Sonic odds shorten as Rocky makes Derby exit
Sonic has firmed up as favourite for the BoyleSports Irish Derby after producing another top-class performance in the quarter-finals of the premier classic at Shelbourne on Saturday night - he is now 3/1 with the sponsors to lift the €125,000 prize.
The night wasn't without its share of upsets with previous second favourite Lenson Rocky and the well fancied Doctor Zhivago and Highview Event all making their exit.
Sonic looked to be in a spot of bother when his kennel companion Rural Hawaii outpaced him to the bend but this is where the young tracker owned by Marian Moloney showed his real class. He got up the inside of Rural Hawaii around the bottom bends and then raced on for a two-and-a-half-length margin over defending champion Ballymac Matt in 29.91. Rural Hawaii was just a short-head third.
Holland got three dogs through to the semis, the other being the bitch Sidarian Pearl, which flew from traps in the third heat and led home another female, Holycross Leah, by two lengths in 29.71, with Doctor Zhivago breaking a hock on the third bend when appearing sure to qualify. Ela Alecko took the third qualifying spot.
The Ernie Cooke-trained Roxholme Barkley made his early pace tell in the opening heat, flying clear from College Paradise, Urban Gossip and Cahir Castle.
The favourite Highview Event never really got into it and was knocked over on the final bend. But Roxholme Barkley was a convincing winner as he had three lengths and the same in hand of College Paradise and Cahir Castle in 30.01.
The start also played a huge role in the final heat as the Peter Cronin-trained Gyp Rosetti flew out of traps and was always clear of the field. He won by three and a half lengths in 29.73 with Owen McKenna's Farloe Rumble, a finalist last year, a strong second.
McKenna claimed a third semi-finalist as Escapism, which had been baulked on the first bend, got up in the last stride to pip the favourite Lenson Rocky by a short head for the third qualifying spot.