Roddick tops market after Rocket withdrawn
Betting on the Boylesports Irish Derby was thrown into turmoil yesterday with the news that ante-post favourite Clares Rocket has been withdrawn from the classic.
The Graham Holland-trained flying machine had been reported as being "a bit stiff" by his trainer on Sunday following his shock defeat in the first round on Saturday at Shelbourne.
That "stiffness" had developed into problems with his wrist and shoulder, and connections made an instant decision to withdraw him from the classic.
Joe Cahill, a member of the Full House Syndicate, explained: "He is only a young dog with a lot of racing ahead of him and if we keep going in the Derby it might finish him. There are a lot of targets out there for him next year, and we would hope he will be okay for the Night of Stars in November."
Holland confirmed this report, saying: "He is sore on the shoulder and on a wrist and there was no way we were going to risk the dog. He'll be fine for the future but we are going to rest him now. Hopefully he will be okay for the Night of Stars but we won't be rushing him."
Also withdrawn from the second round of the Derby were Kilgraney June and Crohane Ronnie due to injury; this will mean three five-dog heats on Saturday night.
As a result of the withdrawals the new favourite for the Derby is the Pat Buckley-trained Droopys Roddick, which already this year has won the Kirby Memorial at Limerick and the Marshes International at Dundalk - he was only just touched off by compatriot Jaytee Jet in the final of the English Derby.
Roddick has been cut to 5/1 while his English Derby conqueror Jaytee Jet is available at more than double those odds as Paddy Power have him on the 14/1 mark.
The leading available prices are: 5 Droopys Roddick, 10 Laughil Duke, Ballymac Matt, 12 Ballydoyle Honey, 14 Jaytee Jet, 16 Droopys Smasher, 20 Milldean Puma, Skywalker Rory, 25 bar.
Rathangan-based trainer Robert Gleeson celebrated a 1-2 in the final of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk on Sunday evening as Ballymac Bigmike led home kennel companion Toolmaker Scot in a brilliant 21.01.
Ballymac Bigmike further enhanced his huge reputation when breaking fast from the outside box and winning by two and a quarter lengths from strong-finishing Toolmaker Scot.