Irish dogs right in mix for English Derby success
Published 28/05/2016 | 02:30
Just 12 remain in the race for the William Hill English Derby at Wimbledon and six of them are trained in Ireland. Hopes are high that we will have multiple representation in next Saturday's final of the £150,000-to-the-winner classic.
The Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Jet remains the clear favourite to win the Derby and he certainly advertised his prospects with an amazing recovery on Tuesday where he looked to be on his way out of the classic at halfway.
Jaytee Jet (9.24) goes in the second heat where his rivals will include fellow countrymen Jaytee Dutch and Droopys Roddick and, really, if this race was run at Shelbourne, you would expect all three to go through!
They might well do it but our dogs cannot afford to allow early-paced performers Hiya Butt, Shaneboy Freddie and Ballymac Brogan to dictate the pace. I'll be surprised if at least Jaytee Jet and Droopys Roddick don't qualify.
Our three runners in the opening heat are Lenson Rocky, Peregrine Falcon and Blue Cafu and the last-named duo are both undergoing treatment for nagging ailments. Connections are hopeful they will be able to perform to their best level of form and they will need to be in top form for this task.
Pat Buckley's Lenson Rocky (9.08) is only a very inexperienced young racer but he has been improving with each run and he is my banker for the night. He is inclined to move wide at traprise but he should comfortably clear Cloran Paddy early and he can beat noted early pacers Southfield Jock and Bubbly Turbo to the bend. Lenson looks the obvious winner and let's hope Peregrine Falcon or Blue Cafu are fit enough to join him in the final.
Honey's tough task
The semi-finals of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks will be run at Shelbourne and the focus will be on the great Ballydoyle Honey as she continues her early comeback from season.
She has a horrible draw in five between her excellent kennel companions Sidarian Pearl (9.12) and Rural Maui while also in the contest are Brinkleys Katie, Bar The Sizzler and Dromscarra Ruby.
It's a race worthy of a final and Sidarian Pearl may lead home her illustrious kennelmate and either Brinkleys or Bar The Sizzler.
The other heat winners can be Liam Twomey's Witches Belle (9.27), Owen McKenna's Leamaneigh Mags (9.42) and Holycross Leah (9.57).
The semi-finals of the Barry's Tea 750 will be run at Curraheen Park with Tradition (9.05) nominated to lead home Ballymac Bonnie while Joyful Dribbler (9.20) is the obvious selection for the other heat.
The final of the Greenpark Open 550 is the big one at Limerick and Notorious Ben (10.10) is the likely winner.