Scottish finalist Don in Derby fitness battle
It was disappointing that none of the Irish dogs managed to win the RPGTV Scottish Derby on Saturday and it could be worse yet, with fears for the fitness of Fraser Black's Save The Don, which had a rough passage and then fell on the final bend.
Fraser said yesterday that the dog will have further examination today before the extent of the injury is known.
It could be that he may not be able to take his place in the William Hill English Derby, which starts at Wimbledon in the last week of May.
Despite a few high-profile withdrawals from our raiding party it is still going to be a very strong Irish team - numerically and quality-wise - doing duty in London.
Pat Buckley certainly enjoyed no luck in the Shawfield final where the litter brothers Lenson Sanchez and Coolavanny Jap did each other no favours.
Undeterred, Buckley hopes to have a team of up to ten dogs travelling to Wimbledon, and among them will be his two Scottish Derby finalists.
Another will be last year's final favourite Mind The Net, which hasn't run since the Night of Stars when he finished third behind Droopys Nidge.
Owen McKenna and Graham Holland will both be travelling to Wimbledon this week. McKenna will be giving some of his runners sprint trials tomorrow and will remain over there until he gives them another run over 480 metres on Saturday.
Holland, meanwhile, hopes to have Millbank Stevie and Riverside Pat in trial stakes at Wimbledon on Saturday with Sidarian Blaze hopefully getting into an open race. Last Saturday's Shelbourne winner Clares Wonder is likely to have a trial.
Next Saturday's Irish Independent Irish Laurels semi-final card at Curraheen is expected to be a cracker and an interesting runner will be Dublin Coach Puppy Derby winner Quietly, which clocked a very respectable 28.36 in a trial around the track on Saturday.
But Quietly won't have his own way as other entries for the English Derby Trial Stake include Burgess Four, Gaytime Hawk, Ballymac Matt and Ardfert Teejay.
The National Greyhound Awards will be presented on the night with the ceremony going on before, during and after racing.
The Greyhounds of the year will be honoured as well as the recipients of the various human awards.
Tickets are still available for the black tie function at €50 each.
Unfortunately we don't have as much 570 yards racing as we did in the past but hopefully the A4/5 570, which reaches a conclusion this evening at Harold's Cross, will be the forerunner of much more racing over these trips.
The fancy to take the prize is Freffans Rowan (8.57) which was impressive in the heats last week.