Laurels hope Cafu joins the Buckley team
Blue Cafu, which has been very impressive in the last two weeks at Limerick and Curraheen Park, has changed hands and will be trained by Pat Buckley for the remainder of his Irish Independent Irish Laurels campaign.
Previously trained by Bernard Coffey for a Newmarket-on-Fergus syndicate, Blue Cafu clocked 28.32 around Limerick and then won his Laurels first-round heat in 28.45.
"I really liked him at Limerick and he ran well again last weekend. I bought him for Mark Lowther and he is already settling in in his new quarters," Buckley said yesterday.
Owen McKenna is planning on having a team of five for the William Hill English Derby which will kick off at Wimbledon on the last weekend of May. It is a very strong team and must give Owen a real chance of emulating his late dad Ger who won the event twice with Parkdown Jet and Lartigue Note.
Speaking yesterday, he said: "I have just had the five dogs checked out and they are all fine. The five runners will hopefully be Bearatipp, Fiery Splendour, Farloe Blitz, Farloe Rumble and Go Django. Bearatipp is running at Shelbourne on Saturday and will then go for the Derby Trial Stake at Shelbourne on Saturday week.
"I will be giving a few of the others trials, probably sprints, and then we are planning to go over to England the week after next and the plan would be to give them sprint trials on the Wednesday at Wimbledon and then 480 spins on the Saturday".
McKenna revealed that he plans on running Farloe Blitz in the Derby Trial Stake at Curraheen, while he may not bring over Fiery Splendour on the first trip over because of his previous experience around Wimbledon. A few of his dogs may be entered for Trial Stakes at Wimbledon on May 16.
Main event tonight is the complete first round of the Lee Strand 550 at Tralee. This is an A3 competition with a winner's prize of €8,000 and invariably throws up a number of future stars.
Given the confined conditions of the stake, many of the runners are totally unexposed but the entry of 60 contains some very interesting contenders.
Trying to read between the lines, some of the runners that catch the eye include Whiteys Scarface (8.13), Glenanore Magic (8.28), Droopys Galliano and Calzaghe Bale (8.43) and Droopys Hip Hop (8.58).
Bet of the night at Harold's Cross can be the Ian Reilly-trained Minglers Trio (8.55) which was a finalist in the Dublin Coach Puppy Derby last year and should win this if in that type of form. Others worth nothing are Starshineappollo (8.25) and Freffans Buzzard (9.25).