Mike Sets The Pace In Clonmel

After a brilliant performance last time out in Cork behind leading English Derby hope Quietly, Ballybough Mike set the standard in the opening round of the Produce Stakes in Clonmel on Sunday night.

He absolutely lifted the lids out of it with a 2.73 sectional and he kept up a strong gallop to the line clocking a fantastic 28.54, this Murt Leahy-trained runner has plenty of experience and will be a huge contender come the latter end of this prestigious puppy competition.

Not too far behind Mike on the stopwatch was Leave At Dawn who made good use of his draw on the rails to just get the corner, he showed a nice turn of early pace and powered down the far side, running out a comfortable two length winner over Country Legend who put in an eye catching run in second place in a very slick 28.67.

Brendan Matthews Townview kennels are in terrific form at the moment and are bidding to win this for the second year running after taking it last year with our very own Boylesports Hero.

Graham Holland had a great opening round night as he sent out a treble, Rural Hawaii 28.67, Amazing Dude 29.16 and Calzaghe Clampet 28.84.

Rural was having his first start since running up the Con and Annie Kirby stake in Limerick to Cable Bay, he made every post a winning one and victory was never in doubt for this son of Headbound, this fellow will have huge local support throughout the stake.

Calzaghe Clampet put in a good run towards the end of the card as the track was running slower, he was never too far off the pace and pounced up the home straight to hit the front and catch the flying early pace runner Trinity Forest.

Amazing Dude ran an amazing race for a dog with such inexperience against dogs with plenty of runs under their belts, his time of 29.16 does not reflect his style of victory, he rode a nice bump off the first turn and showed massive gears to get the last two bends off the Pat Buckley trained Beaming Boost, this 82lbs powerhouse was well supported last week ante post and now we know why!

A runner who really caught my eye was the Jimmy Buckley part owned Jumeirah Mikey, this lad was knocked over in his last appearance on the race track but showed no ill effects here as he showed his rivals massive early gears and went further and further clear with every stride clocking 28.83 on a dead track. So that’s one round down with four to go, have we yet another Boylesports Derby winner in the produce stakes? Only time will tell.

It’s all about the two bend runners in Harolds Cross at the moment as the first round heats of the Peggy Kelly sprint took place last Friday night, fastest heat winner here was the John Mcgee trained Slade Paddy(6/1) 17.41, this son of Slip The Lark was having his first race over two bends after showing lightening early over the 525 trip on a few occasions.

He seemed right at home over the sprint distance as he steered a wide course throughout, he powered clear of his rivals up the home straight to win by four and a half lengths.

Iceroad Driver(5/1) is a real favourite of mine, he is Mr consistent at the boxes and led some top class dogs to the third bend in the Laurels in Cork. He has since won over 525 trip here in HX, but the step back in distance could prove a shrewd move by trainer Tommy Bolton.

Other heat winners were Industry Price(10/1) 17.61, Dream Of Mine(16/1) 17.65 and Ballymac Cable(8/1) 17.62. Two runners who never got a chance to show their true speed last week were Bellside Jon(8/1) and Catherines Drico(6/1) keep an eye on these two dogs Friday this night in their respective heats. Bellside Jon represents the value for me after a few sparkling trials around Shelbourne and Cork.


What a final we had to the Puppy Oaks last Saturday night at HQ when there was less than a length separating the first four home.

The race looked all over off the second bend as Skywalker Pearl led them down the back with her kennel companion Ballydoyle Honey in the wars around the first two bends. Pearl was setting a strong pace up front, but there was a line of bitches in behind all queing up to have a crack at the leader.

Honey again ran into trouble between the last two bends when she was beginning to wind up for a challenge, but this is a really talented lady as she sprouted wings on the outside and got up to collar long-time leader Skywalker Pearl on the line.

In fairness this lady done everything spot on and didn’t deserve to get beat. It was a great 1-2 for the Holland kennel as they continue their domination of the IGB calender.

Let’s hope this domination continues at the other side of the Irish Sea when they launch their challenge in Plough Lane for the upcoming English Derby. E

ntries close for the main event in the UK calender on Tuesday where management are expecting up to 270 entries. It’s going to be a cracking few weeks ahead where there could be up to 50 Irish challengers.

Sidarian Blaze currently heads our market at 16/1. All eyes will be on the first round draw which takes place on Sunday afternoon live on Sky channel 212. Keep up to date with all our specials and heat prices on