Wednesday 21 February 2018

Mind The Net can score for hurling fans

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

There was again a large attendance at Shelbourne for the start of the second round at the Irish Derby on Thursday and it should be much bigger this evening when the visiting Cork and Tipperary hurling followers will swell the gate.

They have plenty to keep them on their toes with many top contenders in action.

Appropriately enough, one of the leading lights, Mind The Net (8.10), will set it all in motion in the opening Heat 9, where he renews rivalry with Droopys Ward, which finished in front of him in the English Derby final.

If Mind The Net can repeat last week's quick start then he will be well out of 
Droopys Ward's way and can race to another impressive victory.

The youthful Droopys Nidge (8.25) didn't impress everybody last week but this is a talented youngster and we can see a different dog now.

His trainer Robert Gleeson is happy with him and with a smart start he should bid farewell to Borneo and the Irish Independent competition dog Razldazl Al.

Don't be surprised if it's a veterans' night, with both Kereight King (8.55) and Ballymac Vic (9.55) nominated to win.

Kereight King diced with potential elimination last week but he rallied well to finish second behind Paradise Maverik.

He charged the traps but he can get the start right this time and lead all from Clares Wonder and Green Prince.

What more can we say about the great old Ballymac Vic, which recently won the Champion Stakes and can follow up in Heat 16?

What's more, another veteran Tyrur Sugar Ray (8.40) can again roll back the years despite a difficult draw.

In the other heats we'll go with Lenson Sanchez (9.10), Fiery Splendour (9.25) and Shopping Basket (9.40). The Pick 4 will be guaranteed to €4,000.

Quick Foxtrot

Winning his 14th race, the James Roche-trained Ballyana Foxtrot produced the fastest time of this year's Derby when taking Heat 2 on Thursday in 29.39. He raced clear around the bend and won by two and a half lengths from El Flutter.

Pat Buckley brought his tally of heat winners in the Derby to five when Kippers Usain in 29.83 and Paradise Maverik in 29.59 followed 
up their first-round successes.

There was an impressive 29.54 run from Ollie Bray's Kisses For Cloda as he beat Emers Superstar, while the shock of the night was the 20-1 victory of Pat Cocoman's Fordeflag in 29.79.

Which Champ?

The final of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup will be run at Dundalk tomorrow (7.00) and it can develop into a match between Crown Champ and Crokers Champ.

The trap draw indicates a potential victory for Aidan McVeigh's Crown Champ (8.45) but Crokers won't be easily beaten.

Irish Independent

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