Lack of opportunity forces trainers to travel
The dearth of open race opportunities in Ireland at the moment is forcing most of the leading trainers to take in the Star Sports English Derby at Towcester and there will again be a major Irish presence at the new Derby venue on Saturday.
The line-up for the Derby Trial Stakes has not yet been completed but it can be taken for granted that there will be a number of Irish runners. What is even more certain is that there will be a substantial number of Irish dogs having trials at the morning and evening sessions.
Pat Buckley only returned from the Scottish Derby on Sunday but he will be back on the ferry to Holyhead on Saturday morning as he plans to have at least five dogs for trials. His present intention is to have six runners in the classic but one of those runners, Killinan Rosie, has a date in the final of the Riverside Oscar Stake at Curraheen on Saturday.
Buckley ran up the Derby last year with Droopys Roddick and his team this year will be led by the exciting Droopys Wilbury which won the Juvenile Derby last year before going on to land the Night of Stars 575. He is reported to be flying after his injury setbacks and he will be joined on this weekend's mission by Coolavanny Mason, Brinkleys Blaze, Bentekes Bocko and Clares Dream.
Also making the trip will be Paul Hennessy and among his dogs for trials will be the reigning English Derby champion Jaytee Jet and his litter brother Jaytee Dutch. Hennessy is very happy with the two dogs and they moved very well in trials at Limerick on Saturday.
Two Co Galway handlers will also be making the trip. Gerry Holian, who has been a regular visitor over the years to the English Derby, is bringing over Beannacht Tadhg, while making the journey with him will be Peter Connolly with his recent Tralee scorer Sellout Magic.
Meanwhile, BoyleSports have issued betting on the BIF Produce Stakes in advance of Sunday's semi-finals at Clonmel and they favour Graham Holland to complete the Produce double after Clares Rocket's great success last year.
Holland's Clonbrin Hero is the 7/2 favourite, just ahead of the British raider Vahsel Bay which is on the 4/1 mark and then comes John Linehan's Drive On Razer at 6/1 ahead of another Holland runner Lughill Robbie at 15/2. The other runner in single figures is Dog Mac Arthure at 8/1.
The prices read just about correct but the 14/1 about the other British-trained runner Mrs Chippy does appear to be a little generous.