Wednesday 29 January 2020

'Chimes' to strike right note in derby

Michael Fortune

A hectic month at Shelbourne Park will get under way this evening with the opening session of the 2017 BoyleSports Irish Derby.

It promises to be a memorable occasion as the track will belatedly celebrate its 90th anniversary as well as hosting ten heats of the premier classic.

The Derby will get off to a flying start with six of the seven market leaders all in action and most interest will centre on the performance of Graham Holland's star tracker Clares Rocket in Heat 7.

He has recovered well from his Towcester exertions and will be on offer at very prohibitive odds to make a winning start in a race where Coolavanny Mason and Inky Holdem appear to be the major rivals. There are a number of likely red-hot favourites this evening, such as Tyrur Harold, Dorotas Wildcat and Whoops Jack. All three should win but there will be more realistic odds available about a few other fancies.

The Johnny O'Sullivan-trained Native Chimes can set a strong pace in the opening heat, while the Pat Guilfoyle-handled Good News gets the nod to turn over the hotly-fancied Sonic in Heat 2. Then Holland's Clonbrien Hero looks good in Heat 5.

There are two withdrawals from the first round. Dumas misses Heat 6 tonight, while Away Jet will not take his place in Heat 18 on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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