Derby raid hopes take dive as Vic ruled out
Irish prospects of winning the English Derby suffered a blow yesterday with the news that Ballymac Vic has been withdrawn from the Classic.
The dog sustained a groin injury in the first round when he faded to finish second and it has not responded to treatment.
Liam Dowling had returned to Ireland as planned after the first round but when the dog was still no better yesterday he had no option but to cry halt. It means the Irish representation is now down to 21 dogs going into the second round.
While rumours as to the identity of the new Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Greyhound Board are sweeping the country, I understand that the official appointment is likely to be made next week.
Interviews for the position have been in progress for some weeks with the list reduced to the final three. The final decision of the selection panel will have to be put before the Irish Greyhound Board at its meeting on Monday next and no official appointment will be made prior to that meeting.
Meanwhile, news from the tracks is that the brilliant Paradise Madison is set to return to action at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
Dave Buckley yesterday confirmed that the dog will be running in an AAO 550 and will be using this race in a build-up capacity to the Dundalk International which will be staged on July 12.
Paradise Madison has mated some 50 bitches and has been patronised by some really top-class females. However, Buckley and fellow owner Sean Meade are obviously keen to have a crack at the Boylesports Irish Derby with the dog.
He missed the Gain 600 due to a slight problem and it is hoped his interrupted career can resume from Saturday with no further hiccups.
Tee Jay Out
Ardfert Tee Jay, favourite to win the Lee Strand 550, will not run in tomorrow's semi-finals due to injury.
Owned by Noel and Adrian Clifford, Ardfert Tee Jay had been impressive in the early rounds and ran a blinder when third after bad traffic problems in the quarter-final. However he emerged with an injury and won't be able to take his place.
The first semi-final will now be a five-runner affair with trap six vacant. In his absence Vanfrankie and Movealong Sonny might be the big two in this contest.
The new favourite for the Lee Strand is the Pat Buckley trained Always With Me which goes from the five box in the second semi. She, too, was beaten in the semis after missing the kick and she has a tough draw with the impressive duo of Soviet Kenny and Hooverville drawn on her inside and the massively built Mr Outback on her outer in six.
At Shelbourne tonight, Graham Holland's House Of Fun (10.0) looks as though he would appreciate 600 yards and he has his opportunity in this A3 semi-final. PJ Fahy can have a boost via Tyrur Lazarus (10.15) in the concluding 575.