Mind The Net can land Derby for Buckley
We have to go back to 2008 for the last time that an Irish- trained dog won the English Derby.
The winner then was Loyal Honcho, trained by the late Seamus Graham. Hopefully, the gap will be plugged at Wimbledon tonight when Pat Buckley's trained Mind The Net and Peter Cronin's Crokers Champ chase the £200,000 prize in the William Hill sponsored classic.
A year ago I said it would be amazing if an Irish dog failed to collect, but Droopys Jet and Ballymac Vic were very unlucky.
Surely fate cannot be so cruel again and one of our runners will race to glory.
There can be no doubt that Mind The Net and Crokers Champ are the two best dogs in the final. They should dominate and the likely scenario is that Crokers Champ can lead into the back, but with Mind The Net breathing down his quarters.
From there one would anticipate a winning surge from Mind The Net. However, Crokers Champ won't be as easily picked up this time as he was last week.
Both trainers report their charges in cracking form. There is a strong Irish connection with Kincraig Rory, which goes from five and he has the early pace to put a little spanner in the works, but the big finishing duo of Salad Dodger and Droopys Ward will surely require outside assistance to get a clear run.
There will be a huge Irish presence this evening and they can celebrate into next week but which camp will it be? Marginal preference is for Mind The Net (9.08), but I am equally sure that Crokers Champ will not be easily overhauled.
Patrons at the Irish tracks this evening will have a real feast of racing with the action from Shelbourne and Curraheen Park on Inter Track as well as the TV coverage of the Derby from London.
Shelbourne racegoers have a really top class card, with the six heats of the Irish Oaks and the two semi-finals of the ECC Timber Champion Puppy Stake.
For many, the reappearance of super puppy Droopys Nidge (10.10) in the semi-finals of the ECC Timber will be the night's highlight. He looked a real champion last week and any improvement on his 28.08 clock would immediately put him into the superstar category.
The other semi should go to Graham Holland's Elevenerife but caution is advised given the presence of the flying Tyrur Supermac (9.55) and the latter could well be the value bet.
In the Oaks the fastest first round winner Shes A Terror (8.10) can win the second heat and enhance her position as favourite to land the classic. Others worth noting are Borna Gem (9.15) and Jaytee China (9.25).
Shes A Terror 8.10 Shelbourne
Mind The Net 9.08 Wimbledon
Jaytee China 9.25 Shelbourne
Tyrur Supermac 9.55 Shelbourne
ENGLISH DERBY FINAL MEETING
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