Ballymac Matt fancied for Derby double
Derby doubles are a rarity but Ballymac Matt is favourite to complete such a feat as he bids to add the Racing Post TV Scottish Derby to the BoyleSports Irish Derby he won last September.
Ballymac Matt made a winning start to his challenge on Saturday when he had to overcome plenty of hardship in grabbing a late victory. He has landed an inside draw in Saturday's second semi-final and is a best price 3-1 to win the final on Saturday week.
Allowing for the fact that Liam Dowling still owns a chunk of the dog, we will find it difficult to consider him a British runner but he is trained at the moment by part-owner Kelly Macari.
We have four genuinely Irish-trained dogs still in contention and Fair Taxes is currently third favourite at a best price of 5-1 after an impressive first-round victory. His form ties in with the best dogs in training in this country and Francie Murray yesterday expressed his happiness with the dog.
"I am delighted with how he performed on Saturday. He doesn't break as well from trap one as he did on Saturday from three but all dogs seem to move outwards on the run-up at Shawfield. But the dog is in perfect form and we'll be going over and back again on Saturday."
The other Irish-trained runners are all treated with respect by the firms with Mucho Macho Man and Leave At Dawn at 12-1 and Blue Cafu is generally a 25-1 chance but is available at 33-1.
Monbeg Costa, owned jointly by Eamonn and Gearoid Doyle, once again emphasised his talent with a runaway victory in the final of the Storm Control @ Stud Open Unraced at Enniscorthy on Sunday evening.
The son of Droopys Scolari and Na Dubh Tire had been untroubled in his three previous races and he brought his aggregate winning distance to 33 lengths when winning the final by seven and a half lengths from the strong staying Ballinclare Fion in 29.22.
Monbeg flew from traps and raced away from his rivals in the style of a very useful youngster. Of course, the April '14 whelp is also bred to be pretty useful as he is closely related to former champion trackers Like A Shot and Ja Mann.
Since arriving in this country from America the stud dog Kinloch Brae has made a huge impact on the breeding scene and he really hit the headlines at the weekend when throwing the winner and runner-up in the hugely valuable Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park in Sydney.