Rockburst Pearl to land prize for Holland
All roads lead to Galway today. It is, of course, Plate day at the famed Galway Races, while the local greyhound stadium will host a major meeting tonight which will be a fundraiser for the Galway Hospice.
Local owner PJ Fahy has sponsored the feature event, the €10,000 to the winner Tyrur Big Mike Champion Bitch Stake and he has an excellent chance of capturing the top prize with his Tyrur Annaleen. She finished only fourth in the first round, but has been most impressive in her two subsequent outings.
The break is likely to decide this final as the Graham Holland trained Rockburst Pearl is drawn in one, is unbeaten in the competition and has the best split time of the event. Normally a very fast starter, she has the advantage of being drawn immediately inside Tyrur and that could decide it.
Tom O'Connor's Dooey Cranky is entitled to be very much involved, while Denis Hannon's Springwell Watsy, Pat Guilfoyle's Gurrane Princess and Martin Fahy's Flaming Honey are all in there with chances.
It promises to be quite a night at Galway with the programme kicking off at 8.30, with no fewer than eight finals on the card.
To cap it all Jimmy Buckley will be on hand to entertain everybody.
Meanwhile, the entries continued to roll in at Shelbourne yesterday for the ETS Irish Derby, and by mid-afternoon some 67 names were in the book. As indicated yesterday, entries close on Friday, with the draw to be made on Monday.
Many of the leading fancies were confirmed yesterday with Skywalker Puma, Milldean Panther, Ballymac Vic, Kereight King, North Bound, Melody's Diamond, Paradise Silva and Rockchase Bullet all officially declared.
One that makes appeal on the supporting card at Galway is Noelle McCarthy's Noelle's Primco (9.30) in the final of the Tyrur Champion Bitch Invitation.
This lassie can fly to the bend and could get first run on a pretty formidable field.
Meanwhile, at Shelbourne there is a very interesting runner in a sprint event in the form of Owen McKenna's Fiery Splendour (8.30), which has been showing a lot of promise around Clonmel. Another Tipperary based trainer Graham Holland also looks to have a great winning opportunity with Cabra Scooby (9.30) in the A5 final, where Attachment and Matts Model can be the main dangers.
One of the longest running puppy features is the Texacloth Puppy Derby and this year's event kicks off on Friday week at Newbridge. Confined to August 2011 pups or younger, the 36-dog event has a winner's prize of €9,000 and closes to entries on Tuesday next at midday.