'Mason' A heat winner in Scottish Derby
While four Irish-trained dogs qualified for next Saturday's Scottish Derby semi-finals, just one managed to win his heat at Shawfield on Saturday, writes Michael Fortune.
Coolavanny Mason, which is trained by Pat Buckley, turned in an impressive effort when coming from behind Droopys Five to win by three parts of a length in 29.09.
Most of the Irish made a mess of the start and our other three qualifiers for next week were Good News, Farloe Falcon and Grangeview Puma. Droopys Buick broke his own track record when a narrow winner from Dorotas Woo Hoo in 28.60.
It will be a highly unusual occasion in the final of the quickPark.ie Limerick Oaks next Saturday when two trainers, Liam Dowling and Graham Holland will be responsible for all six runners.
Dowling won the first heat with Ballymac Belle in 28.63 while kennel companion Ballymac Scala was third and they were split by Holland's Slippery Louse.
The second heat saw Holland supply the first and third in Ardrahan Zindi and Slippery Thelma, while the runner-up was Dowling's Ballymac Sarahjo.
It was a big night for Dowling as his Coolavanny Pet flew around Curraheen in 28.21 in winning her first round heat in the Riverside Oscar Stake.
Fastest winner, though, with a time of 28.20 was Gerry Holian's Beannacht Tadhg as he was too strong at the finish for Kilgraney Ace and won by three lengths.
Irish-trained dogs again starred at the English Derby trial session at Towcester with Clares Rocket going under the record as he won in 28.94, while Sab Miller did 29.07 and both Priceless Brandy and Drive On Tipp 29.10 each.