Friday 21 July 2017

Three Irish can make English Derby final

The strong favourites will be Graham Holland’s Clares Rocket and PJ Fahy’s Tyrur Shay. (stock photo)
The strong favourites will be Graham Holland’s Clares Rocket and PJ Fahy’s Tyrur Shay. (stock photo)
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

By virtue of Ireland's four survivors being all drawn together in the second semi-final it at least guarantees that we will have one qualifier for next week's final of the Star Sports English Derby at Towcester.

But the reality is that, barring bad luck, we could well have three runners in the final. Indeed, if things go according to plan this evening, then the Irish dogs will dominate the betting on the final of the £175,000 classic.

They all clash in the second semi and the strong favourites will be Graham Holland's Clares Rocket and PJ Fahy's Tyrur Shay. Our two other runners Swithins Brae and Coolavanny Mason will be next in the betting.

It is a difficult one to call but the inside draw could see Clares Rocket grabbing an early advantage and it would be difficult for Tyrur to overhaul him.

The other semi is a wide open affair but the Irish-owned Hiya Butt can make a second Derby final by taking the first bend. Forest Con and Bruisers Bullet could be the other qualifiers.

The Irish Independent Irish Laurels gets under way at Curraheen Park and Clonbrien Hero can justify his position as ante-post favourite by leading all the way. The BIF Produce Stakes winner could well give the track record a shaking.

His kennel companion Skywalker Manner is the defending champion and, while he may be in need of the outing, he can lead home Jaytee President and Rosstemple Brae in the second qualifier.

It is a big night for the greyhound industry with Saturday night racing returning to Shelbourne Park. There has been no Saturday meeting at headquarters since the end of February and its return will make a huge impact. Cahir Castle can be the night's banker in the finale.

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