'Bolt' set to be crowned Juvenile King
The King of the Pups will be crowned tonight when the final of the Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby is run at Harold's Cross and the Mitchelstown-based Bull Run Bolt is the favourite to capture the €22,500 prize.
Prior to the competition, the four names at the top of most lists for the classic were Bull Run Bolt, Droopys Wilbury, Droopys Smasher and Coolio and, quite remarkably, they are still right up there as the leading fancies.
That, in itself, is quite a change as the Puppy Derby, as it is popularly known, has a habit of throwing up shocks. Indeed, the other two finalists Mustang Kasco and Droopys Jock weren't far from the top of the betting lists either.
Trained by Pat Norris for Mark Lowther, Bull Run Bolt came into the competition fresh from his success in the Texacloth Juvenile at Newbridge and he has maintained a perfect record which sees him attempting to claim a seventh win on the trot this evening.
He is well-drawn in trap five and should be close to the pace, likely to be set by Droopys Jock from Mustang Kasco, at the first bend. Bull Run Bolt flies from the second bend and would be very difficult to beat from that point.
The really big imponderable is where the Pat Buckley-trained duo of Droopys Wilbury and Droopys Smasher will be as they hit the second bend? Droopys Wilbury was my long-range selection even though he had only had one outing previously. He is still very inexperienced but has huge gears and is overdue a good start from what is a satisfactory box two draw. Perhaps tonight!
Lowther has a very strong second string in Droopys Smasher, the only bitch in the final and surely the strongest finisher. She is capable of a fast start but can also win from the rear. The other big finisher is the Galway dog Coolio which will need to be a bit closer to the pace entering the back straight than normal.
Mustang Kasco and Droopys Jock have their prospects but the vote goes to Bull Run Bolt (9.40) to lead home kennel-mates Droopys Wilbury and Droopys Smasher.