Veteran Jaytee Jet still a lively sort
The BoyleSports Irish Derby got off to a sensational start at Shelbourne Park on Thursday when kennel companions Sonic and Clares Rocket went within a few spots of the track record time of 29.10.
It will be the turn of the remaining 59 contenders to take up the challenge this evening in the second session of the first round. It would be asking a bit much for any of tonight's runners to repeat those 29.12 and 29.16 runs but we can expect some very useful performances.
Paul Hennessy could be the man to follow and he has a number of formidable runners this evening. Chief among them, of course, is the great veteran Jaytee Jet which is defying his age by still holding his own in the best of company.
Last time out Jaytee Jet got up late to beat the English tracker Bubbly Bluebird in the Dundalk International and a trap six draw will see him the one to beat in Heat 15. He has very serious rivals like Cometwopass, Calico Brandy and Pension Plan but the Jet can show them the way home.
Hennessy's Jaytee Yankee comes into the classic on the back of an impressive Champion Stakes success and he will need to repeat that form in Heat 11 where Ian Reilly's Burnt Beans leads the opposition. It should be quite a battle to the bend. Despite a poor draw Barefoot Painter can be another for the Kilkenny trainer in Heat 13.
Mooncoin-based handler Peter Cronin has a real chance of a big double with the well-drawn pair Swithins Brae in Heat 16 and Sab Miller in Heat 19. Others worth support can be Graham Holland's Drive On Tipp,Tom Buggy's Kilgraney Denver and Ger Kiely's Airmount Tess.