Irish raiders ready for more Derby heat success
The second round of the William Hill English Derby started very well from an Irish viewpoint with three winners and an unlucky runner-up from our six raiders on Thursday . The remaining eight Irish challengers will be in action in this evening's heats and we can anticipate a few more winners
Our winners on Thursday were the Pat Buckley pair of Droopys Roddick in 28.55 and Lenson Rocky in 28.31 as well as Paul Hennessy's Jaytee Dutch in 28.68 while Pat Curtin's Peregrine Falcon would have to go down as a most unlucky loser.
The performance of Jaytee Dutch was the talking point of the night as he overcame all sorts of difficulties to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He appeared to have no chance after being cut off on the third bend but he rallied magnificently to gain a neck victory in 28.68.
Droopys Roddick probably wasn't at his best but his from behind success showed that he is getting there while his kennel companion Lenson Rocky was a revelation as he ran away with the concluding heat in 28.31. The unluckiest loser of the night was Peregrine Falcon as he was cut off when challenging on the third bend but he is still very much a contender.
Our best prospects tonight are in the final few heats. Lenson Panda is joined by fellow raiders Wonder Millie and Imperial Express in Heat 15 where Jaytee Spartacus is the likely favourite. Lenson can cause a small surprise here while Lenson Sanchez may be outpointed by the Hennessy trained Jaytee Jet in the concluding heat.
Hennessy's Double Oh Seven looks a likely qualifier from Heat 9 while a fast start would set up Joe Hurley's Blue Cafu in Heat 10. Robert Gleeson's Droopys Latina will have a battle to qualify from Heat 13 where I expect Ballymac Matt to beat Roxholme Barkley.
Oaks heats kick off
The Sporting Press Irish Oaks commences at Shelbourne with Ballydoyle Honey (9.12) coming back from season to take on Brinkleys Katie in Heat 6. Connections are hopeful that Ballydoyle Honey can qualify and improve further as the stake progresses.
Race of the round could be the clash of Tyrur Caroline and Leamaneigh Mags (7.57) in the first heat, while Witches Belle (8.12) can beat Sidarian Nell and Rural Maui in Heat 2. Others worth noting are Airmount Tess (8.27), Sidarian Pearl (8.57), Ballinakil Clare (9.27), Droopys Sambuca (9.42) and Droopys Saab (10.12).
The final of the €9,000 Lee Strand 550 will attract a huge crowd to Tralee and the favourite will be the Moss O'Connor-trained Russmur Flyer (9.44) which is unbeaten after five starts. He has the early pace to lead all the way from Carmac Indi and Carrigmore Young.