Thursday 22 February 2018

Scholar top Hennessy hope for English raid

Irish trainers are planning a raid on the richest ever English Derby
Irish trainers are planning a raid on the richest ever English Derby
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

BOYLESPORTS will be showing live pictures online from Shelbourne Park for the next few Saturdays at least and they will also be offering early prices on all races.

This move will surely enhance the interest in the renowned Saturday night racing at Headquarters and should significantly strengthen the market on track.

The star trackers are beginning to emerge, and a number of likely English Derby challengers will be on view at Shelbourne tomorrow in either race or trial action.

Paul Hennessy is just one of a number of Irish trainers planning a raid on the richest ever English Derby and his two prime contenders are likely to be Barefoot Scholar and Ecclestone, though he admits that more of his charges could yet force their way into the travelling team.

Ecclestone will make his seasonal debut in a sprint contest tomorrow night and, while he hasn't looked the typical sprinter in the past, he did a flying 18.66 trial two weeks ago. This dog, of course, won the Puppy Derby Consolation at Harold's Cross in October.

But the number one hope for the Kilkenny trainer is Barefoot Scholar, which is unbeaten on Irish soil. He won his first two races around Kilkenny and posted a brilliant 28.64 on his debut.

Scholar could be a challenger for the Tote Gold Cup, but is more likely to have a few sprint trials around Shelbourne. He will be having one of those trials tomorrow, along with another highly rated kennel-mate, Jaytee Hellcat.

One suspects Hennessy might also bring De Real McCoy to Wimbledon when he travels and he will be a runner in a hot 525 contest tomorrow when the favourite will be Cabra Buck. Graham Holland's charge was runner-up in the Irish Derby last September to Slippery Robert.

BEST BETS

It is a relatively quiet night on the tracks, with the Harold's Cross card including heats of an A4 525, and Anthony Conlon's Ice Cool Pirlo (9.0) looks a likely winner of the second heat after his easy victory when well fancied last time. Another worth noting is Michael Mulleady's Doorock (10.0), which can beat his rivals in the A2/3 contest.

€20,000 POOL

The Pick 7 Jackpot pool at Shelbourne Park tomorrow night will be guaranteed to €20,000 and will operate on races three through to nine.

Irish Independent

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