The odds are against Pat Buckley becoming the first trainer to send out three consecutive winners of the Racing Post Dundalk International.
The €20,000-to-the-winner race, being sponsored for the first time by the leading horse and greyhound racing daily, goes ahead this Wednesday night, and Buckley, who was successful with Droopy's Roddick last year and Paradise Silva twelve months earlier, is putting his faith in Droopys Wilbury.
A son of Romeo Recruit and Droopys Keisha, Droopys Wilbury received a 7/2 quote soon after the draw for trap positions was made last Thursday, but the likelihood is the second-season will go off at a much bigger price than that. He had a solo trial at Dowdallshill before racing on Friday night, and while the track is said to have been running slow, a time 30.44 wasn't impressive.
On the other hand, Jaytee Jet, attempting to give Paul Hennessy his second win in the big race, looked smart when covering the 550 in 30.02 at the same session. This run comes as a follow-up to the 29.88 he recorded the previous week when track conditions were better.
The Kilkenny-based runner won the 2016 English Derby, the last to be run at Wimbledon, and like Droopys Wilbury and three others in the field, is English-owned. This should guarantee a big cross-Channel presence, especially if the Champagne Club, owners of leading fancy, Bubbly Bluebird, travel in strength.
There are upwards on 150 members in this most enthusiastic of syndicates, and most were present at Towcester on English Derby final night to cheer home Bubby Bluebird in the Anglo-Irish Invitational. Paul Young's charge recorded 29.00, which was just eight spots slower than 28/1 shot Astute Missile's return in the night's feature.
Bubbly Bluebird, who did 29.93 in a trial the weekend before last, is favoured with an inside draw tomorrow night, and if he leaves the traps as fast as he did at Towcester then he can lead the whole way, giving England a second win in the race since it was first run at Dowdallshill, in 2004.
Young's dog has cross-Channel support from English Derby finalists, Droopys Acrobat and Murrys Act, both of which are likely to be among the outsiders, while Good News completes the Irish-trained team.
Good News' name was up in lights even before he had his first race. The son of dual International winner Definite Opinion recorded some sensational trial times and was valued at seven times the International's first prize when placed on the bench at Sales confined to juveniles.
Pat Guilfoyle, who was also responsible for Definite Opinion's care, has seen Good News continue to clock very fast times, none better than at Tralee where he lowered the 550 record. But he has yet to win the prize his talent deserves. A trap 4 draw shouldn't in any way inhibit his chances of collecting this one.
Bubbly Bluebird is taken to make it a 'Champagne' night, holding off the anticipated strong challenge of Jaytee Jet and Good News.
Support for the International on the 12-race card will come from Open races over all distances and a series of finals, the preliminaries for which have taking place over the past fortnight.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.