Honey Is Sweet In Shelbourne
The Sporting Press Irish Oaks blasted into action last Saturday night with no less than six of the ten heat winners breaking 28.50; the quality throughout this competition is endless.
It kicked off when Garryglass Lulu (25/1) caused a bit of an upset as she took the lead at the opening turn and ran on strong to record 28.49 in the opening heat. The man of the moment Graham Holland enjoyed an opening round four timer. Skywalker Pearl (7/1) set the ball rolling for team Holland clocking 28.37 in heat three. Pearl didn’t take one of her trade mark fliers from the traps but her early gears soon carried her to the front and from here it was race over.
Ante post favourite Ballydoyle Honey (7/4) again lit up headquarters with a breath taking performance in heat eight. She flew from the traps and showed good early pace to make the opening turn just in front. She took off like the rocket she is from the second turn. From here it was Honey against the clock as she was way out in front running out a comfortable eight length winner stopping the clock in a fantastic 28.09.
This is a really special lady and she will get 550 yards with relative ease!
Rising Twirl (33/1) 28.53 and Warrior Gwen (50/1) 28.64 provided Holland with his other two heat winners. Urban Gossip (14/1) got her head in front after a few big performances in defeat during the puppy Oaks over the last few weeks. This lady is a litter sister to Ballydoyle Honey and has plenty of gears and is a strong stayer; she will be hard to keep out of the first three.
Gossip really dug deep up the home straight to get the better of long-time leader Invincible Jackie (50/1) in 28.75. Shes A Dream (16/1) and Springwell Watsy (14/1) had a great tussle in heat 7 with only a neck separating them when they reached the judge in 28.44. One of the highlights of Saturday night came from the sole UK representative Cashen Maureen (100/30).
Maureen was having her first look at Shelbourne since she ran up the National Puppy stake to Sidarian Blaze back in December 2013. She ran the track like she was never away, broke level but motored to the bend, Maureen powered clear of her rivals down the back and ran on to record a slick 28.24. Fair play to connections for making the trip over and adding an International flavour to the stake. She is a big player here and has been mixing with the best of runners both male and female in the UK recently. Maureen has proved to be a shrewd buy by her connections and is bidding to do the Oaks double.
Tommys Driver can do the biz!
The final of the Peggy Kelly sprint takes centre stage on Friday night in Harolds Cross. Looking at the clocks on last week’s semi-final, there is less than a length and a half separating all six finalists. The vote goes to the Tommy Bolton trained Iceroad Driver (13/8) who has the best of the draw on the outside. He actually dead heated last week’s semi-final with Swanly Rose (14/1) but Driver lost a small bit of ground moving off the second bend. He has a good record from trap six and can step up to the mark in the decider.
Catherines Drico (13/8) 17.61, was quickest in the qualifiers for trainer Ronnie McKeown when he recorded his 10th career victory. He has drawn trap one in the final which is sometimes a hindrance in the sprint boxes at the Cross. Fordeflag (7/1) upset the two favourites in the third qualifier.
He paced up well to the bend and held his half a length lead up the home stretch in 17.63 holding off the game Industry Price (5/1) in second place. Iceroad Driver gets the vote but as with any sprint race, miss the beat half a length and you’re in trouble! Driver is a real professional at the traps and can make his presence felt.
Holland’s amazing run continues in Clonmel
Is there a better trainer in the country at the moment for preparing dogs for these big competitions than Graham Holland?
He is taking every competition he enters dogs in by storm. This run continued in Clonmel on Sunday night at the second round of the Produce Stakes. The Riverside Kennels provided three of the eight heat winners.
Amazing Dude (5/2) was the fastest winner. This 83 pound power house really took off in his heat motoring clear to the bend. He had a rough passage in the opening round but showed no ill effects here. The Dude was well clear off the final turn as he kept up a strong gallop to the line recording 28.58. Rural Hawaii (5/2) made it four from six in Clonmel taking his heat in 28.72, this wide running son of Head Bound and Duck Fat is the big local hope remaining in the Classic.
Calzaghe Clampet (10/1) was the third leg of trainer Holland’s treble coming from well off the pace in 28.76. Dave Kennedy has a nice prospect for the year ahead in the shape of Trinity Forest (12/1). This fellow has early speed in abundance (2.71 sectional) and not many can live with this lad to the corner. He stayed on stoutly his week beating Country Legend in 28.66.
Skip Glory (20/1) is a dog improving with each run for long-time friends Tom Smyth and Maurice Jackson. Glory put his race to bed at trap rise making every post a winning one in 28.75. Jumeirah Mikey (8/1) continued his love affair with Clonmel making it three wins from three attempts at the track. He overcame first bend traffic problems to get up and score in 28.91. The other heat winners were Go Dex Go (14/1) 28.77 and Glenanore Ace (25/1) 29.10.
We also have betting available for the Barrys Tea 750 in Cork where Frazer Black holds all the aces. He has the top two in the market Droopys Odyssey (11/4) and Droopys Bomber (7/2). Bomber made a winning start to his six bend career last week and seasoned campaigner Odyssey went down by a short head in his qualifier. There is plenty of value still to be got in this market.
Our two biggest losers in the event so far are Tradition (7/1) and Chloes Gina (12/1). The first round heats of the English Greyhound Derby are down for decision this week. 48 first round heats are taking place over four nights Wednesday through to Saturday. We have every heat priced up plus a number of specials as well as the outright market which can be viewed on www.boylesports.com. You can watch all the heats live in our shops nationwide on channel 212. #BetOnBoyle for all things greyhounds!