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Shaw and Maestro set for Puppy showdown

With the Derby now history, the main focus switches to the Bookmakers Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross and the Hennerty Sales Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park.

There was some sparkling action in the first round of the puppy classic last Friday night when a massive crowd thronged the stadium.

The 12 heats provided many potential champions but a few did look extra special, including Sparta Maestro, Crossfield Star, Cambushmore, Noirs Buachaill, Cornamaddy Shaw, Troys Dancer and Eabhas Fantasy.

Sparta Maestro and Cornamaddy Shaw will clash in Heat 2 in the second round on Friday. Also in there will be fellow heat winners Jacks A Joy and Fatboyz Pacquiao along with Airforce Newyork and Troys Hawk.

Sparta Maestro would probably be the top rated, but one that could improve is Noreen O'Donovan's Noirs Buachaill and he looks to have a nice draw in Heat 5.

The Laurels will be commencing next week at Curraheen and the entries are pouring in. There were some interesting trials at the weekend. Last year's winner Tyrur Enda impressed in 28.34, while the fastest trial was Varra Captain in 28.31.

There will be no let-up in the action at Shelbourne with the Open Sprint tomorrow and the Billy Mulvaney Snr & Jnr Open 600 on Saturday night.

A full entry of 24 was received for the sprint while the 600 is also shaping up well with Tyrur Bobby Jo, Tyrur Domingo, Tyrur Lucky, Piercestown West, Pool Hawk, Ardkill Star, Confident Nestor and Pennylane Jedar all included.

The big final of the week will be the Agri Store Fair Warrior 400 at Mullingar on Saturday, where Pat Guilfoyle's Ms Deltafire is the likely favourite. She was fastest in the semi-finals and will be bidding for her fifth victory on the trot. Main danger should be Thomas Lynch's Hoedown, which is drawn in the inside box.

Irish Independent