ANOTHER SHOW OF STRENGTH FROM TEAM IRELAND

Ian Fortune

The Irish again bared their teeth at Towcester on Friday night, providing over half of the eight heat winners as the second round of the Star Sports/ TRC English Derby got underway. There was a total of five Irish winners including the three fastest.

Graham Holland was again the man to follow sending out three winners, while Pat Buckley was responsible for the fastest heat winner, Superfast Gorden. De Lahdedah also displayed awesome pace and power to win for Liam Dowling.

REX SHOWS HIS CLASS

Swords Rex was simply imperious in the opening heat of the round, showing all his class and pace to leave his rivals standing. Flashing from trap five, the Graham Holland trained superstar was always in complete command before emerging a facile six length scorer over Scaglietti in a stunning fastest of the night 28.73.

NEMO BACK TO HIS BEST

Defending champion Gaytime Nemo later completed a superb double for Holland when returning to his very best. He may have gone fractionally slower than Swords Rex but was equally impressive. He too came away racing to lead early and always seemed to have the measure of those in behind, including the runner-up Bockos Thunder before coming home two and a half lengths clear in 28.76.

Sadly, his kennel companion Faypoint Susie was left short of room in the early yards and failed to qualify in fifth, while Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Senan also found traffic before finishing last.

KOBE SENDS OUT ANOTHER WARNING

The last of the three Graham Holland trained winners was The Other Kobe in Heat 8. The Boylesports Derby champion displayed awesome early speed to get loose into the turn and proceeded to draw right away into the third turn.

His stride did shorten on the run in but he held on to win by a length and three quarters from the Ginger McGee trained Hawkfield Blue in 28.99. Glengar Martha completed an Irish one-two-three, staying on well to finish just a half-length adrift in third.

GORDEN GOES SUPERSONIC

There was also an Irish one-two-three in Heat 7 with Superfast Gorden racing clear of Clonbrien Treaty and Jaytee Etienne. Clonbrien Treaty and Superfast Gorden went up fastest and disputed the lead into the third turn where Superfast Gorden took charge before pulling right away to record a brilliant four and a half length victory in 28.71. Clonbrien Treaty held off the eye-catching Jaytee Etienne by a quarter length to finish second.

LAHDEDAH SIMPLY TOO STRONG

De Lahdedah provided the Irish with a third win on the card, showing exceptional pace and power to run down the long-time pace-setter Churchfield Syd. Again, not the fastest into stride, the son of Lenson Bocko improved his position into the turn to sit fourth but he ran a tremendous second turn to move third early in the back straight before going into overdrive.

Charging past King Capaldi on the third turn, De Lahdedah quickly started to close the gap on the pace-setter. Coming home at speed, De Lahdedah struck the front in the dying yards to win by a half length in 28.91.

MCNEILL ARRIVES LATE AND FAST

McNeill qualified from Heat 2 for Paul Hennessy. Off the pace in the early yards, he flew through the pack to grab second on the run in, eventually finishing just over four lengths behind trap to line winner Newinn Syd in 29.01.

EXILE PROGRESSES IN THIRD

Road Exile progressed for Pat Buckley from Heat 5, although he had to work hard after failing to secure the early lead after a moderate start by his standards. Cooliogold ended up leading from early to score in 29.14, but Road Exile held on to third, finishing three and a quarter lengths behind the winner. Rapido Bob carried less luck, however. Peter Cronin’s charge was fifth after a slow start and crowding at the second turn.