'Badminton' to serve up Newbridge victory
With the BoyleSports Irish Derby dominating the scene at present, the Friday night highlight for the next three weeks will be the 40th running of the Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge with the second round down for decision this evening.
A prize of €8,000 awaits the winner as well as a prominent place in the betting on the subsequent Dublin Coach Puppy Derby which will begin at Harold's Cross on September 18.
The Texacloth looks a quite open event following a first round that featured some fast times. The big clash in tonight's three heats - four will qualify from each - should be that of Badminton Rossa (9.45) and Black Alder in Heat 2. The dash to the bend will be vital and perhaps Donal Murphy's bitch might prevail.
Marie Gilbert's Swords Ace (9.30) looks the one to beat in Heat 1 while Ken Busteed's Vivaro Swift (10.00) is well-drawn in the third.
Honey heads market
In advance of tomorrow's third round of the BoyleSports Irish Derby, a market generating plenty of interest is that for the Top Bitch in the classic. The sponsors currently rate Ballydoyle Honey as their 11/10 favourite for this category ahead of Ardrahan Zindi at 7/2 and Priceless Lassie at 4/1. Ballydoyle Honey deserves the top position but I am increasingly fancying Priceless Lassie's prospects of going a long way in the event and she is worth a little interest at 4/1.
Graham Holland is the BoyleSports 5/2 favourite to be the winning trainer and he surely would be even shorter for the Noel Ryan Tree Surgeon Waterford Oaks which commences at Kilcohan tomorrow.
He has five entries in the 30-strong field and among them are the Irish Oaks runner-up Hovex Princess and Consolation Oaks winner Sidarian Nell as well as Skywalker Pearl, Cabra Coco and Coolavanny Pandy. The entry also includes the likes of Slippery Hanna, Happy Omen, Hanoi, Local Dancer, Rastafari Chic, Lislevane Swift and Minglers Suarez.
Tom Kinane is seeking entries for the 48-dog €5,000 Langton Hotel Derby which commences at Kilkenny next Friday. Entries are slow to come to hand and the closing date is Tuesday morning.
Tonight's meeting at Kilkenny is a Benefit for Bennettsbridge GAA and the feature race will be the final of the Pat Dunne Track Vet N1 525. Likely winner is the Niall Cummins-trained unbeaten puppy Daves Ace (9.12) which can hold on from Black Chester.
Racing at Thurles last night was called off due to the death of Denis O'Meara who was a hugely popular figure at the track for many years where he served as a director. The card postponed from last night will be run next Thursday.