Dog Chat: Ruth and Marks hold powerful hand for Derby shot
Published 17/05/2011 | 05:00
Fortune is smiling on trainer Dolores Ruth and breeder/part owner Liam Marks.
Not alone can they bask in the glory of successive major feature successes at Shelbourne with Makeshift and Kingo, but there's the added bonus of having three of the top five in the Williamhill.com English Derby.
The Ruth-trained, Marks-bred superdogs are all the produce of the brilliant dam Razldazl Pearl. Already the older Makeshift has won the Easter Cup at Shelbourne to add to his Champion Stakes crown, which he collected last year.
Younger half-brother Razldazl George was only beaten a short head in that Easter Cup decider and then the latter's litter brother Kingo won Saturday's Hegarty Bookmakers 600 at Shelbourne.
Meanwhile, Makeshift and Razldazl George won their heats of the English Derby on Friday when George's litter brother Razldazl Jayfkay was the fastest qualifier and stands at the top of the betting lists at 6/1.
It is a phenomenal achievement and they can just hope that their good luck remains until after June 11, when the final will be run at Wimbledon.
On the home front, this week the main focus will be on the Lee Strand 550 at Tralee and the Red Mills Champion Unraced at Kilkenny, with both events taking place on Friday.
The Lee Strand is developing into a fascinating competition, with Des Kiely's Shaneboy Fantasy providing further evidence that he could become a new superstar of the track.
The son of Premier Fantasy had clocked a sizzling 29.67 in the first round in just the second race of his career and he shone brightly in the second round too when powering home in 29.71.
We will learn much more about him after Friday's third-round heat, where he has some very nifty rivals in fellow heat winners Rattling Yank, Movealong Rover, Dromulton Glory and Coolemore Rocket.
The first semi-final of the Unraced at Kilkenny will bring together the highly rated Droopys Cher, Martinstown Snow, Kilara Rocky and the recently sold Boherna Hawk.