As this article goes live on Tuesday evening, Nicky Holland is traveling across the Irish Sea with six Starsports Greyhound Derby contenders including the first and second in the betting.

The bookies have listed roughly three times as many runners as will be allowed into the first round. Among those who can be discarded will be joint second favourite Newinn Taylor who will not be taking a shot at the £50K bonus for adding the English event to the Irish.

The Holland seabound six are: 11-1 Newinn Session, 16-1 Lenson Bocko, 25-1 Feudal Spirit, 33-1 Black Parachute, 50-1 Ballydoyle Valor, Wolfe.

The Derby favourite, as is becoming a theme in a Covid ravaged era, is very unexposed.

A litter brother to Ladbrokes Puppy Derby winner Newinn Jacko, Newinn Session only has eight races on his card, for six wins and two lasts.

The last two races were defeats. The first was his elimination behind another litter brother Doolin Duke when crowded out of the Produce Stakes semis. The second was in the opening round of the Boylesports Irish Derby.

The victories include a win over Pestana back in March and a 28.15 run at Clonmel. So is he a worthy favourite?

Holland played his cards close to his chest when responding: “I can see why the bookies would make him favourite.

“He was unlucky to be eliminated from the Irish Derby – it was a heat where we had four runners and Black Parachute went out in the same race.

“But when he was out of it, we decided to avoid the Plate and go for the English Derby instead. He had a couple of minor niggles which we sorted out. He is well rested from a racing point of view, but well galloped too.”

So how would their trainer compare the two Simon Taylor owned runners, Newinn Session and Newinn Taylor – who was actually slower than Session in the Produce Stakes second round?

Holland said: “I would say they both have great early pace. Taylor might have a little more, but then I think Session would see out the trip a bit stronger.”

The other ‘dark horse’ is the Larry O’Rourke trained Feudal Spirit. He has seven wins from 11 races on his card, including a 29.29 victory over Lenson Bocko over the Shelbourne Derby course.

Holland said: “I don’t know whether he has as much early, but there wouldn’t be much in it.”

Last year’s Irish Derby winner Lenson Bocko, Easter Cup winner Lenson Bocko, Ballydoyle Valor and Wolfe would come into the category of ‘strong runners’.

Holland said: “I think they will get stronger as they competition goes on. Wolfe looks particularly good value at 50-1. He is coming back to his best but I didn’t want to wait another five weeks for the Irish Leger.”

The first Holland runners will be trialling on Wednesday morning,

As for the rest of the field, we will know more by 3pm on Thursday.