Boylesports Derby entry heading for the 120 mark
Entries for the BoyleSports Irish Derby will close at the end of racing at Shelbourne Park tonight and it is hoped that the final number of entries will be in the region of 120.
There were 60 entries in the book early yesterday afternoon but these did not include any from leading trainers Graham Holland, Paul Hennessy, Owen McKenna and Pat Buckley and they could account for up to 35 runners between them.
Declan Carey adopted the role of tallyman and predicted that the final entry will be 120 which would mean 20 heats between Thursday and Saturday nights.
The draw will be made at 11am on Monday and will be streamed live on www.igb.ie/derby-draw-feed.
While the commencement of the classic is just five days away - next Thursday night - there will be a number of potential Derby contenders in action at headquarters tonight.
There will be particular interest in Pat Buckley's flying young bitch Droopys Smasher (10.27), which has created a huge impact in her short career, with her finishing burst a real feature.
Despite her tender years she is well capable of making a major impact in the Derby and can enhance her prospects by winning this tricky contest in which the likes of Holycross Leah, Swords Ace, Sidarian Pearl and Boylesports Duke are among her rivals.
The major event on the tracks tonight is the Connolly's Red Mills Unraced Stake and the semi-finals will be run at Curraheen Park. There was some very interesting racing in the first round last week and we can expect a few of the contenders to make a special impact this time.
Fastest first round winner was Holland's Sidarian Dino (8.50) which was well back in the early stages but ran on extremely well to grab a neck verdict over Sober Spark in 28.69.
If he improves his early running then he could be exceptional and he is made the night's banker in the first heat where he can lead home Redzer Rocco and Coolavanny Pet.
The second heat looks very tricky and it might be worth taking a chance on the Spillane/ Fennelly representative Burgess Dubh (9.05) which was noted finishing like an express last time. He can get the better of Sober Spark and Drive On Tipp.
Tralee will host the second round of the Supporters' Club Rose of Tralee and the fastest first round winner Hollies Rainbow (8.44) goes up in the opening heat. He should prove too strong for Killahas Max and company.
The clash of Boxer Impact, Mad About Eva and Crossfield Carey (8.59) in the final heat should be a thriller while Millridge Puzzle (9.14) and Headleys Vic (9.29) are also worth noting.