Many of the top fancies go into action in the Ladbrokes Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park tonight.
There are three bankers for those who fancy a multiple bet: Ballymac Vic, Droopys Jet and Tyrur Big Mike. Ballymac Vic has been put up at 4-5 by Ladbrokes and it surely represents value, despite the formidable presence in Heat 4 of John Linehan’s Droopys Cain.
Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Vic should lead up and go clear into the back. It could be Airforce Frankie in closest pursuit from his inside draw but from here we’ll be waiting for the power surge from Droopys Cain. The big two can qualify but Ballymac is nominated to lead them home.
Fraser Black’s Droopys Jet goes in the following heat and, while he is a long way off the rail in the four box, he should comfortably lead around the bend with Tyrur Willyjoe in likely pursuit.
But it’s the flying run of Skywalker Puma that will then be the focus.
But can he catch the Jet? Doubtful on this occasion but don’t rule it out as the event gets down to the business end! What more can be said about Tyrur Big Mike? The extraordinary veteran continues to defy the odds and can chalk up another victory in Heat 6. Barring accidents he should destroy these rivals to the bend and go on to win, probably from Killbarry Rover.
Nobody will leave early with the “Heat of Death” the last on the card. One of the big fancies must bid farewell to the Derby, whether it be Camas Crash, Razldazl Bugatti, Confident Rankin or Tyrur McGuigan. Take your pick here but the red jacket is a massive bonus for Rachel Wheeler’s Camas Crash and he may just lead them home.
In the other heats Graham Holland’s Rockburst Saint is worth a chance at big odds in the opener while Tyrur Sugar Ray can defy a very unfavourable draw in the second. Conor Fahy has another big home in Tyrur Monica in Heat 7 where Airforce Diva is a massive danger. Brendan O’Shea’s Crossfield Star looks big at 4-1 for Heat 3.
The other withdrawal from tonight’s heats is Olympic Rockstar from Heat 7 and so the inside trap will be vacant. The remaining eight heats will be run on Saturday. By the way, tracks that will be opening for Inter Track to facilitate Derby coverage this week include Tralee, Kilkenny and Thurles.
The other major event this week is at Dundalk where the semi-finals of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup will be run on Saturday and again Graham Holland has a strong hand with fastest third round winners Knockglass Billy and Cambushmore.
Cambushmore has a few victories from the inside trap at Dundalk and he should make full use of it in a first semi that includes Piercestown Con and Kildallon Ranger. These are the big three but Cambushmore can come out on top.
Knockglass Billy flew last week when clocking 21.03 from the inside box and a repeat would see him win the second heat. But the presence of big early pacers Cashen Malouda, Uncle Chico and Town Ruffian makes this a real test.
The big action in Youghal is the Makeshift Southern Oaks semi-finals. Star of the show last weekend was the Joe Collins owned Barrack Patsy and she will take beating in a first heat that includes the very well-drawn Crossfield Tina and Riverside Mary.
In the second heat John Kiely’s Blue Jet Sky and the Kieran Lynch duo of Gael Taca and Madam Shaw figure but may have their work cut out to beat Oaks third Rockburst Delta.
The final of the Irish & European Stake tops the Curraheen programme on Saturday and will be supported by the usual Getting Out and Saturday Special contests. Next weeks’ Burgess Getting Out will be an Open 550 while the GOBA Special will be an A2 575.
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