Madison magic to steal show in Champion decider
Injury interruptions have prevented Paradise Madison from gaining some very high-profile victories, but he can start making up for lost time by winning the €20,000 Champion Stakes final at Shelbourne Park tonight.
Virtually a forgotten dog until two weeks back, he gave strong indications last week that he is not far off his superb best and if he progresses as anticipated from that effort, he can prove irresistible in this decider.
The break will be vital for the dog trained in Navan by Ollie Bray for owners Dave Buckley and Sean Meade. He is not best drawn in trap five and would prefer to be much closer to the rail, but it could well work in his favour on this occasion and could see him avoiding early crowding.
There is the strong possibility of some trouble on the inside with Jaxx On Fantasy likely to break smartly from four and head inwards on the run up.
Meanwhile, the joint-favourite Lodgefield Turbo normally flies out and is inclined to take a few steps to his right in the early yards.
On the outside Paradise Madison should have plenty of room with Melodys Diamond a committed outside runner. Declan Byrne's bitch is well capable of grabbing this prize herself and few will be travelling stronger at the finish.
Fear Big Star and Droopys Adler complete a classy field, but the class of Paradise Madison (10.0) can carry the day from Lodgefield and Melodys.
Elsewhere on the Shelbourne card Pat Buckley's strong-finishing UNIVERSAL DREAM (9.30) can win the €4,000 Champion Plate, while Niall Dunne's NORTH BOUND (9.45) can bounce back from last week's shock elimination by winning the Consolation final.
At Dundalk the second round of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup will be the attraction and some superb battles are in prospect.
Chief of those could be the meeting of Leeview Dave and RAZLDAZL RIOGA (9.25) in Heat 5, while Heat 2 looks a real cracker with Bittles Bar, Bypass Blackie, CAMBUSHMORE (9.10) and Hather Ski in opposition.
Good bets on the card would appear to be FARLOE CALVIN (9.40), MESEDO BLACK (10.10), as well as STUNNING BUDDY (10.25).
The final of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup will be run at Thurles and the betting will be very open. Don't be surprised if All About Ya puts up a big performance, but a hesitant vote is awarded to PAKIES GAMBLE to land the €7,500 prize for Pat Doheny and Johnny Doyle.
GET THERE EARLY
Shelbourne racegoers are advised to travel early as Derby champion Skywalker Puma and the inimitable Milldean Panther will be among the Derby contenders having pre-racing trials.
Farloe Calvin 9.40 Dundalk
North Bound 9.45 Shel Pk
Paradise Madison 10.0 Shel Pk
Stunning Buddy 10.25 Dundalk