It is semi-final night in the BoyleSports Irish Derby at Shelbourne and the battle for the six places in next weekend’s final will be intense.
Slippy Cian and Jaytee Taylor are the favourites with the firms and the draw has kept them apart this evening. Can they both qualify to ensure the clash of all clashes next week’?
Jaytee Taylor (8.57) contests the opening heat and he looks reasonably drawn in trap five with four inside seeds on his inner.
Such is the early pace of Cabra Hurricane that Pat Guilfoyle’s youngster looks sure to power into a clear lead by the halfway mark.
But Cabra will be coming back to the field in the latter stages and will be all out to hold off his pursuing rivals.
Graham Holland’s duo of Drive On Tipp and Clona Blaze are sure to be on the premises as well as John Browne’s Newhall Missile.
The dog with the strongest finish is undoubtedly Jaytee Taylor and he can maintain the dreams of Paul Hennessy and John Turner.
Holland will have three of the six runners in the second semi-final and the draw has given them quite a test.
Derby favourite Slippy Cian (9.12) will have kennel companions Clonbrien Hero and Totos Park as early-paced rivals and Tom Buggy’s Kilgraney Master will also be a big factor in the dash to the corner.
This could well mean big runs from the inside runners Ballyanne Sim and Crossfield Will.
It is difficult to rule any runner out of the reckoning.
Slippy Cian will need a flying start but he is well capable of producing it and he can lead home from Peter Cronin’s Crossfield Will and Totos Park.