Common Man aims to be king
THE final of the 2015 Tennents Gold Cup takes place at Drumbo Park on Saturday, with a large crowd anticipated to witness arguably the best line up ever seen at the stadium.
The standard in this competition has been top drawer and has really brought big-time racing back to the Lambeg circuit. The final is an incredibly open affair with all six finalists having a chance of Gold Cup glory.
Local dog Common Man should go off marginal favourite and has been foot perfect in the competiiton thus far. He is unbeaten and also clocking the fastest time in the competition to date 28.82 (.30 slow), achieved in an emphatic first round display.
Drawn in Trap 3 for tonight's final for local owners John Shaw and Margaret Campbell, the black son of Blackstone Gene is sure to lift the roof off if leading the pack home. The all-important battle to the first bend is again likely to prove crucial.
Last year's Puppy Derby winner Quietly (Trap 2) and Kilkenny champion unraced winner Shut the Backdoor (Trap 5) have both shown blistering early pace in rounds and will be a major threat to Comman Man on the run-in.
Throw in Shelbourne Open racer Drumsna Castle (Trap 1) and recent Boylesports Derby semi-finalist Blue Cafu (Trap 4) and we can begin to see why this could be a race to savour.
Last but not least, mention should be given to probable outsider of the field Ivy Hill Bart (Trap 6).
The only wide seed in the final and the furthest traveller in the field hailing from Ennis in Co Clare, he has made stealthy progress to tonight's final and improved with every run so far.
Undoubtedly, the strongest stayer in the field, he will make any early mistakes by others prove costly and could be the value bet in the race at a likely big price.
The supporting card also sees the semi-finals of the Jackie McCann Memorial Trophy take place. In the past, this race has unearthed some quality dogs and looks to be doing the same again this year.
Several other Open Class events should see the knowledgeable crowd suitably entertained until the lights dim on what has been a superb three-week Festival of Racing.