Saturday 21 April 2018

Skywalker Farloe can bounce back in Derby

Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE
Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

The Irish Derby resumes at Shelbourne Park this evening with eight second-round heats and with no injury problems reported.

There are some great buckles promised in this evening's contests and another healthy Thursday night attendance is predicted.

The big highlight promises to be the clash of two of the overall favourites, Holdem Spy and Skywalker Farloe, in Heat 5, with the situation further complicated by the presence of Hawaii Kinsale and Pennys Deanridge.

With neither Holdem Spy nor Skywalker Farloe noted for their early gears, there is quite a possibility that Rosemary Price's Pennys Deanridge could lead around the bend. He's not a dog you would be want to be giving a lead down the back and would take beating.

But the Frances O'Donnell-trained Skywalker Farloe (9.30) is way better than he looked last week and he has the ability to bounce back here with a stunning performance.

Price appears to have first-rate prospects with Deanridge Pennys (8.45) in the second heat. Winner of the Joe Dunne Memorial earlier in the year, he was laid low for a sizeable portion of the year but is now on his way back and looks sure to be prominent to the bend. From there he can be too strong for rivals, best of whom can be El Flutter and Ballyana Foxtrot.

We can expect another cracking contest in Heat 3, where Michael O'Donovan's fastest first-round winner Laughil Blake (9.0) will take on fellow first-round winners Paradise Maverik, Vulturi and last year's runner-up Cabra Buck.

Laughil's main early task will be getting around Cabra Buck on the first bend and then the finishing power of Paradise Maverik and Vulturi could come into play. But Laughil had a really classy look about him last week and he could emerge as the big revelation of this classic.

Another red-hot clash is promised in Heat 6, where Vimmerby (9.45) will face General Wolf, Vanfrankie and Millridge Leader. Johnny Kavanagh is a bit worried that Vimmerby might yet be affected by coughing which is threatening his kennel, but so far so good. If this Champion Stakes finalist is at his best then he could take the bend from Vanfrankie and Millridge and go on to victory.

Nominated for the other heats are Kippers Usain (8.30), Ardfert Tee Jay (9.15), Emers Superstar (10.0) and Laughil Bolt (10.15).

36 in Texacloth

The Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge had to be put back last week due to a lack of entries and it was reduced to a 24-dog event.

But the entries came flying in and now it is being run for 36 and with a high-class entry. The first round will be run at Newbridge tomorrow and names to look out for are Quietly Vital Evidence, Whisht A Mhic and Farley Blitz. The winner will earn €9,000.

Irish Independent

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