Enda has been the star of this classic and one could sense the relief in the owner's voice when he learned last Saturday that his dog had drawn trap two for the final.
Enda walked out of the inside box in the semi-final and that trap will be occupied next Saturday by the Owen McKenna-trained Tubbertelly Dubh. This is a young dog with huge potential and he is a serious threat to the favourite.
However, it will still come as a major surprise if Tyrur Enda doesn't credit the Fahy team with the second leg of a fantastic Derby-Laurels double.
Also this week, the final of the Future Champion Unraced Stake will be run at Enniscorthy on Thursday, where Droopys Diarra will be a strong favourite.
Then on Friday, Jim Morrissey's new track record-holder Dromore Dazzler will bid to land the final of the Kerry Group County Championship at Tralee.
Also on Friday the Moran/ O'Donnell Newbridge Oaks will kick off at Newbridge (entries close this morning), while on Saturday the semi-finals of the Tennent's Gold Cup will be run at Drumbo Park.
Also that night the Mannion Builders Suppliers National 750 will start at Shelbourne.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.