Buckley eyes Cross bid for new inmate Panda
Barnfield Panda, which has been the star performer in the first two rounds of the Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge, has changed hands and is now under the guidance of trainer Pat Buckley.
The son of Taylors Sky and Bellers Beauty has won the opening two rounds of the €8,000-to-the-winner competition for owner Tomas Leahy and trainer Kieran Lynch.
But he has been purchased by Martin Murray and is already settling into the Buckley kennels in advance of Friday's first semi-final at the Co Kildare venue.
Buckley confirmed the news of the dog's arrival and also reported that the September '13 puppy will be going straight for the Dublin Coach Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross once his participation in the Newbridge event is completed.
Barnfield Panda clocked an excellent 28.44 when winning from Water Fern on Friday while the other heats were won by Peter Comerford and Tony Moore's litter comrades Bittersweet in 28.85 and Black Alder in 28.94.
Water Fern, incidentally, is also owned by the Comerford/Moore team and so they have three lively representatives in the semis, all comrades by Zero Ten ex Allen Harbour.
Jack must be fancied
Shelbourne Park is not all about the Derby just now and tonight's ten-race graded card features a number of younger dogs capable of climbing through the ranks in the coming months.
Best bets could figure in the early part of the card with Must Be Jack (8.15) being the stand-out bet in the final of the A3 525. Trained by Peter Cronin for Martin Lappin and Larry O'Shea, he really impressed last week when walking out of traps in the semi-final before unleashing a huge burst of pace down the back to gain an eight-length win in 28.62.
The other heat was won by Cyril Mulcahy's Tenacious Tommy in 29.11 and it is difficult to see Must Be Jack failing to win from trap two.
In the final of an A5 stake the Francie Murray/Howard Wallace team can strike with Memo (8.30) which also flew down the back when winning in 28.62 and she can prove too good for the interesting Highview Kitty.
Mike on easy list
The Murt Leahy-trained Ballybough Mike, which only just missed out on a place in the quarter finals of the BoyleSports Irish Derby last Saturday, will be on the easy list for at least a month.
Ballybough Mike was beaten a short head for the third qualifying spot by Dolcino Flyer but was lame on Sunday and the dog has torn a shoulder muscle which will necessitate at least a month on the sidelines.