Record Irish party for English Derby raid
A record entry has been received for the upcoming William Hill English Derby ahead of Sunday's opening round trap draw.
The final figure given yesterday was 273, with Ireland having a record 43-strong team.
It was always known that Ireland would have an extremely strong team, but some entries from these shores may have caught the bookies napping.
The likes of Sidarian Blaze, Farloe Blitz, Clares Wonder and Lenson Sanchez have long been expected to travel, but Liam Dowling has thrown a couple of names into the hat that could make a real impact if they eventually take their chance.
Dowling's 'Ballymac' operation has entered four greyhounds, but the inclusion of Ballymac Matt and Vulturi are of particular interest.
Ballymac Matt is one of the most promising young greyhounds in training and, following a brilliant display at Shelbourne in the past fortnight, he will attract support in the outright betting.
Vulturi was one of the most consistent dogs in Ireland in 2014.
Although lightly-raced this year, the brindle could keep qualifying if producing his best form.
The opening-round draw is set to take place on RPGTV (Channel 212 on the Sky platform) on Sunday (1.00).
With such a big number of entries, the competition will now possibly start next Wednesday.
The full list of Irish runners: Baile Mhic, Ballymac Matt, Barefoot Apollo, Barefoot Artist, Beaming Bucko, Blue Cafu, Brogan Harvey, Bruno Ya Know, Budgie Bypass, Burgess Four, Clares Wonder, Cooolavanny Jap, Crokers Champ, Deenridge Pennys, Dunghill Rocket, Farloe Blitz, Farloe Rumble, Fiery Splendour, Gaytime Hawk, Global Chariot, Go Ahead, Go Django, Hoffs Nephew, Indigojack, Ivy Hill Bart, Ivy Hill Oscar, Jaytee Dutch, Jaytee Jet, Kilara Hey Mac, Lenson Sanchez, Millbank Stevie, Paradise Maverik, Quietly, Riverside Pat, Salonika, Save The Don, Sidarian Blaze, Sidarian Vega, Tinahue Pinto, Tynwald Bish, Tynwald Rodney, Vans Viking, Vulturi.
Oaks lift- off
On this side of the Irish Sea, the eagerly anticipated Sporting Press Irish Oaks will now get under way on Saturday.
Sixty names will go into this afternoon's opening-round draw, including Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks winner and likely outright favourite, Ballydoyle Honey.
The entry includes the vast majority of Ireland's best females with one notable name representing England: Cashen Maureen, the reigning UK Oaks champion.
The June McCombe-trained starlet has already shown her love for Shelbourne Park. In her youth she finished runner-up to Sidarian Blaze in the 2013 Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake.