Night one of the 2022 Star Sports/TRC Derby was the Patrick Janssens show, last year's winning handler putting down quite a marker with 4 winners including a brilliant track record for his Lautaro. In the English v Irish challenge, it ended with an 8-2 home advantage with just the small matter of 22 round one heats to go. Here's the full recap.
Against the market Aussie Captain, easy to back at 7/2, won the opener for Janssens and the Aussie Boys Syndicate, the trainer emulating Ian Reilly in 2005 by being the previous year's winning handler to win the opening race of the following Derby.
To make a point Janssens followed up with a win for Bev Lochead's Bockos Belly as he continued his fairytale return from a broken shoulder.
The closest of the first night's heats, if not the quickest, was the third as Tom Heilbron's Innfield Trojan prevailed in a bunch finish for Tom and Kevin Heilbron plus John Jefferson.
Spinosaurus would have been representing Ireland a month earlier, instead the 4/1 chance makes a winning British debut for trainer James Turner and the Hazard Syndicate.
Patrick Janssens picked up his third win of the night as Deelish Frankie overcame what looked a really tough draw with a brilliant back straight burst to win for Evan Herbert, John Porter and Stephen Vogt.
The run of the night, and the round, as that man Patrick Janssens is back with another winner and a track record to boot 💪. Lautaro is jointly owned by Patrick plus Evan Herbert and John Porter.
The Irish make their presence felt with a first win the Derby and an impressive one at that as Da Bold Freddie bolts up for trainer Peter Cronin and owner Pat McDonagh.
The Irish really flexing their muscles now and it's a 1-2-3 for the raiders with heavily-supported Skywalker Barry leading home compatriots Ballymac Fairone and Bockos Leah. Winning trainer is Michael O'Donovan, owner Ray Patterson; winner's sectional of 4.04sec bettered even Lautaro's 4.07sec en route to the track record.
Gary Griffiths picked up a win for owner Stephen Harvey in heat 9 with Magical Duke flying the traps and making all following a rapid 4.05sec split.
Rounding off the night, John Mullins' Signet Goofy proved his stamina as he took heat 10 for Lee Calcutt and Chris Waters.