Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 March 2015

Atitboy looks set to fit the bill for Ronnie McKeown


Atitboy can give trainer Ronnie McKeown his first Toals Bookmakers Irish Derby triumph and the prize of £6,000 on the biggest night of the year at Drumbo.

The pacey brindle is the only unbeaten finalist in the competition, and from trap three is taken to make the first bend in front.

And once there, he should stick it out as he did in beating the unlucky Rocky Domain in the semi-final.

Domain was putting in a big challenge at the third bend but Atitiboy cut him off and caused him to check, which cost the Damian Maginn-trained black a couple of lengths. There was only a length in it at the finish.

Birthday Boy, who chased Atitboy home in the opening round, is a strong stayer, as is Ginger McGee's Gizmo Classic. Neither, however, are quick away and Gizmo steers a very wide course as seen when failing by a neck behind Birthday in the semis.

European King, running for Ross Myles, beat Gizmo in the first round but couldn't match that form behind Atitboy and Rocky Domain, while Cleveland Tebo will go off as the rank outsider.

An intriguing encounter with several in with solid chances but the form and that ability to lead gives Atitboy the edge.

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