Clares Rocket withdrawal shakes up market
The BoyleSports Irish Derby took on a totally new complexion yesterday with the news that the ante-post favourite Clares Rocket had been withdrawn.
There had been fears last Saturday that Clares Rocket was feeling an injury after he had checked a few times after his quarter-final defeat by Good News and the dog's withdrawal was confirmed by trainer Graham Holland yesterday morning when he reported that the 'Rocket' had sprained a wrist.
Holland explained: "It is the same injury which caused him to be withdrawn from the Derby last year and he probably has run his last race.
"As well as his wrist problem, he has a touch of arthritis and his age would probably be against a return to racing".
Clares Rocket has been the top dog in the country for the last year or more and won the BIF Produce Stakes and the Doire Construction Champion Stakes last year.
Clares Rocket's absence has resulted in a major revamp of the betting on the Classic in advance of Saturday's semis.
The new favourite is another Holland runner, Sonic at 9/4, but Good News is the new 9/2 second favourite with the sponsors after they laid a number of bets on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kilgraney Denver has been withdrawn from the Derby Plate.