Buckley doubles up for Wimbledon raid
A year ago Pat Buckley won the RFS Puppy Derby at Wimbledon with Lenson Sanchez and he will launch a two-pronged attack at the event this year when the classic kicks off on Saturday.
The two Buckley runners in the line-up will be Droopys Nine and Droopys Roddick which finished first and second in the final of Monday night's Future Champion Unraced Stake at Enniscorthy.
The trainer yesterday gave the thumbs-up for both dogs' participation after coming safely through the €5,000 final on Monday.
In that race Droopys Nine, the outsider of the pair, came out on top as his early pace saw him enjoy a six-length lead by halfway. He needed it all as the moderate-starting Droopys Roddick went into overdrive at halfway and reduced the deficit to a length at the line. Haliska Rubra was all of six-and-a-half lengths back in third.
Buckley described both as lovely young dogs. "I am running them at Wimbledon in order to get used to the track for next year but it wouldn't be fair to ask them to take on the much older dogs in the Comerford Cakes at Shelbourne," he said.
"I will be travelling tomorrow and, even though they haven't seen the track, hopefully they will get a few runs to become acquainted with the track."
There will be four Irish challengers in all for the event with John Tuohy also bringing over his two litter brothers, Trade Biscuit and Trade Freddie. Indeed, Trade Freddie will meet Droopys Roddick in the third heat.
the draw was made in Waterford yesterday for the semi-finals of the Gain Select Stakes to be run at Kilcohan Park on Saturday. The three exempted dogs added to the nine qualifiers were Shutthe Backdoor (Derby), Burgess Rumble (Laurels) and Hee Haws Sheriff (Juvenile Derby).
We have been presented with two very hot heats and the second one is a real early-paced battle with five of the six runners noted for their early pace. The quintet are Lemon Miley, Crokers Champ, Hee Haws Sheriff, Lenson Panda and Ballybough Mike while completing the line-up is the well-drawn Tynwald Rodney.
It is difficult to keep Pat Buckley out of the news and his two Paradise runners have been drawn alongside each other in the first heat. Maverik is in three with Silva on his outside in four and they are surrounded on both sides by early pace. One suspects there could be shocks in store!
News from Limerick is that Saturday's St Leger final card will have 13 races due to the demand for runners. The weigh-in will be between 6.20 and 7.0pm with the first race going off at 7.31pm. Entries are required at Shelbourne for a few runners to make up an Open 750 on Saturday.