Farloe and Gaytime are quickest of the Irish
Preparations are well under way for the upcoming William Hill English Derby and yesterday's trial session saw a number of Irish challengers impress around Wimbledon.
The most eye-catching of the Irish trials came from Owen McKenna's Farloe Blitz and Graham Holland's Gaytime Hawk.
The latter won the Derby Trial stake at Cork in his latest start and was having his first look at the Plough Lane circuit, but scorched around in a near fastest of the session 28.23. Droopys Nidge, who is under the care of Matt Dartnell for the Derby, went fastest when posting a slick 28.21.
Farloe Blitz didn't quite set the standard over the 273 metres despite posting a sizzling 15.91. It was his third impressive trial at the Derby venue in the past fortnight and he seems fully deserving of his lofty position in the outright betting market. The fastest sprint trial came from Roxholme Ted which posted 15.90.
Farloe Rumble (16.13) and Go Django (16.07) also trailed over the sprint trip and Owen McKenna would have been delighted with both. Pat Curtin also trialled a couple with Deanridge Pennys clocking 16.36 and Ivy Hill Oscar going around in 16.38.
Preparations continue on Saturday evening with the entire Wimbledon card consisting of trial stakes, featuring a number of Irish-trained runners. The competition will kick off in three weeks' time and all available evidence suggests the Irish will have a big say in the outcome.
On this side of the water, the management at Waterford are bracing themselves ahead of a huge benefit meeting in aid of Scoil Gharbhain, Dungarvan on Saturday. Punters are advised that the doors will be opening an hour earlier than normal at 6pm to allow for the extra numbers.
One suspects there will be some impressive performances at Shelbourne Park this evening where a number of potentially useful pups are in action.
Paradise Dakota, which has already shown ability, bids to maintain his unbeaten career record in the finale. The son of Paradise Madison has big early speed and it's feasible he will improve on his previous form. That could spell trouble for his rivals.
With a perfect draw in the stripes, we're expecting the August '13 whelp to lead from the start and complete a hat-trick of successes.
The fifth race on the card is the semi-final of an A3 stake and it features an intriguing clash between opening-round winners Matts Marco and Tauriel.
Both greyhounds were hugely impressive last week with Matts Marco posting a superb 28.47 and Tauriel going marginally slower in 28.56.
Marco seems to have the best of the draw and he can continue his winning ways.