Ballydoyle Leads The Way

Is there anything else we can say about this exceptional lady? Ballydoyle Honey looks to have this year’s Sporting Press Irish Oaks at her mercy; she continues to amaze every time she sets foot in Shelbourne Park.

Honey proved to everyone that her run in the puppy oaks was no flash in the pan!

When commentator Ian Fortune called out the time of 27.95, the funny thing is people were not surprised at all, we were half expecting it! Once the boxes opened and Honey broke level and had the inside line it was all eyes on the clock, you knew she was going to rattle the 28 second barrier judging by the way the track was running from earlier races.

The distance she put between herself and the rest of the field between bends two and three was scary. Slippery Hanna (16/1), to be fair, ran her best race in the competition to date and was still beat nine lengths and Awaywiththepixies (50/1) flew out and did well to qualify for her connections.

Rising Twirl won the opening quarter final in a slick 28.39, which in other years would have her in pole position for the competition but not this year; she is available at 16/1. It looked to be a walk in the park for this lady on the run to the bend but when Tyrur Mairead (16/1) turned in second she had other things on her mind, Mairead is only lightly raced and ran the race of her career here as she took off in pursuit of Twirl down the far side, she was eating into the lead all the way up the run in and just failed by a short head to pick up the lady in front.

She did some running to get as close as she did and has scope for massive improvement as this was only her sixth race. Ravenswood Emily (50/1) qualified back in third here and doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Tyrur Dicky (16/1) ended a losing run of eight to win heat two, and did she show some guts to get the first bend in front after a level break.

Once in front, it was all over as connections had tried her over 575 so stamina was never in doubt. Jumeirah Dancer (20/1) is also a confirmed stayer and had no answer to Dicky. Dancer didn’t get the cleanest run around the bottom two bends but still managed to outstay Piercestown Lucy (25/1) who finished third and her time here was 28.50.

The third heat was the most exciting race of the night and we only had four bitches going to traps. Lislevane Swift (12/1) set a strong gallop around the opening two bends with strong finisher Urban Gossip (5/1) following her around in second and her litter sister Hovex Princess (25/1) in third. Lislevane was still in control as they reached the third corner but at this stage Urban Gossip was challenging up her inside but as she went for the gap, the door was shut which caused both bitches to check up badly and lose momentum.

Gossip came off worse as Hovex hit the front up the home straight. How Gossip got up to win I will never know, she found an extra leg up the home straight and got up to win by a neck in 28.59 from Hovex Princess in second and Lislevane Swift another neck back in third. Ballydoyle Honey (1/3) faces a tough task in her semi-final drawn in trap six, she is entering unknown territory out there as she has never raced further out than four but her class should pull her through. Urban Gossip can make it a semi-final double for Mum Kildallon Maid.

Dude Cool As You Like In Clonmel
The Dude continues to amaze in the Produce Stakes in Clonmel. He lit up this South Tipperary venue for the second week in a row with an all the way success in a sparkling 28.35. Dude was foot perfect from the boxes and it was race over as he broke the sectional line first time round. Eventual third, Ballybough Mike (7/1) was his closest rival down the back straight but couldn’t put a dent into Dude’s advantage. Justice Matters (14/1) just nailed second place from Mike as they crossed the line four and a half lengths behind the winner.

Trainer Murty Leahy is a regular with finalists in the Produce Stakes and this year he is double handed in the final as his Ballybough Mondo led from start to finish in the first semi-final, he raced to the bend in front of Haughty Slippers (33/1) and Rural Hawaii. It looked to be race on from here but Hawaii failed to sparkle and was never in contention. Mondo cut the third bend lovely as Haughty was about to mount his challenge and ran on to score in 28.68 winning by one and a half lengths from the fast finishing Maggies Lucy (16/1) in second and Haughty Slippers a head back in third.

The trap draw for the final was done after racing and the Dude was handed the red jacket with the early paced Ballybough Mondo (10/1) in two. The Produce Stakes is known to throw up a few surprises so anything can happen.

Trap One isn’t the best box in Clonmel but I think the 82 pound powerhouse that is Amazing Dude (2/9) can burst his was to the front and win for local Trainer Graham Holland who is in red hot form!

Amy’s Record Run In Barry’s Tea
Fire Height Amy (6/4) galloped her way into the record books in Cork last Saturday night with a fabulous 41.14 run in her semi-final. Amy shot clear around the opening two bends and opened up a huge gap up the home straight first time round, they were all fighting for second place from here.

Droopys Oddysey (5/4) was the one to come out of the pack after a tardy start and stayed on for second place with Ballymac Jarlath (10/1) qualifying back in third. The second semi-final went the way of Crompaun Jamesy (12/1) coming from well off the pace to peg back long-time leader Kilcrea Hawk (20/1) and Karlow Master (6/1) also stayed on stoutly to pick up second position and book his place in this weekend’s decider.

Looking at the betting, this looks to be a match race between Oddysey and Amy.

We have went with Oddysey since the start so we will stick with him, hopefully he won’t let Amy get too far clear early as she won’t be picked up too easily.

Team Ireland Are In It For The Long Haul
We are down to the last 48 dogs in this year’s English Derby and Ireland still have twelve dogs in the draw. We came out with four heat winners over the weekend including Quietly (14/1), Salonika (80/1), Coolavanny Jap (20/1) and fastest second round winner and new outright favourite, Farloe Blitz (6/1).

The English though, have the numbers and won’t let the trophy leave their shores too easy. Droopys Nidge (8/1), Newinn Yolo (10/1) and new sensation Eden The Kid (10/1) are the main torch carriers for the English team and put in huge efforts last weekend. Eden The Kid in particular caught the eye the way he gave well experienced Swift Keith a running lesson down the back straight.

The next round takes place this Saturday night with some very tasty heats.

The hottest of all is without doubt heat five where three of the top four in the betting go into battle Farloe Blitz in One, Newinn Yolo in Three and Eden The Kid well drawn in Four.

What a race this is built up to be, worthy of any final.

Keep up to date online for all ante post prices, heat betting and specials priced up in this year’s event. This weekend sees the BoyleSports Race Of Champions commence in Tralee. It’s always a great competition and I’m sure this year will be no different. The draw is due to take place on Tuesday with a number of top class hounds such as Midtown Raffa, Sidarian Vega, Laughill Bolt and Paradise Silva going into the hat.

#BetOnBoyle for all things greyhounds!