This Panda Is The Real Deal
Lenson Panda made it eight wins in a row with a spectacular win last Friday night in the second round of the Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby.
This black and white son of Taylors Sky took an absolute flyer from the boxes (3.02 sectional) to open up a decent early advantage around the opening two turns. He seemed to pull further and further clear with every stride down the far side drawing away from Skywalker Archie who was so impressive in the opening round.
Without looking at the clock infield you could tell Panda was doing a big run. He eventually came home an ultra-impressive seven length winner in a fastest time of the year, 28.37.
Pat Buckley has yet another proper hound on his hands and is the dog to beat in this competition and will be at the top of most ante-post markets for Derbys in 2016.
Next fastest on the clock was Crossfield Max, owned and trained by Brendan O’Shea. When you see a Crossfield runner around the Dublin tracks, they are ones to take note of, O’Shea means business when he travels up the country!
Max was only having his fifth race last week but the way he went to the corner you would swear he was a well campaigned tracker. He turned the second bend with a commanding lead and it was race over from here and he galloped home a five length winner over Melodys Speed who ran an eye catching race in second place.
Jaytee Dutch was the ante-post favourite for this competition before the start after a few impressive trials around the venue and he kept his unbeaten record around the Cross intact in heat five. Dutch is known as a fast starter but has yet to come to terms with the traps here. Apart from his trapping though, he is doing everything else to perfection.
Steering a wide course around the opening two corners, Dutch turned down the back around four or five lengths off the pace in third position. As he straightened up he took off and had his eyes set on the leader Lenson Santi who was setting a strong gallop. Dutch turned the last bend just behind Santi and really took off up the home straight, eventually winning by two and a half lengths in 28.67.
There were other impressive victories on the night from Hee Haws Sheriff who showed a devastating turn of early pace to take the opening heat in 28.63. Toolmaker Scot kept up Robert Gleeson’s fine run of form with an all the way success in 28.79 in heat six while there was a lot to like about Going Better and Milldean Puma in heats two and three. This is as good a Puppy Derby as we have had in recent years, it’s a while since we have seen such early pace from a number of runners.
Billy Mulvaney Snr & Jnr Memorial 600
The first round of the Billy Mulvaney Snr & Jnr Memorial 600 took place last Saturday night in HQ. The amazing thing about the first round is the slowest heat of the night was 32.41 which would have been the fastest time over the last few years!
Yes Shelbourne is running on the quick side but when you have fast dogs running they will do the best times. Highview Apollo got the stake off to a sizzling start with an all the way success in 32.15. This Gerry Merriman trained runner was a semi-finalist in the Derby so was always capable of a big run. He seemed to appreciate the long run to the corner and is a stout stayer.
The second heat was an absolute cracker of a race. They bet 6/4 Laughil Duke and Evens Ballydoyle Honey, it was any price bar. The bookies got it spot on, it turned out to be a two dog race but we were not prepared for the fireworks that were ahead of us.
The Duke took a flyer from the boxes as did Honey and these two went first and second on the long run to the corner. Duke turned the back three in front of the bitch and it looked race over because of the way Duke was staying on in the Derby Plate. These two were absolutely flying down the far side. The Honey was gaining ground with every stride. As they turned for home, Honey swung a little wide off the last bend so the momentum stayed with Duke as he held a neck advantage as they reached the Judge in a new track record time of 31.91.
Laughil Duke goes into the history books as the first dog to break 32 seconds for the 600 yard trip! You cannot but be impressed by the running of Honey though. She had to do some running to get as close as she did.
Samiya returned to winning ways in the third heat with an all the way victory over Ballyhooly Henry. Samiya had to be on the top of her game here as Henry turned a clear second off the opening two turns, she never looked like getting caught and held on by half a length in 32.19.
Tynwald Rodney gained his third career victory in the final heat. This lad reached the final of the Derby Plate and looked to be running on in it so when he turned the second bend here neck and neck with Swords One, there was only going to be one winner. Rodney galloped on strong to record a time of 32.41.
Needham Can Work His Magic In Glin
Needham Work returns to his favourite County Limerick this weekend, as he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the famed Desmond Cup. Work didn’t put a foot wrong last season and ended it with his biggest win of all, the Irish Cup.
The Cup itself has attracted a top class entry, as it does every year, so Work can’t afford to make any mistakes or he will be punished. The top half of the draw looks the easier of the two on paper, Breezing Johnny, Needham Crystal, Doomore Dave and Marshals Aido can all do battle to see who can get to the final here.
While the bottom half could be a battle royal. Work has dangers all around him. Livingnextdoor ran well in this field last season before going on to win his trial stake in Rathcormac.
Crafty Who is a third season runner who can’t be under estimated and Floating Patriot was twice a winner of all ages last season. These dogs are well capable of winning a cup or two this season, but saying that, if Needham Work returns anywhere near his form, he can take yet another Desmond Cup back up the road to Newry. Work has very little mileage on the clock so should be as fresh as a daisy!
The All Age Bitch Stake sets a high standard for the season. Churchill Queen was the first lady out of the hat. She really caught the eye in a top class trial stake at Castleisland last year and is positioned lovely at the top of the card.
Linden Village was well supported for the Oaks last year; this lady can give Queen something to think about. While at the bottom of the card we could be in for an epic battle between the likes of Bated Breath, Skellig Mint, Crossbound and Blue Abella. I’m going to stick my neck out and side with Bated Breath to go all the way here.
I was actually down in Glin for trials myself last week and you couldn’t but be impressed by the facilities on show, this is their second season in this new field. The stock seemed good and strong and were a credit to the hard working members of the club. I got talking to one of the club’s hardest working members Dave Killeen and he was telling me they were extremely happy with the trials and he hoped all the hard work they put into the field all summer will pay off.
I have no doubt in the world that it will. So best of luck to Dave and his team.
Keep up to date on these markets and a number of other stakes taking place here in Ireland and in the UK at the moment on www.BoyleSports.com. For all the updates and market movers on both track and field why not follow me on Twitter on @boylesportsdamo or my colleague @boylesportsKHen