Rio Quattro set for tilt at big Derby double
The anti-climax of Saturday's English Derby final at Wimbledon has given way to thoughts of the forthcoming Boylesports Irish Derby, which will start on August 13 at Shelbourne - and there is encouraging news on a couple of fronts.
Firstly, English Derby winning owner/trainer Danny Riordan has not ruled out the possibility of his Wimbledon hero Rio Quattro bidding to complete the Derby double at Shelbourne, and his presence would be a huge boost for the Classic.
He would have almost as many Irish supporters as he has in Britain, as Riordan is a hugely popular figure.
When I spoke with him in on Saturday night, his response to the Derby poser was: "You'd never know, I wouldn't rule it out".
He added: "I will talk to the Dunphys and see what they think". So, that dream is still very much alive.
Meanwhile, there is further encouraging news of star Irish tracker Droopys Nidge, which was injured during the English Derby and would be one of the favourites if passed fit for the Derby challenge.
Nidge has returned to Ireland following his stint with Matt Dartnall and is back in his old kennel with Robert Gleeson.
It was initially feared that the dog might have a career-ending injury but Gleeson reports that veterinary examination in Ireland has resulted in a more upbeat report and that the dog has a muscle problem which should be okay after about four weeks' rest.
That would rule out a Champion Stakes challenge but could well keep the door open on his Irish Derby ambitions.
Nidge is owned by Willie Hyslop, who has another top dog on the injured list in Droopys Braedon. He is currently recuperating with his owner, but Gleeson is hopeful that he could also be back by the end of the year.
Danny Riordan has declined an invitation to run Rio Quattro in the Marshes Shopping Centre International at Dundalk on July 12, but two English runners have been confirmed, with Diane Henry accepting for Derby finalist Making Paper and John Mullins for the Derby Invitation winner Swift Keith.
Rab McNair, trainer of unlucky Derby third Eden The Kid, was contacted by Jim Martin yesterday and he will decide overnight on whether he will run the young dog.
Saturday's Gain 600 winner Ballymac Matt could be a runner as Liam Dowling is considering the invitation, while other entries include the Pat Buckley trio of Paradise Maverik, Paradise Silva and Lenson Sanchez, as well as Pat Gordon's Skywalker Farloe.
It is hoped to complete the field in the coming days.
So, if you feel your dog is entitled to be in there, you will need to contact Dundalk immediately!