Monday 20 January 2020

Ballydoyle tops limited Derby Plate entry

'The major name in the Plate is super bitch Ballydoyle Honey.' Stock photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
'The major name in the Plate is super bitch Ballydoyle Honey.' Stock photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Fortune

The Boylesports Irish Derby is dominating the racing scene at the moment but there is plenty more top action on the tracks nationwide.

The Derby Plate caters for the dogs knocked out in the first two rounds of the classic and it kicks off tomorrow night at Shelbourne. Disappointingly, it has attracted just 18 entries, so we will have four qualifying from each of the heats.

The major name in the Plate is super bitch Ballydoyle Honey, which lost out on her classic hopes in the second round but will be a strong fancy to win this "consolation".

Among the other leading fancies for the event are Coolykereen Jack, Bull Marker, Keplar Nine and Hovex Blaze.

As the result of a smaller than anticipated entry, the final of the Plate will be run on Derby semi-final night and will also be shown live on TV. It also, of course, frees up the finalists to be entered for a race on the Derby final card!

Also starting this weekend is the Noel Ryan Tree Surgeon Munster Oaks at Waterford, and the word from Daniel Creech yesterday was that there is a high class entry with 26 names in the book; the draw is to be made at 2.0 today.

Some of the major names chasing the prize of €5,000 are the Graham Holland trio of Skywalker Rossa, Skywalker Pearl and Mullacha Psycho, Ger Kiely's Airmount Tess, Rachel Wheeler's High St Jesse, Jennifer O'Donnell's Mountaylor Queen, Willie Finn's Genuine Pearl, Sean Dunphy's Bar The Sizzler and Liam Dowling's Ballymac Scala.

Hot Evita

There will be the now-standard nine-race card at Shelbourne tonight, when the major fancy will be the Gary Loughnane-owned Tyra Evita (9.15) in the final of the A2 525.

The daughter of Head Bound is lightly raced and stepped up on previous form when a runaway semi-final winner a week ago in 29.15.

What really impressed then was her flying early pace and she was lengths clear by the first bend. A repeat of that start will see her lead home Beauliege and Highview Denny.

Another worth supporting this evening is Drumsna Rebel (10.0) in the concluding A2. He is owned by Pat and Pauline Quinn and clearly has the ability to win this contest. He is capable of winning from the front or behind and could be an ideal "getting out bet".

Kilkenny's Langon Hotel Derby will start on Friday week. This is a 48-dog event for A1/2 class and carries a winner's prize of €5,000.

Also coming up shortly is the Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby at Harold's Cross which starts on September 16.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport