Irish raid on Derby led by Razldazl brothers
Eight Irish-trained greyhounds, spread evenly through the four heats, give rise to massive expectations in advance of the English Derby quarter-finals at Wimbledon tonight.
The Classic has gone like a dream for our raiders thus far and hopes are high that at least five Irish-trained dogs can get through to the semi-finals on Saturday night.
Dolores Ruth is in the enviable position of having the two favourites in the litter brothers Razldazl Jayfkay and Razldazl George and they can both win this evening. George appears to have a handy enough draw but Jayfkay faces his toughest run to date. However, he has the class to come through with flying colours.
Paul Hennessy is delighted with the way Barefoot Bullet is progressing and is extremely hopeful of another big run in Heat 3, where Fraser Black's Krug Ninety Five can also qualify. The other big Irish hope is Pa Fitzgerald's Melodys Royal and it is difficult to envisage this wide runner failing to qualify in the striped jacket.
The other Irish hopefuls are Tommy Bolton's Ballymac Barrell, Pat Buckley's Modern Man and Peter Cronin's Rockview Head.
The required entry of 72 was achieved yesterday for the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger and the draw for the first round will be made at Limerick track this morning.
The top name among the late entries was the dual Cesarewitch winner Definate Opinion and this is a dog that can go far in this Classic.
The first-round heats will be run on Friday and Saturday.
It is Classic action all the way this week, with the second round of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks to be run at Shelbourne on Saturday. There are some massive clashes in prospect in the bitch classic, where Droopys Twirl and Mozzletoff impress as the big two.
The final of the Lee Strand 550 will be run on Friday at Tralee, with Shaneboy Fantasy and Rattling Tank expected to battle it out for the top prize. The following Friday the Kingdom Stadium will host the heats of the Paddy O'Sullivan Race of Champions.
Also this week, the Bettor.com Northern Ireland Derby will start at Drumbo Park on Saturday night.
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