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Puma and Maestro dominate strong Leger line-up

One major southern Classic has just reached a conclusion, and today in Limerick the draw will be made for the first round of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger, which will kick off at Limerick on Saturday night.

The entries close at noon today, with the draw scheduled for 2.0, and already it looks pretty certain that the required number of 72 entries will be achieved.

The list includes some brilliant trackers, but dominating are the two major names of Derby hero Skywalker Puma and Sparta Maestro.

The appearance of these two dogs will guarantee a massive crowd at Limerick Stadium. It's not often nowadays that a Derby runner goes on to run in the St Leger -- the last dog to do the double was the late Jack Murphy's Lively Band back in 1974.

Sparta Maestro, the Shelbourne 600-yard record holder, will be a massive danger.

Unusually, Oaks winner Milldean Tally will also be in the line-up. She is now trained by Dolores Ruth, who also has Kingo, Razldazl Apollo and Razldazl Bugatti among the entries.

Another leading fancy will be Rachel Wheeler's Camas Crash.

Mention of Milldean Tally brings us to the matter of the super tracker Milldean Panther, which is likely to have a comeback trial at Shelbourne on Saturday.

He has had only one race since April and it will be interesting to see how he fares after such a long lay-off.

Racegoers will be delighted to learn that the action from the Leger will be shown live via Inter Track for the next five Saturdays.

Meanwhilel, Laurels winner Knockglass Billy is likely to have a break of two to three weeks to allow for treatment on a troublesome track leg.

This could rule him out of the Gain Select Stakes at Waterford, and his main target now will be the Night of Stars 525 on December 1.

The big event in Dublin this weekend will be the final of the Irish Grand National at Harold's Cross on Friday when English National winner Baran Bally Hi will be bidding for the double but faces stiff opposition from Westmead Melanie and the two home jumpers, Druids Can Tell and Saleen Tompajoe.

Also on Friday, the second round of the Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks will be run at Newbridge, while on Sunday the semi-finals of the Catunda Harry Munster Puppy Cup take place at Clonmel.

Irish Independent