Ian Fortune

The final of the Friends of Newbridge Derby dominates tonight’s action at the Kildare venue and it should provide a tremendous spectacle with each of the six runners capable of having a huge say in the outcome.



Obviously, there will be a cloud over proceedings with the passing of Davy Traynor in recent days. Lodgefield Mag, drawn in red, was due to carry his name in decider. Whether she runs or not, those at Newbridge will celebrate the life and legacy of Davy as it was like a second home for him.



When attempting to work out the Derby puzzle, it may come down to which of the three powerhouses on the outside of the track get first run at the two likely pace-setters Southfield Duke and Southfield King.

Neither Duke or King can be dismissed given their progressive profiles and their ability to set a strong pace but the trio on the outside, Coonough Paddy, Victory Lane and Leeloo, are running with real purpose at present and are likely to advance in the second half of the contest.

Recent sectionals would suggest Southfield Duke is the most likely leader for Keith Power and Mark Gilbert. That could effectively end the hopes of his litter brother in two. Leeloo is seeking a fourth win on the spin from trap six and will surely finish at speed.

If avoiding traffic around the opening two bends, she won’t be far away. The same can be said for Victory Lane, who flew home in each of his last two starts. If the gaps were to arrive at the right time, he too could have a big say but slight preference is for Coonough Barry.



He isn’t back in Ireland too long but has really run into form through the Nwbridge Derby. He set the standard in each of the last two rounds, coming home fast to lad late and it can be a similar story for the Barry Clancy trained star this evening. He is chosen to get first run on Southfield Duke and can hit the line in front of Leeloo.