The opening round of the English Derby concluded on Saturday evening and at the end of 3 days of great racing we have three qualifiers into the next round.
The opening night saw litter brothers Lenson Blinder and Slippy Cian take their places in Heats 3 and 5 respectively. Lenson Blinder, having his first run for us, showed us the potential he possesses as he ran down the 2016 Semi Finalist Bubbly Turbo. In pursuit of the early leader he looked to make his move around the third turn but was forced to check at this point, rallying, he made another push on the run in and got up in the last few stride to win by a neck in 29.49. Slippy Cian moved well in his heat where he finished 2nd to Scottish Derby Finalist, Borna Account. Leading round the opening turns he was moving along the far side nicely, the fast finishing Borna Account was picking up ground and got up to grab Cian by half a length on the run in in a fast 29.38.
Onto Friday and it was the turn of Clonbrien Hero to try his luck, but unfortunately, the luck deserted him here. Travelling well in 2nd place for a long way, and looking likely to qualify, he was squeezed for racing room round the final turn and hit the rails, putting him out of contention for the qualifying spots. The final nights action, Saturday, and the ever consistent Drive On Tipp put in a good performance to come from off the pace to grab victory. Overcoming a bit of bumping he took up the running at the fourth bend to win by two and a half lengths in 29.49.
The draw for the second round took place Sunday morning and has thrown up more brilliant racing for the weekend ahead. Drive On Tipp and Lenson Blinder head over on Friday evening whilst Slippy Cian travels Saturday. Their full draws can be seen below (click to view larger image).