McKenna and Cronin thrilled with Derby duo
The vibes about our two runners in Saturday’s final of the William Hill English Derby, Farloe Blitz and Tynwald Bish, are very positive and hopes are sky high that the biggest prize ever in this part of the world for a greyhound contest, £250,000, can be won by one of them.
We caught up with trainers Owen McKenna and Peter Cronin yesterday and they are delighted with the condition of their runners.
They have their different pressures. As trainer of the hot favourite, McKenna is the one under the greater pressure but he seems to be bearing up well. He will be having his third English Derby finalist following Geldrops Touch and Deerfield Sunset.
Owen is very happy with the young dog which is owned by Paul Ellis from Derry and said: “He came out of Saturday’s race well. He has been running great and we need just one more run from him.
“Thankfully, he is a laid-back type but Saturday night will be a different affair with all the noise and hullaballoo.
“We are just hoping he comes away in his usual manner and leads them. If he does, he is the dog to beat but you know what Derby finals are like.
“We know he doesn’t have to improve, it is a case that he will need to perform like he has done in all the rounds to date. If he does that, he should win.”
Tipperary native Peter Cronin is based in Mooncoin and is bidding to make amends for last year’s close call when Crokers Champ led for much of the final but was then beaten just half a length and a short head by Salad Dodger and Droopys Ward.
Crokers Champ was Cronin’s top hope this year also but was unluckily eliminated from the first round when one of the third-placed finishers to be knocked out.
Making it worse, the winner of the heat, Rio Quattro, is 5/1 joint second favourite for Saturday’s final.
Cronin was bitterly disappointed and felt like coming home.
But a few of his runners stood up and were counted, particularly Terry Corden’s Tynwald Bish and Salonika. Bish has run tremendously and appears to be staying much better than he did last year.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” Cronin says. “Gerry O’Reilly flew over and checked him out. He is in very good form and you know what Derby finals are like – you can tear up the formbook on the night.
“Owen’s dog is the best in the race and he has been foot-perfect so far.
“I have always liked him and if he is trapping to the trap he is okay but if he is breaking to the hare then he could be in trouble, it is near impossible to hear anything down at the traps with all the noise. We are going to savour it!”