Irish trio can make Wimbledon Puppy final
There will be a big Irish flavour at Wimbledon tonight when three Irish runners contest the semi-finals of the RFS Puppy Derby. For Pat Buckley, it will be a case of bidding for the double as he won last year's event with Lenson Sanchez.
Buckley had two runners in last year's final with Lenson taking the top money while Ballymac Gordi was in the wars when fifth. The Cappawhite handler has both Droopys Roddick and Droopys Nine in the second semi and they will be fancied to grab the two qualifying places on offer.
Early-paced Droopys Nine led home Droopys Roddick in the final of the Future Champion at Enniscorthy just five days before they contested the Wimbledon first round. Not surprisingly, both dogs missed the start on their first run from the Wimbledon traps and, by right, they would need another few runs to fully get the feel of them. But we can expect Droopys Nine to lead and Droopys Roddick to be absolutely flying in behind. I suspect that Droopys Roddick (8.58) is the better of the two Irish dogs and he gets the vote to lead home his kennel companion.
John Tuohy is the other Irish trainer involved and his Trade Freddie contests the third heat. On paper, it looks a much more difficult race with no fewer than three heat winners in opposition but Juvenile Derby finalist Trade Freddie (9.15) posted the fastest time in the heats and he can stamp his class on proceedings to provide us with three finalists next week.
Ruler to atone
It is a pretty quiet night on the Irish tracks with no open competition in progress but there is quite an attractive programme at Kilkenny where the final of the Ballybough Mondo Stake should produce quite a contest.
Paul Hennessy's new acquisition Barefoot Ruler (9.12) was surprisingly caught by Ballydaniel Ash in the semi-final and it could be close between them again. However, Barefoot is capable of much better and a trap one draw can bring out the best. He can win from Ballydaniel and Lemon Dora.
Now trained by Tommy Bolton, Razldazl Al (9.52) can benefit from an ease in grade and a shorter trip by winning the A2 contest.
Bolton also has prospects with the consistent Yaya Two Pints (9.25) which can lead all the way if he makes a decent start.
There were a few smart trials yesterday morning at Shelbourne in advance of the Night of Stars with Fraser Black's Save The Don clocking 28.45 for the 525 yards and Brendan Maunsell's staying bitch Fire Height Amy clocking 42.08 for the 750. Black's reigning 850 champion Droopys Odyssey did 19.19 for the sprint.