Gaytime Hawk sets down big Derby marker
The organisers couldn't have hoped for a better line-up for the BoyleSports Irish Derby final at Shelbourne Park next Saturday after the main fancies virtually all made it through from two very exciting semi-finals.
Fastest for the second week in a row was the Graham Holland-trained Gaytime Hawk which flew around the 550-yard circuit in 29.41 and can now boast of the two fastest times in the classic.
Once again, it was a most emphatic performance as he emerged in front from the inside trap and led up by a length from Farloe Rumble and Tyrur Tommy.
Gaytime continued to lead by at least a length down the back, with a huge battle ensuing in behind. Farloe Rumble and Tyrur Tommy were still inseparable around the third bend but as they swung towards home Farloe asserted his authority and Cable Bay was challenging Tyrur for the third spot.
Gaytime Hawk accelerated up the straight to have two-and-a-half lengths in hand at the line over Farloe Rumble and he had a length to spare over strong-finishing Cable Bay in third.
The three favourites dominated the second qualifier. Ballymac Matt and Farloe Blitz hit the ground virtually together but Farloe then unleashed his stunning early pace to lead by a length-and-a-half into the bend while Peregrine Falcon was just in behind in third.
Farloe Blitz then produced his trademark middle pace as he opened up a lead of three-and-a-half lengths as he raced into the back.
But Ballymac Matt was now hitting top gear and Liam Dowling's dog was just a length-and-a-half adrift at the third bend.
He had to move wide to challenge off the final bend and he closed gradually to the line where Farloe Blitz was three parts of a length in front in 29.54. Peregrine Falcon was three-and-a-half lengths back in third.
Owen McKenna and Paul Ellis were hugely disappointed after Farloe Blitz failed to justify favouritism in the English Derby final in late June.
Now, less than three months later, they have two runners in the final of the Irish Derby and the same Farloe Blitz is quoted the 5/4 favourite to lift the €125,000 prize.
Final trap draw
1 Farloe Blitz 5/4
2 Cable Bay 4/1
3 Ballymac Matt 7/2
4 Peregrine Falcon 8/1
5 Gaytime Hawk 4/1
6 Farloe Rumble 20/1