Friday 22 September 2017

Timber House can catch fire and end long Derby wait for O'Donovan

Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Hopes are high that the National Meeting can be completed at Clonmel tomorrow, with the final day's action set to proceed six days later than planned.

Reports from the course yesterday were favourable and no frost is forecast in the meantime. So, it would look as though the 2015 classics will be decided by mid-afternoon tomorrow.

Reflecting on the action as we left it last Monday lunchtime, three trainers are doubly represented in the Boylesports.com Derby last eight - Michael O'Donovan, Gerry Holian and Dan Brassil - while Marie Field and Kathleen Murphy have a runner apiece.

Tipperary Town-based O'Donovan has a really strong hand and many shrewd judges reckon his Timber House is the best dog they have seen at Powerstown in years.

He goes in the last of the buckles and will be strongly fancied to go all the way.

O'Donovan's other runner, Portane All In faces Kyle Bruce in the second quarter final.

Opinion

There is a body of opinion that Kyle will benefit from the week's break but it would be no surprise at all should the two O'Donovan runners divide the final.

One way or another we expect O'Donovan to finally win the Derby after years of bad luck in the event, with Timber House looking an outstanding candidate.

Pat Curtin appeared to have the Greyhound & Pet World Oaks wrapped up with Breska Lantern until she broke a leg in the third round when clear. Curtin has Windfarm Ivy still running in the bitch classic and it would be no surprise if she lands the classic for the 'Dandelion Man'.

Sharing top of the market with Windfarm in the Oaks is the O'Donovan-trained Manntan Magic but this pair could well come face to face in the semis. Leigh Snowie may be best at the top of the draw.

Vale View Flyer and Fire Height Una look potential winners of the two Champion Stakes events. Fingal Master is the favourite for the dog event but Vale View has the ability to take this prize.

In the Champion Bitch Stakes, the mantle of favouritism rests on Fire Height Una and it can be spot on.

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