Ian Fortune

Ballinabola Ed has been favourite for the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby since the early stages of the English equivalent.

Of course, the Pat Buckley trained star was untouchable in the early rounds at Towcester, only to crash out in the quarter finals but his handler yesterday reported his charge in good shape, although suggested he may need a run.

Said Pat Buckley of his Derby favourite yesterday afternoon, “He’s okay in himself. He had a little niggle after the English Derby so we took it easy with him. He’s had no trial since his last one at Shelbourne and will certainly need a run or two.

“Whatever he does in his trial tomorrow morning [Saturday], he will improve for it. Towcester took a bit out of him but, after the layoff, we’re happy with him.”

Ballinabola Ed is one of eight possible Derby contenders for Buckley. His 2021 Derby runner-up Singalong Sally is also due to trial this morning and Pat suggests “she’s ready to go”.

He went on to say, “She trialled well on a slow but safe track at Limerick last week. She’s a tough. Her record speaks for itself. She probably needed the run at Dundalk {International] but I’m delighted with her.”

Buckley is also planning to run Bobsleigh Dream (trials this morning), his Produce Stakes champ Gaston Pecas, the hugely exciting Lee Strand winner Tullig Cyrname, Insomnia, Tullig Raven and Glengar Scholar in the Derby.

It’s a good team but there is no doubt that Ballinabola Ed and Singalong Sally are his two main fancies. Perhaps one of the duo will hand him a second Irish Derby crown following the sensational victory of College Causeway some thirteen years ago in 2009.