Ian Fortune

After coming from well off the pace to post a fastest of the round 29.74 last week, Bens Teddy can again be expected to play a big part in the semi-finals of the Champion 550 at Shelbourne Park this evening.

The valuable stake is the highlight of the action with both heats likely to provide some quality racing.


Bens Teddy lines out in the black jacket of four in the opening heat and is likely to start favourite, although he will need the gaps to arrive at the right time.

Run faster and Borna Mick are drawn on the inner of Bens Teddy and are more likely pace-setters, while Storys Law can also go up strongly from the outside box.   

If any of the trio are to lower the colours of Bens Teddy, they may need to get loose at the head of affairs. Blastoff Salah is another worthy of respect. He remains a maiden but has shown plenty of ability in his previous outings.

Bens Teddy remains the choice. He will stay close to the fence around the last two bends and, with a clear run, could take some holding in the later stages. Run Faster can emerge as the main threat.


The second heat is particularly competitive with each of the six runners holding some sort of chance. Sober Glory has the best of the draw on the rail and certainly seems to be going the right way.

He wasn’t far behind Bens Teddy last week and a couple of weeks earlier recorded a very fast 28.17 in a trial at Shelbourne.

Belindas Finn gives the impression he will improve considerably on form in the very near future, although he needs to brush up his starting. Lotto Other News and Papa Di Oro will look to set the pace, while Ballyhimikin Rex needs to get to the front before the third turn.

That just leaves Priceless Cathal, who will certainly be finishing faster than any of his rivals. It’s quite the race but the nod goes to Sober Glory on the strength of his draw.