Jet the pick of 12 Irish hopefuls in Derby action
The build-up to the William Hill English Derby is finally over and the 30-strong Irish raiding party will swing into action at Wimbledon this evening when we will get an early chance to assess the prospects of our two joint-favourites Jaytee Jet and Droopys Roddick.
There will be 12 Irish-trained runners this evening and we know in advance that we will lose one fancied contender with Jaytee Jet (8.26), Farloe Joey and Toolmaker Scot all involved in Heat 5, one of those dreaded contests with just two to qualify for the next round.
These are three serious racers but I have to side with the Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Jet, my outright Derby fancy for some time.
He is well drawn and looks well capable of improving on his impressive 28.32 trial time. Question is, can Robert Gleeson’s Toolmaker Scot hold on for second ahead of Owen McKenna’s Farloe Joey?
Three races later Pat Buckley’s Droopys Roddick (9.15) contests Heat 8 and he looks real banker material. Clondoty Alex looks the main danger.
Jaytee Jet’s litter brother Jaytee Dutch (8.58) has had an interrupted preparation and was only confirmed a runner late last week. But a smart trial at Shelbourne on Saturday should have him ready and he is nominated to win from Lenson Santi.
Buckley can go on to complete a double in Heat 12 where Lenson Panda (10.18) can put his early pace to good effect and he can hold the likely late challenge of Fraser Black’s Droopys Awesome.
Other Irish trained runners with winning prospects are Peter Cronin’s Imperial Express (7.25), Hennessy’s Mucho Macho Man (9.48) and Joe Hurley’s Blue Cafu (10.03).
All the action in the first few rounds can be followed live on RPGTV (Sky 468) and will then switch to Sky for the concluding rounds.
We have a ten-race card at Shelbourne where the James McCrea-owned Quinton Abu (8.28) is the banker of the night. The 575 trip looks tailor-made for his style.
Tom and Marcella Clyne have a great record on their raids from Roscommon and their Clydal Rocky (9.13) brings a terrific record into the S1 sixth race. Winner of nine of his 20 races, he was impressive last time when beating Ballymac Noble and can get the better of Lord Kilgraney now.
The semi-finals of the Droopys Stud April Stakes will be run at Enniscorthy this evening and the Noel Walker-trained Faypoint Rush (9.30) will be bidding to extend his unbeaten run in the competition.
He is a banker in the second heat on the strength of his 28.78 and 28.80 runs in the previous rounds.
Ned Freeman’s Stripe Mary (9.15) has the inside draw to land the first heat where Corra Octane and Monamolin Tank are dangers.