Pablo gives McKenna perfect start to Derby final week

OWEN McKenna had the perfect start to Derby final week when he won Monday’s Catunda Harry Champion Stakes final at Youghal with the Lorraine Moore owned Pablo Supreme.

The early paced son of Hallucinate and Race On Katie disputed to the bend with Kilmalady Torres but forced that rival wide and led into the back straight. Kilmalady Torres remained a threat all the way but Pablo Supreme galloped on strongly to win by two lengths from Kilmalady in 30.12 with Corporate Scoop a strong staying two and a half lengths third.

McKenna yesterday nominated the Hennerty Sales Irish Laurels as the dog’s next target and he will be one of three or four runners in the Curraheen Park classic when it commences on Friday week.

McKenna, of course, has Thurlesbeg Joker in Saturday’s final of the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby and is very hopeful of a big run from the dog which is owned by the Draper family from Rotherham.

Speaking yesterday about his massively built son of Head Bound and Free To Air, McKenna said: “We are going for the third leg of a super Tipperary treble after the hurlers on Sunday, the dog at Youghal on Monday and now the Derby. But, seriously, he couldn’t be better and I honestly feel he has a much better chance than a lot of people reckon. It is all about getting around the bend without being touched. Fraser’s dog Krug Ninety Five is the only other big finisher in the race and we are very hopeful. He is old enough now and is a calm dog, very laid back. The crowd roar won’t upset him”.

Thurlesbeg Joker will be McKenna’s sixth Irish Derby finalist and he has already trained the winner, Like A Shot back in 2004. And as he says, “you don’t get tired of having Derby finalists”.

Meanwhile the draw was made yesterday for the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby which will commence at Harold’s Cross on Friday night. There were 66 names in the draw for the classic which means there will be eleven heats on Friday night with the first four from all eleven heats qualifying plus the four fastest fifth placed greyhounds.

There is plenty of quality in the entry with a number of Irish Derby contenders led by Kingo and Dream Walker and last weekend’s Texacloth 1-2 of Lolos Joe and Kerrydale Lar. It will be a twelve race card on Friday night at the Cross with the other race being the final of the Novice 750 Stake.

The draw for the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby is:

Heat 1: 1 Bling Bling Buzz; 2 Confident Nestor; 3 Springwood Hope; 4 Glenanore; 5 Jonnyfortycoats; 6 Longstone Hawk (m).

Heat 2: 1 Lady Dunbar; 2 Kilmalady Hondo; 3 Cals Patrpn; 4 Slick Legend; 5 Westmead Maldini; 6 Cool It Baby (m).

Heat 3: 1 Cian Jamie; 2 Intelligent; 3 Frankys Back; 4 Westmead Melanie; 5 Mountjoy Rock; 6 Blonde Ross (m).

Heat 4: 1 Jaguar Nathan; 2 Shore Road Vieri; 3 Rince Rocket; 4 Mays Westmead; 5 Westmead Pilot; 6 Saleen Return (m).

Heat 5: 1 Kielduff Merc; 2 Hovex Phil; 3 Maggies Whistle; 4 Soviet Marco; 5 Mild Discomfort; 6 Kerrydale Lar (m).

Heat 6: 1 Kingo; 2 Lolos Joe; 3 Oakfront Aga; 4 Hudson Bay (m); 5 Kerrydale Jinky (m); Ballymac Judith (w).

Heat 7: 1 Cute Tara; 2 Priceless Rocket; 3 Bling Bling Dano; 4 Hovex Fantasy; 5 Me Rambo; 6 Cinealarty Mac (m).

Heat 8: 1 Power Spin; 2 Everglade; 3 Dream Walker; 4 Hovex Shaun; 5 Melodys Hawk; 6 White Coat.

Heat 9: 1 Forest Pepe; 2 Razldazl Faye; 3 Air Force Ellie; 4 Tried Before; 5 Cuil Marian; 6 Fast Fit Tiger.

Heat 10: 1 Air Force Hawk; 2 Black Cyclone; 3 Fear Na gCon; 4 Monleek Merc; 5 Coolykereen Dip (m); 6 Rustys Coyote (m).

Heat 11: 1 Freedom Chief; 2 Coom Bullet; 3 Manilla Flash; 4 What A Tornado; 5 Asisola (m); 6 Melodys Royal (w).

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