Only 22 will take their place in this evening’s quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby following the withdrawal of Stay Thirsty early in the week and the sad news that Broadstrand Lad has run his last race.
Ballymac Vic remains the clear favourite for outright glory following his stunning victory in last weekend’s third round and he will start a hot favourite in Heat 3.
With a decent break, Liam Dowling’s dog will be very difficult to beat. Impressive third-round winners Killbarry Rover and Cuil Cougar will be ready to pounce, as will Airforce Diva, should Ballymac Vic make any mistakes.
Defending champion Razldazl George seems to be returning to his best but he faces a nightmare draw in the first heat.
With the fast-starting railer Newlawn Tock drawn on his immediate outside, he could struggle for room in the opening yards. Droopys Jet will start favourite and could be the one to beat, although he needs to trap far better than he did last time.
Heat 2 consists of four flying starters and one big finisher in the form of Sawpit Sensation. Certain favourite is Confident Rankin, who has been foot-perfect to this point. He will face a tough battle to the turn but he gets the nod ahead of his early-paced rivals. It could then come down to whether he can contain Sawpit Sensation.
The final heat is perhaps the most competitive. The big two in the betting are Skywalker Puma and Camas, but Tyrur Sugar Ray, Subway Ruth and Razldazl Luke each have strong claims also, while the rank outsider Danmar Benny has won at big prices in the past.
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