Ulster trio set for big Derby showdown at Shelbourne Park
Three northern contenders clash in the quarter-finals of the Boylesports Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park next Saturday night.
English Derby finalist Farloe Blitz, owned by Londonderry's Paul Ellis, has his favoured trap one in the first of the four heats.
Next door in two, comes Brendan Matthews's Newry runner Shutthe Backdoor while Joe Hurley's Magherafelt-based Blue Cafu occupies trap three.
Only half a length separated Shutthe Backdoor and Cafu when they came second and third behind Lemon Miley who won for the 19th time (29.94) in Saturday's third round.
The two Ulster dogs came late on the scene but Miley held on by a neck from the Matthews runner.
Blitz was evens favourite to win his latest heat and after leading for most of the way after a poor start from trap six, ran out of puff close home as Gaytime Hawk swooped for a half-length success from Cable Bay.
Cable is a second runner representing the Matthew kennel and is a powerful finisher.
However, he lacks sharpness from the boxes and this means he always had to do it the hard way - coming from off the pace.
And that was the case here, coming from fifth with his usual flourish to deprive Farloe of second by a neck in 29.67 secs.
Farloe Rumble gives Paul Ellis a second option in the chase for the €125,000 and he made the next stage by finishing third behind ante-post favourite Ballymac Matt who led all the way in again clocking the fastest time of the round (29.44).
Starting a very warm 2/7 favourite in heat four, he made it seven from seven at the track for trainer Liam Dowling and once more, has landed a plum red box draw in his bid for a semi-final place.
Saturday's Boylesports Irish Derby quarter-final heats in trap order at Shelbourne Park:
Heat One: Farloe Blitz, Shutthe Backdoor, Blue Cafu, Samiya, Dolcino Flyer (m), Rural Hawaii (w)
Heat Two: Ballymac Matt, Highview Apollo, Jo Jo Fantasy, Priceless Lassie, Save The Don, Ivy Hill Bart (w)
Heat Three: Tyrur Tommy, Offshore Bound, Farloe Rumble, Fair Taxes, Gaytime Hawk, Paradise Maverik
Heat Four: Cable Bay, Secreto, Peregrine Falcon, Lemon Miley, Sidarian Vega, Jaytee Jet (w)