Inside draw to swing it for slick starter Farloe Calvin
The youngsters are dominating the headlines these days and there should be a very enthusiastic audience at the Kingdom Stadium in Tralee tonight for the semi-finals of the GMHD Insurances Juvenile Classic.
The evidence of the opening two rounds suggests that the competition again contains some very talented youngsters, which is in keeping with the stars that have been introduced to the sport in this event since its inception.
Last year Owen McKenna won it with Airforce Diva and the New Inn handler is in the driving seat again this time with two talented trackers. Unfortunately for him, Farloe Calvin and South Armagh clash in the first semi-final and could well bump on the run to the vital opening bend.
FARLOE CALVIN has been by far the fastest, with runs of 28.55 and a competition best of 28.39 last week. He appears to have everything, being a slick starter with good early pace and no lack of stamina either.
McKenna's charge will be tested early by the Lar Fogarty-owned South Armagh, but the inside trap can swing it for him and he gets the vote.
All the runners in the second semi-final have shown a lot of promise and, while Deerfield Lloyd is a young dog, I expect him to develop into quite a performer, Matt Neenan's CONNA KINGSMILL could be the one this time. He impressed in the first round and ran well behind South Armagh last week. Farloe Trent and Ballymac Jordan will be finishing fast.
Pat Buckley's WILLOW MAN was the fastest first round winner and has a real opportunity of returning to winning ways in the third semi. He goes from six and can get the better of Ille Probe and big finishing Broadstrand Xola.
Elsewhere, Moss O'Connor, trainer of Deerfield Lloyd, reported yesterday that his star bitch College Maybe escaped injury after her horrible first bend fall at Thurles last Saturday.
"She was concussed and very nervous for a while after it, but she has come out of it well. It is her third bad fall and, hopefully, it will have no lasting effect. We will give her a break, but might consider the McCarthy Oaks at Curraheen Park for her."
Extreme Heat had an engagement at Shelbourne last night and may not be fresh enough to contain Jay Ryan's MISS GOLD BARS (9.18), which is going for four on the trot. FREESTYLE MAC (9.32), a litter brother of Extreme Heat, can follow up a recent success for Liam O'Rourke in an A4.