Eight Irish in hunt for Scottish Derby glory
Even though Jaytee Dutch had to be withdrawn prior to the draw due to a slight injury problem, there will be a strong Irish team of eight dogs contesting the first round of the RPGTV Scottish Derby at Shawfield on Saturday.
Jaytee Dutch sustained a slight shoulder injury problem in his fast trial at Shelbourne on Saturday and connections decided not to risk aggravating the injury with the English Derby ahead of him.
But trainer Paul Hennessy will still be doubly represented in the classic which he has won three times as he still has Jaytee Valencia and Mucho Macho Man in the classic.
The draw for the first round was made live on RPGTV and generally the Irish runners have fared pretty well.
Jaytee Valencia will meet Boylesports Irish Derby winner Ballymac Matt in Heat 3, while Mucho Macho Man is the only Irish runner in Heat 6.
First Irish dog in action will be Joe Hurley’s Blue Cafu and he is opposed by Eden The Kid in the first heat, while Francie Murray’s Fair Taxes and Rachel Wheeler’s Cunning Barney clash in Heat 2.
There is another high-profile Irish clash in Heat 4 with Brendan Matthews’ Cable Bay and Pat O’Brien’s Peregrine Falcon going head to head, while the other Irish runner is another Matthews charge, Leave At Dawn in Heat 5.
All heats will be shown live on RPGTV (Sky 368).
It’s only a few years since tracks began to open their gates for racing on Good Friday but now it is the common thing and we have the addition this year of an extra meeting in Dublin with Shelbourne staging an early evening meeting, followed later by Harold’s Cross.
The Shelbourne meeting will comprise just seven races with the first going off at 5.0 but it promises to be an interesting gathering.
Full facilities will be available and soccer legend Tony Cascarino will be present during racing and then for the duration of the Ireland v Switzerland game which will be shown live from the Aviva Stadium. Cascarino will conduct a Q&A session and will also be available for photographs. Doors will open at Shelbourne at 3.30.
The Friday meeting means that Shelbourne will race on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and tonight’s card is just an eight-runner affair with racing over a variety of distances.
A regular visitor to the track is Donal O’Mahony from Millstreet and he has quite a good strike rate on his visits.
O’Mahony’s Millridge prefix can be prominent this evening with Millridge Messie (8.32) drawn ideally in trap one to win the S1 third contest. Two races later Millridge Eagle (9.16) also goes from one and may just see off Tomas O Murchu’s Poor Paudie in the final of the S1/2 350.