Bettor Scottish Derby final: trainer quotes
Bettor.com Scottish Derby final: live on Sky Sports Friday nightPICTURE: STEVE NASH
1 Mill Pegasus
He was Cheddar Bob in Ireland and is still ‘Bob’ at home. He’s massively framed, as big a dog as I’ve ever seen, so it’s odd that he has real nerves and this occasion, with the bagpipes, could see him crumble. It got to him first time here, when there was a delay with the traps, and he ended up turning in them. But other than that, in his other six races for us, he hasn’t been out of the first two. He’s a six-bender in the making, the draw’s good – he is a railer – and his confidence is improving. We’ve never had a Derby finalist, so getting two fellows to this is fantastic and a bus load of owners/family/friends will help make a party of it. We used to have 130 dogs here, but for personal reasons – dad isn’t well – I’ve taken a break from Sunderland and we’re aiming for 20 open racers and a couple of litters.
Owners: Kelly and the Lads Syndicate
2 Barefoot Allstar
We call him ‘Rattler’ at home, because nothing will rattle him. He’s not arrogant, but independent with great focus. He’s a right good dog with excellent early and won the puppy open on Laurels night at Cork last October, that looks a hotrace now, Mill Pegasus was second and Tyrur Justin [now with Charlie Lister] third. Our dog, then known as Rattlin Goldstar, was later sold to Bryan and Kathleen Murphy with the English Derby being his prime target after a winter lay-off. But he needed plenty of work, so we decided to take in this, and we’re delighted to make the final – he’s open to improvement and if he leads, it will take a good one to catch him. We’ve won this twice before, in 2008 with Tyrur Kieran, and 2002 Priceless Rebel – also owned by Bryan and Kathleen. It’s a fantastic occasion at a wonderful stadium full of characters.
Owners: Bryan and Kathleen Murphy
3 Mill Bling Bling
We’ve always known ‘Stanley’ can be irritable, fiery and take offence at another dog just looking at him. Unfortunately he got stale here with the three quick runs in a week, but the week’s break since has been helpful for him and I’m relieved that he’s now drawn further out. He is capable of coming out under the lids as they open, and has never been beaten in four finals for us, and that includes an incredible three Category Ones last season – still hard to believe. Now here he is, with Mill Pegasus, in a Derby final – and we know he’s a born winner. It’s a hot race, but we’re here to enjoy the occasion, and afterwards we’ll decide what to do about Wimbledon. If we go, and it looks like we have three possibles, we’ll seek to arrange trials Saturday week, and then keep them down south. But let’s see.
Owners: Keith Hixon, Paul Noble and Peter Ancell
4 Tudor Prince
He’s a middle seed, so we’ve got the draw we wanted and [kennel name] Troy’s in great shape. Let’s hope the track’s in good order too, and he now goes and wins it. This is his third season at the top, and he’s never been better. Shawfield’s back-straight could be built for him, and given a reasonable break, I’m expecting him to run a big race.
It’s about time we won it again, we’ve had a total of five finalists I think, winning it in 1993 with New Level. That seems such a long time ago. We don’t plan to bring him to Wimbledon this year, but are thinking of giving him a break and then looking at the Northern Ireland Derby. We’ve pleased to have Blue Artisan and Mags Gamble in the 500m final,Blue Artisan has genuine class so I’m hopeful there – and we’ll think about Wimbledon for him after.
Owners: Joss Barnfather, Ian Lavery MP and Harry Williams
5 Droopys Cristian
Trap five has proven to be Big Cris’s favourite trap – he’s got a good record from there partly perhaps as he’s not a very wide runner, and having won a heathere, has at least now won somewhere else other than at Sheffield! We’re hopeful on the draw as there could prove to be some bunching on the inside and, after winning the Ryan Holmes Puppy Cup at the end of 2010, he faced some niggling problemslast season, so this should be his year. He’s now running well, is a fast, strong runner and will take any chance that comes his way – he certainly appreciates every metre of this 480m trip. We don’t see him as a Wimbledon dog, but we’ll reflect on that after this race, but we’ve entered Mountjoy Rock [Peterborough Derby winner, recovered well from a gracilis injury] for the Belle Vue Derby trial [Saturday], and he should prefer Wimbledon too.
Owners: Judith Grange, Anita and Ernest Yates
6 Bowtime Sykes
It’s hard to believe such an inexperienced dog has made a Classic final, the Scottish Derby too, but all credit to him. Anthony [Rhodes, his owner] sent him to me unraced last October, and said he thought a lot of him – he’s been proven right. We call him Sly at home, he’s big, handsome and friendly, but there’s more to him. He’s complex too, can be a devil and tries it on. Of course this is a big ask, but there’s no pressure and being a genuine wide, the draw is perfect. He’s battled through each round and is a dog with real heart. He had his first all aged race at Newcastle only last month and was put in against Mill Bing Bling and Tudor Prince. I moaned at the racing office – then he went and won! We’ll decide what happens next after this, it never does to plan too far ahead, but let’s hope for a good, safe race for all six of them.
Owner: Anthony Rhodes
These trainer quotes also appeared in Thursday's Racing Post.