Rocket beaten at Towcester as Cross sold
The news of the sale of Harold's Cross was the talk of the doggy world last night and it even dominated the TV show from Towcester where Clares Rocket was the star attraction.
While the rumblings are likely to continue for some time yet, surely the actual sale will speed up the return of racing at Shelbourne and may rescue the Irish Oaks which is due to commence on Saturday week.
More about that anon but Graham Holland's Clares Rocket sustained a shock defeat in a Derby Trial Stake at Towcester last night. He was very slowly away but moved up fast to go second into the bend and rode a bump on the corner. He flew the back and challenged from the third bend but failed by a length-and-a-quarter to catch Bruisers Bullet in 29.11.
Owen McKenna's Hot Trend produced an astonishing performance when winning an earlier Trial Stake at Towcester. He missed the break but railed tightly around the opening bends to hit the front before running wide on the third bend. He then checked badly on the run-in but prevailed by a short head from Dragon Overlord in 29.65 with Holland's Impressive Guy third.
Irish greyhounds have enjoyed a terrific record in the Scottish Derby and hopes are high that it can be improved on Saturday when Coolavanny Oscar and Good News contest the final at Shawfield.
Pat Buckley, who won the classic with Cabra Cool back in 2009, is very sweet on the prospects of Coolavanny Mason which has a plum trap one draw after chasing home event favourite Droopys Buick in the semi-final. Coolavanny loves an inside draw and if he leads around the corner his price of 8/1 could be massive value.
Travelling over on the same ferry from Belfast to Stranraer on Saturday will be Pat Guilfoyle who trains Good News which will be running from the four box.
It is the first occasion Guilfoyle has had a runner in the Scottish Derby and he is thrilled to be in the final. He is also hopeful of a big run and says the dog will have benefited from the two runs in the classic and is well housed in four. The two Irish dogs are likely to be challengers for the English Derby also and that event is likely to kick off on May 23 or 24, depending on the number of entries.
Meanwhile, a new racing manager has come on board at Enniscorthy with Barry Goff taking over from Michael Dempsey who has moved to pastures new. Goff is a former Wexford hurler and handball star and is settling in nicely in his new role.