Ian Fortune

While Wide Open was out of luck in the Maiden Derby final, there were four Irish trained winners of the card thanks to the incredible efforts of those representing the Riverside Kennel outfit of Graham and Nicky Holland.

Graham has yet to win the blue riband but the performances of his team on Sunday afternoon would suggest he has never had a better chance. His day got off to the perfect start with the talented Bockos Budsit returning to his best form.

In a race where fellow Irish runner All About Ted was the warm favourite, Bockos Budsit displayed all his early speed to dictate from the early stages. In contrast, All About Ted missed the start and found plenty of traffic before finishing fifth.

Bockos Budsit didn’t actually fly from traps but he really flew into the turn to open a clear advantage. With All About Ted finding traffic as he was about to move second, Bockos Budsit increased his lead to almost six lengths by the time they straightened up into the back straight.

Romeo On Tilt emerged from the pack and did stay on well to close the gap in the closing stages but Bev Lochead’s Bockos Budsit was in a league of his own and crossed the line a length and three quarters clear in 29.37. The manner in which Bockos Budsit ran the track will certainly please those involved.


Graham Holland didn’t have to wait long to double his tally with Romeo Magio coming home in front in the second Derby trial stake, holding the defending Derby champion Thorn Falcon in the process.

It was an all-Irish affair into the turn with the Peter Cronin trained Cape Cloud leading Romeo Magico.

As the latter challenged on the outside of Cape Cloud the pair came together off the second bend. Cape Cloud was forced to check while he also clipped the heels of the rails-seeking Romeo Magico, costing both valuable momentum.

Suddenly, Thorn Falcon was left a close second. Great credit must go to Romeo Magico, however. He quickly got back to full stride and this allowed him to contain the massive stride of Thorn Falcon into the third bend.

Thorn Falcon continued to push on the run in but Romeo Magico held on to score by a head in 29.32. It was a very pleasing run from Romeo Magico and one that should confirm his standing as a leading fancy for English Derby glory.   


Early speed was the key to success for Romeo On Fire in the third trial stake as he completed a rapid hat trick for Graham Holland.

The talented son of Droopys Jet has plenty of experience around Towcester and it showed as he dictated throughout to contain the big finish of Shingaun Stan by a half length in 29.42.


Over an hour later, Part Blake predictably completed the four-timer.

In what was his first look at the track, the brilliant son of Laughil Blake justified 4-6 favouritism in relatively straightforward fashion. Breaking on terms, he quickly moved through the gears to comfortably lead on the corner.

He increased his lead to the third turn and, while he did tire on the run in, he emerged a length to the good over the staying on Milton Pepe in 29.56. Of Graham’s four winners, it seems safe to say that Part Blake will come on most for the experience.

Speaking to the Racing Post after the last of their four winners, Nicky Holland was understandably delighted with their day’s work. “I think we’ll ‘fly’ home tonight . . . it’s a great feeling to see our runners perform so well. It’s all about giving them a sighter and the experience of travelling – Romeo Magico is a real trouper, he had a rough ride but handled it.”