We are rapidly approaching the peak of the season’s racing, with the Champion Stakes commencing next weekend and then the Derby less than two weeks later.
The Ladbrokes Derby Trial Stake is the feature of this evening’s Shelbourne programme, but it is a meeting of great significance with a big number of established stars and young pretenders in action.
The favourite to land the Trial Stake will be Dolores Ruth’s Razldazl Jayfkay, one of our highest profile trackers, but yet to snare a major prize. Recent trial spins suggest he is as good as ever and he should win a race where the big-finishing Tibetan Skies could be his closest pursuer.
But, for future significance, the contest that will command much interest is the final of the Tyrur McGuigan Open 525, where the unbeaten Dragon Shield will bid to make it four from four. Pat Buckley’s two-year-old looks pretty special and he has a terrific burst of early pace, which can carry him to victory here against fellow youngsters Borna Gem, Jacobs Courage and Beaming Mark.
While that final is named after Tyrur McGuigan, the 2010 Derby winner will be a runner himself in an intriguing Open 550, where he is opposed by stunning youngster Ballymac Vic and the dual Betfair 600 winner Kingo. Few dogs can live with Tyrur McGuigan when he is in form, but he will need a flying start to lead home these rivals.
Another young dog with huge potential is Tyrur Sugar Ray and, while he would much prefer to be drawn on the inside in this Open 550, he may still reverse placings with Allen Master. Razldazl Luke is one to note here. Owen McKenna’s Airforce Frankie looks banker material in an Open 550.
The Drumbo Park Derby qualifier will be run tonight and Star Head looks the part, while Newlawn Tock and Cashen Mafuma can win the semis of the Limerick qualifier.