Clares Really Is A Rocket
We are running out of words to describe the run that Graham Holland is on at the moment.
Over the weekend he broke two track records and won the Limerick Oaks and the Puppy Oaks. To say the kennel is in form is an understatement! His fantastic weekend started in the sixth race at Shelbourne Park on Saturday where he turned out his new in-take Milldean Puma in an open 575 contest.
Puma went off co favourite of three with BoyleSports Duke and Slippery Snowy but it turned out to be a one dog race in the end. Milldean took the lead on the run to the corner and turned the race into a procession, running out a five length winner in a superb 30.65 shaving twenty spots off the record which was held by Mall Brandy. Then it was on to Clonmel for the Holland bandwagon for the second round of the Produce Stakes where Jo Jo Fantasy set new figures for the trip here last week (28.18).
This week it was the turn of Clares Rocket to do the honours where he blew from the traps (2.75 sectional) to go on and record an amazing 27.87!
I for one never thought we would see it done in Clonmel. Congratulations to all involved.
Best Of The Rest
We have already spoken about the headline act in round two of the Produce Stakes, Clares Rocket, let’s have a quick look at some of the other main contenders.
Escapism is the biggest loser in our ante-post book thus far. This Owen McKenna-trained runner had to play second fiddle to Coolavanny Wendy in the opening heat on Sunday night. Wendy, to his credit ran a game race to hold out and win by a length in the end where the winning time here was 28.73. Francie Murry has a nice sort in A Day Late – this son of Shaneboy Lee and And We Will left the boxes like a scalded cat (2.70 sectional) so was clear on the run to the bend.
Razldazl Tierna done the chasing down the far side but to no avail, A Day Late cruised home an easy three and a half-length winner in a slick 28.51. Holland was again off the Mark in heat three with Skywalker Manner, this odds on shot made every post a winning one running on strong to beat Ballybough Bergo by over six lengths in 28.70. Something tells me there is more to come from this fellow.
Last season’s Puppy Derby winner Anopheles bounced back to form in heat four for his trainer Liam Dowling. He actually caused a bit of a shock as he turned over odds on jolly and fastest first round heat winner Jo Jo Fantasy (2/5). Anopheles took up the running out of the second bend and drew further and further clear with every stride to go on and stop the clock in 28.40.
Jo Jo looked to stumble out of the boxes so he was on the back foot from the start. I thought he ran a super race to qualify.
Nomadic Leader is the big local hope remaining in the competition and he is improving leaps and bounds over the last month, he gave his best performance to date in heat six. Leader is a son of Droopys Cain and Nomadic Sal so stamina doesn’t seem to be an issue, he led all to stop the clock 28.39.
Mountaylor Queen looks to be the leading lady left in the competition, by a Derby winner out of an Oaks winner she is bred to be special. Both the dam and sire were trained by Frances O’Donnell.
Slipalong Champ was sent off the evens favourite in this heat, his chances were dashed at boxes after a slow start. Instead it was Mountaylor Queen who led out and kept on strong to land the heat in 28.51. Trainer Pat Buckley enjoyed a 1-2 in the final heat of the night as the early pacer Droopys Nine led home recent Cesarewitch winner Droopys Acrobat in 28.84.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s quarter finals, the standout race looks to be the third qualifier where Slipalong Champ, Anopheles, Clares Rocket and Coolavanny Wendy go into battle.
Clares Rocket is certain to go off a red hot favourite and he should come through with flying colours if he finds a level break.
The English Derby kicks into play this Thursday night. Ireland is well represented in the draw with 30 runners.
As we go to print we are responsible for the top two in the market, Droopys Roddick and Jaytee Jet. Roddick is the long-time favourite after his win in the Puppy Derby in Wimbledon and has since enhanced his position as favourite by winning the Con Kirby at Limerick.
Jaytee Jet shot to the top end of the market after his win in the Easter Cup. The 39 heats will be run over three nights with a number of two dog qualifiers. This is a disaster in my opinion but I won’t get into it!
We have every heat priced up and available so shop early for the value. There is also a number of specials available which have proved to be very popular over the last few years. Some of these include the top bitch, winning trainer, winning seed and selected trainers’ top dogs. All the above markets can be seen on www.boylesports.com or call into any of our shops nationwide. #BetOnBoyle