Class Of ’13 Look Exceptional
Irish Puppy Oaks
This has to be without doubt one of the the best Puppy Oaks ever run in Shelbourne, well in my memory anyway.
The breeding alone of some of these young bitches is to die for, let alone their talent on the track. The first semi final on Saturday night was one of the best races witnessed in HQ in a long time. Droopys Streak (9/4) took a flyer from trap 6 and led to the opening corner with hot favorite Ballydoyle Honey (4/7) in close pursuit off the second turn.
From here it was raced on down the far side with both bitches in top flight. Honey put in a huge burst of pace into the third corner but Streak on the outside cut in and closed the door on her chances of getting up the inside. It looked all over from here but Honey did not throw in the towel as she finished with a flourish and just failed to catch the long time leader Droopys Streak in a fantastic 28.33.
The score remains two nil to Droopys in the match races after they also clashed in the opening round. Tolpuddle Mist (33/1) ran the race of her life to finish third here and provide trainer Graham Holland with his third finalist. The second semi-final was over as soon as the lids opened when Skywalker Pearl (11/2) shot clear in the opening yards recording a 1.94 sectional and raced clear around the opening two bends. She kept up this tremendous gallop to the line and stopped the clock in the fastest of the night over 525 yards 28.22.
There was an eye catching run in second place here as the Reggie Roberts owned and trained Urban Gossip (14/1) who absolutely flew home and was only beat one and a half lengths. She is a member of the fantastic Brett Lee and Kildallon Maid litter which makes her a sister to the favorite Ballydoyle Honey, Slippery Snowy, Badminton Maid, Hovex Prince and Slippery Fran to name a few.
For a bitch only having her fifth race last week, she showed some gears and she can go down in your note book as a bitch to follow in the coming few months. Coolavanny Slip (25/1) filled the final qualifying position for trainer Pat Buckley. Looking at the trap draw for the final, I think trap one will be a huge benefit to Skywalker Pearl as she is pinging the lids and can lead up with a level start.
It’s going to be hard to overturn the top two in the betting but the 11/2 about Pearl really stands out to me after her brilliant run last week and looks the each-way value.
In Limerick, the ladies also are the main attraction as they are down to the final six in the Limerick Oaks. The favorite for the final is Slippery Hanna (11/8) who has drawn trap three in this weekend’s decider. She is a winner of three of her last four starts around Limerick and only went down by half a length in last week’s semi-final.
Madams Babe (8/1) got the inside line in front of Hanna on the run to the bend and this proved the winning of the race. Babe has a horrible draw in trap five in the final so will have to take an absolute flyer from the lids if she is to get across to the rails. Priceless Lassie (13/8) took advantage of early crowding at the first bend to take second place behind her kennel companion Hitachi Grace (20/1) as they headed down the far side, the writing was on the wall from here as Lassie doesn’t get into full stride until they hit the third bend. She took control from here and ran out a comfortable six length winner in 28.41.
Cloon Glory (8/1) took the third semi-final as she held off the fast finishing Borna Helena (5/1) in a slick 28.55. Looking at the draw you would have to fancy Slippery Hanna in three, she should lead up the two ladies on her inside and grab the rails. Priceless Lassie has a bad draw in six but will be nearer last then first on the run to the corner so could get a run in behind them all, nothing will be finishing faster.
I’m going to stick with my original selection in the final of the Lee Strand in Tralee.
Droopys Hip Hop (2/1) was runner up in his semi but finished very strong after failing to hold his position around the first two bends.
Happy Endings (4/1) showed blinding early to make the corner from six last week and get the rails. He seems to get this 550 yards very strong.
Outsider of the party is Whiteys Scarface (16/1). He is sneaking through each round and is only getting to know the track. His connections are well known for having a good go when the big prizes are put in front of them so don’t be surprised if this lad causes an upset!
Musical Dawn (2/1) has won three from four rounds of this competition and is the dog to beat. He hasn’t got the best early pace but really turns on the style down the far side. Knockbrogan King (6/1) hasn’t got the best of draws in four and he relies on setting the pace so will need to rocket away from traps if he is to get an early lead. Touchdown Jacko (9/2) ran very well in defeat last week. Early crowding looked to have put him to his chances of qualifying for the final but he dug really deep to pull himself through. Droopys Hip Hop for me on the trap draw.
The English Derby is only a fortnight away and a lot of action is beginning to take place in the ante post market. The latest few dogs to be punted are last years Puppy Derby champion, Quietly, 50’s into 25’s, last year’s favorite, Mind The Net, 50’s into 33’s, last year’s runner up, Droopys Ward, 66’s into 33’s and support is continuing to come in for Sidarian Blaze he is now outright favorite at 16/1.
The draw is due to take place on Sunday with the final number of entries not yet known. We hope to be pricing up a few specials when the draw is made as well as the heats. All the Derby heats can be viewed on Sky channel 212 for the first few rounds. Keep an eye out online at www.boylesports.com for any market movers over the weekend as a lot of the big guns will be having their last workout and i’m sure there will be a few lightening trials.