Graham Holland believes he would have been gambling with Clares Rocket’s future had he not withdrawn him from the second round of the Irish Derby.

He said: “On Sunday morning I said the dog was okay and to watch him walk you wouldn’t know any different. But I had a suspicion about a tendon problem in the wrist which I couldn’t go public with until I had spoken to the owner and also had it confirmed by an expert on Sunday afternoon. My fears were confirmed and we decided to make an early decision in fairness to the sponsors and to the racing public.

“We could possibly have run him on Saturday, but the likelihood is, we wouldn’t have had a greyhound by Sunday morning and he is just too good to take that risk. I think the world of the dog and we will nurse him through for six weeks and then, if all goes to plan, spend another six weeks getting him back to full fitness. I am gutted because I thought he represented a great chance of winning the Derby, but it just wasn’t to be.”