Matt can get Derby double bid off to a flier
There were plenty of talking points from last night's opening session of the William Hill English Derby at Wimbledon, and the second session of 13 heats will be staged this evening, with ten Irish-trained greyhounds in action.
There will also be massive Irish interest in the running of Ballymac Matt, which was trained by Liam Dowling to win last year's Boylesports Irish Derby.
The dog will be returning from Kelly Macari to be trained by joint-owner Dowling in this year's Irish classic but in the meantime he will be attempting to complete the elusive Irish and English Derby double.
Ballymac Matt is banker material in Heat 19, from which only two qualify.
The best Irish-trained propositions on the night are Droopys Latina, Gyp Rosetti, Double Oh Seven, Lenson Sanchez and Peregrine Falcon.
There will be huge interest in the first round of the long-running Red Mills Champion Unraced at Kilkenny this evening with a large number of fascinating pups in action.
This event normally throws up a future champion or two and we can expect the trend to be continued here.
The word puppy doesn't apply to the most interesting entry of all, Tommy Gould's Holycross Super. He is only a couple of months short of his third birthday as he makes his belated racing debut but he has already clocked 28.87 in a Kilkenny trial and 15.96 in a sprint spin around Clonmel. That's fast running!
The first-round action will throw up some new big names but we'll hazard a few which might prove to be a bit special: Droopys Who, Judicial Brae, Pennys Wazowski, Cahir Castle, Coolavanny Mason, Surprise Vote, Droopys Hobart, Pennys Gizmo, Sober Call, Soundofthesea and Barefoot Boss.
Next weekend the Islandbridge Sprint and the DGOBA Dublin Cup will start at Harold's Cross but tonight's meeting will be an all-graded affair with the finals of two 570 yard competitions topping the bill.
In last week's semi-finals the best run was produced in the A4 570 when the Fraser Black trained Droopys Toulon (8.55) opened his account at the eighth attempt with a 31.63 run. He should be well suited to the six box this evening and is awarded a strong vote to confirm his superiority over Ascot Harry.
The A2 final is the following race and here Tommy Bolton's Brae Blackie (9.10) will be attempting to repeat last week's last-stride victory over Lapari Girl. Youre Some Diva also comes into the reckoning but Brae Blackie may manage the repeat.
Another Fraser Black runner worth considering is Bale Lad (9.55), which ran well when beaten by Brae Blackie last time out and is well drawn.