Ballymac fastest once again in Derby heats
This year's BoyleSports Irish Derby truly has had a little bit of everything and the third round, which took place in front of a massive crowd at Shelbourne on Saturday, once again proved to be a poor harvesting ground for the punters.
Ballymac Matt was the only market leader to prevail and, at odds of 2/7, he would only have interested the very few heavy players capable of trading at such odds. At least they experienced no heartaches as the Liam Dowling-trained flying machine maintained his unbeaten record in the classic and posted the fastest time for the third round in a row.
Matt hit the first bend three lengths to the good from Highview Apollo and he raced on in his own imperious fashion to win by three lengths in 29.44 with Farloe Rumble two-and-a-half lengths third. Ballymac had been fastest in the first round in 29.43, was quickest last week in 29.48 and now has posted a best of the third round, 29.44. Fantastic consistency!
A few new threats emerged on the night. Last week the Robert Gleeson-trained bitch Samiya produced a 33/1 upset when winning the last heat on the Thursday night from her litter sister Ballydoyle Honey. On Saturday, some five races after Ballydoyle had been eliminated, Samiya stepped up again from that performance as she stopped the clock in 29.46 in the last heat of the round.
This time was only two spots slower than Ballymac Matt and she has the added bonus of being fresh and an improver. She won by six lengths from another bitch Priceless Lassie .
The other big statement on the night came from the Navan dog Peregrine Falcon which completed a six-timer at the track for owner Pat O'Brien as he flew from traps in Heat 6 and raced to a comprehensive three-and-a-half-length victory over Ivy Hill Bart in 29.50.
The shock of the night was the defeat of Farloe Blitz which recovered from a tardy start to take the first bend by a length from Gaytime Hawk. The early effort had taken too much out of him and he was caught late by both Gaytime Hawk and Cable Bay when going under by half a length and a neck in 29.67.
The eclipse of Ballydoyle Honey occurred in Heat 3 where she was moderately away and was always struggling as PJ Fahy's Tyrur Tommy led all the way for a two-and-a-half-length verdict over Offshore Bound in 29.79. Ballydoyle came home with a rush but failed by three parts of a length to catch third-placed Sidarian Vega. The other winners were Secreto in 29.58, Save The Don in 29.57 and Murt Leahy's Lemon Miley in 29.94.