Droopys Nidge enhances superstar billing
Droopys Nidge's reputation is growing by the week and he was absolutely supreme in the third semi-final of the Champion 550 at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
There was an extra element to this latest performance. For once, he missed the kick and it was Elevenerife which set a very strong early gallop. But Droopys Nidge shrugged that difficulty aside as he flew up the outside and took the opening bend with ease before then demolishing his rivals as he raced right away to win by an ever-growing 10 and a half lengths from Elevenerife in 29.52.
The time was actually 20 spots back on his run of the previous week but it was the manner of the victory that really impressed.
It was laced with power and pace and undoubtedly the young dog trained by Robert Gleeson for Willie Hyslop is a potential superstar.
Mind you, this is a high-class competition and PJ Fahy's Tyrur Supermac is another outstanding young prospect. He is settling in very nicely into his new inside seeding and on Saturday he bumped Coran Sky out of his way on the bend and went on to beat that rival by a couple of lengths in 29.78.
The other heat saw the Owen McKenna-trained Con Te Partiro complete a treble for the kennel on the night as he won the battle to the bend and then held the big finishing Fahy runner Tyrur Nathan by three parts of a length in 29.95.
McKenna's first two winners were Vito Wal in 28.80 and Farloe Blitz in an impressive 28.63, while local owner Lar Kinsella also came in with a double via Brewers Tune in 28.94 and then an excellent 28.73 run from Band Major in winning the ECC A1 final.
There was a brilliant run on the undercard from the Pat Curtin-trained Kereight King, which was having his first outing since making his English Derby elimination in the first round back in the first week of May. He flew from trap four, dived across to the inside rail and raced away to win by five and a half lengths from Thornvalley in 28.28.
There was a strong performance from Rosemary Price's Pennys Deanridge as he came home very strongly to beat long-time leader Indigojack by a couple of lengths in 30.04.
There will be an all-Irish field for the €20,000 International at Dundalk on Saturday with none of the invited British runners accepting. However, it promises to be a terrific race and the draw will be made today by sponsor Peter Matthews.
The line-up, in alphabetical order, is: Atitboy, Boylesports Hero, Metro Jack, Mind The Net, Paradise Madison and Sidarian Blitz. A number of the runners were trialled at Dundalk over the weekend with Sidarian Blaze producing a time of 28.01 for the 525 yards which is an improvement of 30 spots on the track record.
On Friday night Boylesports Hero did 21.14 for the 400 yards while Paradise Madison clocked 29.85 for the 550 and Mind The Net went around in 29.98.