'Jet' now the English Derby favourite as all nine Irish runners survive
Irish dogs now dominate the betting on the William Hill English Derby following an amazing third round at Wimbledon on Saturday when all nine of our runners managed to survive to contest Tuesday's quarter-finals.
Paul Hennessy's Jaytee Jet is now a hot 10/3 favourite after rocketing to a fastest of the Derby 28.01 in winning his heat by no less than eight-and-three-quarter lengths from the Peter Cronin-trained Imperial Express.
The other Irish winner was Pat Buckley's Lenson Sanchez as he got up late to beat Bubbly Turbo but a major shock here was the exit of Ballymac Matt. The seven other Irish dogs all managed to make it through and the only one to experience any difficulty was Droopys Roddick as he had to produce a huge late run to finish third behind Be Up Front in Heat 7.
The draw for Tuesday's heats is pretty tricky and at least one Irish runner definitely cannot qualify for the semi-finals as four have been drawn together in the third quarter-final. The four dogs are Droopys Latina, Peregrine Falcon, Imperial Express and Jaytee Jet while the other two runners Hiya Butt and Be Up Front were both heat winners on Saturday.
Another big clash sees the Pat Buckley-trained Lenson Sanchez and Droopys Roddick in direct opposition in Heat 4.
Conditions were pretty miserable for the second round of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks at Shelbourne and the big run of the round was the 28.65 returned by the Graham Holland-trained Sidarian Pearl in winning Heat 3.
Her kennel companion Ballinakil Clare was not so lucky as she missed the start in Heat 4 and was baulked on the bend before making her exit in a heat won by the Liam Twomey-trained Witches Belle in 29.08.
The defending champion Ballydoyle Honey finished runner-up for the second week running when losing her place on the second bend before a late rally saw her fail by only a head to catch Highview Jayne in 29.17.
Highview Jayne was completing a heat double for trainer Gerry Merriman as her younger half-sister Highview Kitty had earlier won the opening heat by two lengths from the slow-starting Leamaneigh Mags in 29.30.
Sean Dunphy's Bar The Sizzler was second fastest when taking the second heat in 29.01 where she held the big-finishing Leezie Lindsay by a length and a half. Liam Twomey's Witches Belle finished fast to beat Slippery Louise in 29.08, while Urban Gossip led all the way when winning in 29.25.