Saturday 16 December 2017

Rocket and Shay cement derby status

Clares Rocket, unbeaten in the Classic, gave a masterly performance. Photo: Sportsfile
Clares Rocket, unbeaten in the Classic, gave a masterly performance. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Clares Rocket and Tyrur Shay maintained their domination of the English Derby when they claimed the first two places in Saturday's second semi-final of the Classic at Towcester.

Both dogs ran heroically as Graham Holland's Clares Rocket won in a brilliant 28.83 by two lengths from PJ Fahy's fast-finishing Tyrur Shay. They now are the 5/4 and 2/1 market leaders respectively for next Saturday's final.

Clares Rocket, unbeaten in the Classic, gave a masterly performance as he flew out of the inside trap and was never troubled. Tyrur Shay came from fifth place early to take second.

The Irish-owned Hiya Butt won the first semi-final for Welsh-based trainer Hayley Keightley, with his early pace settling the race as he won from Droopys Acrobat and Murrys Act.

The draw for the final is: 1 Hiya Butt, 2 Droopys Acrobat, 3 Clares Rocket, 4 Astute Missile, 5 Tyrur Shay (m), 6 Murrys Act (w).

Paul Hennessy had a great treble in the first round of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels with Jaytee Dutch, Away Jet and Priceless Gem all obliging, while Tom Buggy had a flying double with Kilgraney Ace and Kilgraney Denver.

Fastest of the night was Cosy Socks in 28.26.

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