Roddick targets Derby after stunning win
Pat Buckley won the RFS English Puppy Derby for a second year on the bounce at Wimbledon on Tuesday and then left his hosts in no doubt that he also plans on winning the 2016 William Hill English Derby.
Immediate bookmaker reaction to Droopys Roddick's sensational victory was to install him as the 33-1 favourite for the Derby but he was almost immediately cut to 16-1 after some instant support. It is an extremely short price for a dog winning an event that won't be completed until the first Saturday in June but Droopys Roddick was splendidly impressive as he destroyed his Tuesday rivals with an exhibition of all-round power and pace.
He eventually won by eight and a half lengths in a stunning time of 27.97 and Buckley insisted that would be the dog's last action of 2015.
"That's it for this year now. He is a very young dog and we will give him a total break but we will have him tuned for the English and Irish Derbys next year. They will be his big targets," he said.
"We will be aiming all our dogs at the two Derbys next year. Unfortunately we couldn't run our other dog, Droopys Nine, on Tuesday night in the final. He got a corn in his foot and we brought him to Wimbledon and showed it to the vets who agreed with our decision not to run him. He is a nice dog also."
The Cappawhite trainer had won the event last year with Lenson Sanchez and he went on to win the BIF Night of Stars 550 at Shelbourne. His career appeared to be over when he cracked a hock but he was given four months to recover and the trainer has him ready to defend his BIF crown on Saturday night.
"He appears to be in great form and I would be hoping for a really good run from him."
Night of Stars card
A by-product of the fantastic card on offer on Saturday for the Night of Stars meeting is the quality of the programmes last weekend and again tonight at Shelbourne. We have 11 quality races this evening and the card looks as good as many Saturday cards do during the year.
An early banker for punters will be Peter Cronin's Imperial Express (8.13) in the first of the two A3 finals. He was quite spectacular last week as he shot clear early and came home a decisive winner of his heat in 28.34. Barring an accident at traps, he should win again.
Tom Buggy's Kilgraney Forty (8.34) looks good enough for the open sprint while Graham Holland's Going To Work (8.58) can use the inside draw to beat the likes of Farloe Cody and Skywalker Leaf in a hot open.
Paul Hennessy can also be on the mark with young stars Barefoot Ruler (9.13) and Budgie Power (9.43).