Dogchat: Panther skips Larry Dunne as vets look into trap issues
Milldean Panther will not be contesting the Larry Dunne Open 525 at Shelbourne as originally planned and instead will be having a thorough veterinary investigation in search of an answer to his problems at the traps.
In his puppy campaign, Milldean's normal style was flashing to the bend, though he also produced one or two big from-behind performances.
However, since his return from his winter break, Milldean has been increasingly ponderous at traprise while continuing to produce some stunning performances.
He made his worst start yet in Saturday's final of the Formula One Grand Prix at Curraheen Park, but then was gifted a glorious run around the opening bends to take up the running en route to a runaway victory in 28.24.
Just what time he would clock given a normal start is anybody's guess.
John O'Flynn Snr said yesterday: "We don't know what to think. He is in super form and is doing the times but is just not breaking. We will get him fully checked out this week and will give him a trial around Shelbourne before we bring him back there to race.
"We just want to try to get everything right now".
The Larry Dunne Open closes tomorrow morning. Entries so far include Droopys Cain, Kingsmill Messi, Mister Glenard, Tyrur Domingo, Tyrur Lanney, Danmar Benny, Skywalker Puma, Skip Soda, Loughteen Blanco, Pablo Supreme and Bling Bling Buzz.
The last three are all trained by Owen McKenna, who is enjoying a big start to the season and has a powerful hand in the semi-finals of the Red Mills Produce Stakes at Clonmel next Sunday.
He has no fewer than four runners in the last 12, with three of them drawn in opposition in the second semi.
McKenna's Confident Rankin was fastest in the third round on Sunday night when clocking 28.56, thus maintaining his unbeaten record in the classic.
Similarly unbeaten in the competition is John O'Flynn Jnr's Dear Pa, and he looks the one to beat in the opening semi.
The second round of the Betfair 600 will be run at Shelbourne on Saturday night, while the final of the Broadway Pet Foods McCalmont Cup is down for Kilkenny on Friday.
Also on Friday, the English Derby will get under way with 21 Irish entries.