“They’ve all come fine fine as far as we can tell. I’ll get them all checked over tomorrow but I wouldn’t expect to find anything.”
The thoughts of the assistant trainer Jimmy Wright as three of Angela Harrison’s runners qualified for the semis of the RPGTV Scottish Derby at Shawfield on Saturday night.
Heat one They were headed by the immaculate Droopys Verve who clocked the fastest time of the night with a flawless display in the opening heat. The English Derby runner-up moved middle on the run up, but then railed tightly and held off King Cash by three lengths in 28.61. It was a fine run by the British bred runner-up who was having his first look at the Shawfield circuit.
Heat two Few were more impressive on the night than Paul Hennessy’s Boylesports Xtra who clocked the fastest sectional of the night, 3.63, in the second qualifier. In what soon developed into a buckle, Droopys Expert made his challenge as the third bend arrived or he would have finished closer than a length and a quarter behind the 28.69 winner.
Heat three Droopys Nadal became Angela Harrison’s second winner of the night after giving Forest Jason a start and a beating. The wide runner went clear at the third bend to win by two lengths in 28.85.
Heat four saw the elimination of King Turbo. Well at least that was how the story was being written at the second bend! The blue jacketed British bred appeared to be on his way out of the competition when knocked back to fifth place at least eight lengths of the leader. But in the performance of the night, Liz McNair’s runner got up to win by a short head and a neck from Newcastle pair Cooneen Jack and Bramble Rebie. Winning time, 29.20.
Heat five was probably the weakest of the night but was nevertheless won on merit by a gutsy Priceless Blake. Paul Hennessy’s runner reeled in a slightly below par Jaguar Jack to win by two and a half lengths in 29.00
Heat six proved to be a race of two halves. The first 250 metres belonged to the blue jacketed Honour Turbo. The second half began midway along the backstraight and resulted in Droopys Davy (T6) swooping around the outside with Braveheart Bobby (T3) making his run on the rail for a Pat Buckley forecast. The winner clocked 28.78 with three and a quarter back to second and untrialled King Dylan coming from last to finished third.
|Raise The Stakes||33/1|
The semi final draw means two of the five Irish entries are guarantee to be going home. The first semi looks particularly competitive and features half of the heat winners.
The beaten Droopys Expert looks likely to start favourite for the second semi final, which looks the weaker of the trio.
The last eliminator sees the top two in the betting Droopys Verve and King Turbo go head to head.
Jimmy Wright said: “I am glad to be drawn on the inside of Rab’s dog because he steps out at the bend. Verve is a middle seed but rails at the bend. If we could be guaranteed three, we would seed him middle. But if that is how you seed him, you would probably end up in six.
“I was very happy with Expert. He was out-trapped by the Irish dog and you can’t expect to give 28.60 dogs a start. Having said that, I thought he had the legs of him along the backstraight until he checked at the third bend.
“I have always rated Nadal. He is a 28.46 dog at Newcastle but like a lot of our dogs, he didn’t really take to Sheffield and people have started to underestimate them.
“Although he is over two years old, Nadal is only just starting to behave like it and is now starting to fulfill his potential.”