Dog Chat: Trainers in late rush to go against Opinion
One-time Derby favourite Definate Opinion leads a strong entry for the Tyrur McGuigan Open 575, which starts at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
Entries will close at noon today and some leading trainers had yet to enter their charges up to late yesterday evening. However, sponsor PJ Fahy will be strongly represented as he has six of his flying Tyrurs entered, including Lohan, Domingo, Lucky and Valdez.
Tyrur Lohan is an interesting entry as he has been very lightly raced due to persistent injuries, but at his best he is an incredibly fast tracker. Other names in the book include Aranock Hand Razldazl and Broadway.
By the way, the traditional early-season puppy event, the Joe Dunne Memorial, will close to entries next Monday and already entered are Puppy Derby winner Melodys Royal and National Puppy Stake finalist Boxie.
Tyrur Domingo was fastest in Saturday's trial session when clocking 28.69, while Lohan went around in 28.75 and Boxie clocked 28.78. Another flying trial was the 18.66 sprint run from Razldazl Jayfkay.
Michael Dalton's Express Shuttle was fastest in Sunday's second-round heats of the Open Unraced Stake at Clonmel when he clocked 28.73 in beating Magellan Lad by seven lengths. In next Sunday's semi-finals he will line up against Willie O'Connor's Modges Hawk, which followed up his impressive first round win with a 29.09 clock on Sunday.
Also in this heat are Colin Townend's Do Re Me and David Jordan's Archaton Oak, which have performed extremely well in the stake thus far.
Graham Holland has all three of his survivors drawn in the second semi, where the one to beat is surely Seamus Whelan's Piercestown Sand after his impressive 28.88 run in the second round. He had shown a lot of pace in defeat on his debut and really stepped up this time when leading all the way to beat Hovex Minstrel.
The Vetsearch Kennedy Cup will get under way at Limerick on Saturday night and a few entries are still required before the first-round draw is made.
Talking of entries, a number of open races will be run at Longford on Friday night. There will be €500 for the winner of opens over 525, 550, 570 and Bitch 525, while there is also an open 330.