In his column this week, Graham Holland assessed the fourth heat of the Derby second round with the observation “Magical Bale is quality but was possibly short of a run last time out. He is better than that and I would expect to see him improve”.

Ireland’s champion trainer proved to be on the mark as the Kevin Hutton trained runner clocked the fastest time of Friday’s eight heats with a 29.30 run.

It was a mixed night for Holland who had a decent win with Clonbrien Prince but saw Blue East, Totos Park and Lenson Blinder go out. In fact those mixed emotions extended to the Irish runners in general. Lemon Shane and Braveheart Bobby added to the success, but Ribchester, and Boylesports Xtra will be heading for the ferry.

There was also another double for the KSS Syndicate. In his column this week, Rab McNair said he expected improvement from their first round performances from a particular trio saying “Sheeran, Lennon and Beyonce are my three who are shortest of fitness”

Not only did Beyonce and Sheeran do the business, but the kennel’s third runner King Dylan was only beaten by three quarters of a length.

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LEMON SHANE wins heat 5 from Slaheny Star (t2) WT 29.56 Photo: © Steve Nash