Gaytime Hawk set for Wimbledon swoop
Fifteen Irish runners will commence their William Hill English Derby challenge at Wimbledon this evening as the opening round continues with the second of four sessions.
Unfortunately, the draw dictates that, at the very minimum, three Irish runners be returning home afterwards.
Only two can qualify from each of the opening-round heats and Ireland have more than that number in two of the 12 contests.
Of course, there is a strong chance of further Irish eliminations with the structure of the draw allowing very little room for error.
This evening's opening heat is a prime example, with four of the five runners representing these shores. Paul Hennessy is double-handed with Kilara Hey Mac and Budgie Bypass, while Pat Buckley's Tinahue Pinto and Graham Holland's Gaytime Hawk complete the quartet.
On current form, Gaytime Hawk is the strongest of the Irish contingent and can lead home his comrades. From an ideal draw in the stripes, Budgie Bypass can chase him home.
Baile Mhic is the sole Irish runner in Heat 13 and is entitled to real respect. The Liam Dowling-trained brindle would have real claims if making a fast start in the stripes.
Pat Buckley has never hidden his admiration for Coolavanny Jap and his Scottish Derby finalist may emerge as the one to beat in Heat 14.
Should he clear the inside runner, Blackrose Rebel in the early yards, he is expected to emerge a comfortable scorer.
Peter Cronin's Tynwald Rodney and Owen McKenna's Farloe Rumble will clash in Heat 16 and both will be fancied to go close. If Tynwald Rodney makes a slick exit he could get the march on his rivals.
Go Django is Ireland's sole hope in 17. The lightly-raced tracker has been short of luck in his career to date and we fear he may need a change of fortunes to strike this evening.
There is another Irish clash in Heat 18 where Riverside Pat is likely to start a warm favourite for Graham Holland. His kennel companion Hoffs Nephew has fine early speed, but only a lightning-fast start will suffice for him.
At least one Irish runner will make an exit from Heat 19 with Vans Viking, Ivy Hill Oscar and Beaming Bucko all in the line up.
Clares Wonder is the last of the 15 Irish into action this evening in Heat 20 and he can end the night in style for the raiding party.
One of our fastest challengers, he looks perfectly housed in the striped jacket of six and is expected to lead his rivals throughout.
Don't forget you can view all the action live on Racing Post Television on channel 212 on the Sky platform.