Paradise shows signs old magic is returning
While he didn't actually win his semi-final last Saturday, Paradise Madison was very much the topic of the weekend after his highly promising performance, and he is disputing favouritism for the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes final at Shelbourne next weekend.
In just his second race since his lengthy injury lay-off, Paradise Madison came from fourth down the back straight and made up significant ground to be beaten just a length by fastest heat winner Lodgefield Turbo in 29.59.
Excitement was dampened when word emerged that Paradise was walking lame as he went back to his kennel. Thankfully, trainer Ollie Bray was yesterday able to give a positive report on the dog.
"Thank God, he is fine. He has been checked out and we have been given the go-ahead to run in the final," said Bray.
"These few runs will do him the world of good as he had done so little for six months. He is in great form."
Six firms have issued prices on the final, with Paradise and Lodgefield Turbo disputing favouritism at 9/4 and 5/2.
The sole bitch in the final, Melodys Diamond, is a best-priced 5/1, with Droopys Adler and Jaxx On Fantasy at 6/1 and Fear Big Star the 16/1 outsider.
Tyrur Bitch Stake
The semi-finals of the €10,000-to-the-winner Tyrur Big Mike Champion Bitch Stake will be run at Galway on Thursday, with the final to be run tomorrow week, the evening of the Galway Plate.
The final will be the feature of a major benefit for Galway Hospice, and a huge crowd is anticipated.
Rockburst Pearl is the 7/4 favourite to win the Galway competition but she will have an interesting clash with Tyrur Amelia in the first heat.
Amelia is the 7/2 second favourite and the two bitches are drawn side by side in the inside traps. Flaming Honey and Tyrur Annaleen look the big two in the second semi.
Bar One clashes
The draw was made yesterday for the second round of the Bar One Racing Sprint Cup at Dundalk and we have a few great clashes lined up for Saturday night.
Owen McKenna's Farloe Calvin was most impressive when posting 21.11 on Friday and he will be strongly fancied to follow up in Heat 6, where Ballymac Matthew will be his main rival.
The evergreen Razldazl Rioga was only a spot slower in 21.12 when winning on Saturday and he faces an intriguing battle against Leeview Dave and Leave It Out in Heat 5.
Reigning champion Cambushmore has a difficult draw in Heat 4, with Hather Ski and Bypass Blackie among his rivals. The banker of the round could be Seamus Graham's Mesedo Black in Heat 7 after his hugely impressive first-round victory.