We have four runners into this evening’s Friends of Limerick Irish St Leger, the 87th running of the prestigious event. Below is a preview of the runners chances as taken from the IGB by Paul Cooney.

The first of our four finalists, the hugely consistent Murts Boher represents classic-sponsoring owner Larry O’Rourke who gives generously to the Irish Produce Stakes at Clonmel and the prize money would find a fitting home should the strong runner find a first heat win when it matters most. A constant presence amongst the elite of the sport, the Derby semi-finalist appeared close to a breakthrough when chasing home Wolfe last week and ideally drawn, Murt has realistic claims if defending the inside rail against his kennel companion in the early strides.

Always a prodigious talent, Wolfe heads the team’s quartet on times and following some luckless campaigns this season, the St Leger has seen the Marian Moloney-owned talent find a consistency over past weeks to match his superstar pace. A powerful runner, improved breaking has afforded him comfortable victories thus far as he simply can’t be contained when leading. A strong runner, all will not be lost if he is led to the turn because he can finish as fast as any but in sparkling form, a repeat of his latest breaks may suffice for victory.

 Always a huge talent, Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack’s Totos Park first revealed his true classic credentials in a wonderful 2018 Derby campaign when agonisingly eliminated at semi-final stage while holding serious outright claims and an unlucky run in majors saw him exit the semis of this very event last year, failing by just a head to reach the final. A Derby heat win at four years of age this season proved that the veteran can still threaten the very best in racing, a fact reinforced by his game semi success a week ago. The third of our finalists may have a bit of time to find but is no forlorn hope if again leading to the bend

The glaring and near incredulous aspect in the profile of Len Ponder and Austin Whelan’s Lenson Austin sees this young prodigious talent with just a solitary mark in the win column but not two years old until February, the racing world could be at his paws for high-class placings against a who’s who of the sport are littered across his form-lines. Breaking his duck here at Limerick in preparation for the St Leger, the Dock Road venue was always likely to suit his strong running abilities. A best time of 29.61sec here reads well in the context of the final and he is the one runner that we know has improvement to come in time. Should that time be now, he can cause a minor upset and if turning with the pace, can make his presence felt.

Click to enlarge preview from The Examiner

Liam Kennedy, racing manager at Limerick Greyhound Stadium,  commented: “Saturday’s event is one of the biggest nights of the year here in Limerick Greyhound Stadium. It’s been high-quality and high-drama for the last three weekends and now 72 dogs have become six. I have no doubt that this weekend’s final will live up to its billing and the winner will certainly have earned their prize. It has been a special Leger this year with a community feel to it, thanks to the support of the hard working committee within the Friends of Limerick Greyhound Stadium group. I want to wish the very best of luck to all six finalists and their connections for Saturday.”

It was a determined fundraising campaign over recent months as the greyhound community, friends, and patrons of the sport came together in support of the Irish St Leger. The team behind it deserve special credit for their hard work to ensure great sponsorship whilst ensuring this Classic competition continues.