With last year’s winner Laughil Blake withdrawn coughing , it was left to Ballymac Matt to clock the quickest time in the first session of heats in the Boylesports Irish Derby over 550 yards at Shelbourne Park on Thursday.
Liam Dowling’s Open 600 winner was soon clear and beat Southern Oaks winner Dromscarra Ruby by eight lengths in 29.43sec.
Farloe Blitz, the beaten favourite in the English Derby Final was an easy winner of heat 11 when making all to slam Good News John by six and a half lengths in 29.60sec.
Slippery Fred took advantage of the absence of Laughil Blake in heat one when leading all the way to beat Mimis Ace by two and a half lengths in 29.89sec.
His trainer Larry Dunne was also on the mark with Slippery Snowy in heat five, when pulling clear from halfway to score an eight length victory over Blue Navajo in 29.71sec.
Fraser Black’s Kina Girl caught Dolcino Flyer close home in the seventh qualifier to score by a length and a half in 30.20sec.
Pat O’Brien’s Peregrine Falcon completed a five-timer in heat eight when beating Burgess Four by two lengths in 29.80sec.
Graham Holland had a double with Champion Stakes winner Sidarian Vega and Race of Champions winner Rural Hawaii. Sidarian Vega made all to score in 29.83ec, while Rural Hawaii scored in similar fashion to land heat six in 29.65sec.
Last year’s Easter Cup winner Skywalker Farloe came late in heat three to beat Star Ace in 30.38sec.
Peter Cronin’s Gyp Rosetti was soon in control of heat four to hold Scooby The Star by two and a half lengths in 29.63sec.
Tom O’Neill’s Ballyhooley Henry caught Coolavnny Jap close home in heat ten to score by a neck in 29.94sec.
Lemon Miley (7-1) was the night’s biggest priced winner in heat 12 when making all to hold cunning Barney by a short head in 30.24sec.