Amazing Dude keeps Holland flying high
It is simply impossible to keep trainer Graham Holland out of the headlines these days and he completed a quite remarkable weekend when his two brilliant puppies Amazing Dude and Rural Hawaii produced brilliant runs in the quarter-finals of the BIF Produce Stakes at Clonmel on Sunday night.
Over the previous nights Holland had enjoyed a great time in the opening round of the English Derby at Wimbledon while his Ballydoyle Honey is already almost unbackable to win the Sporting Press Irish Oaks at Shelbourne as we approach Saturday's quarter-final stage.
The layers were yesterday quoting Amazing Dude an even-money favourite to win the €30,000 BIF prize at Clonmel, while kennel companion Rural Hawaii is 13/8 second favourite and the layers go 8/1 bar the pair.
Amazing Dude, which is owned by Liam McLoughlin, was quite awesome as he brought his career record to five wins from six outings. He displayed sensational early pace as he raced to an eight-and-a-half-length margin over the dead-heating duo of Uncle Paul and Conna Harriers in 28.23, a time which equals the track record set by Colorful Champ way back in 2009.
Just 15 minutes later Rural Hawaii wasn't hanging about either as he took over from Skip Glory early in the back straight and went on to beat that game rival by three lengths in 28.37. We witnessed an amazing performance from Maurice Heffernan's Country Legend in winning Heat 3 where he was left in traps and must have trailed the leader Jumeirah Mikey by 15 lengths at the opening bend. The leader appeared to incur an injury but in an amazing finish Country Legend swept to the front in the shadow of the post to win by half a length from Haughty Slippers in 28.95 with Ballybough Mike a neck third.
The final heat saw Ballybough Mike's trainer Murt Leahy and owner Pat Carroll gain a second semi-finalist as Ballybough Mondo held off Kevin Patrick by half a length in 28.69.
Horror draw for Irish
Sunday's draw for the second round of the English Derby hasn't been the kindest to the Irish raiders with four of our party drawn in opposition in a red-hot Heat 11 on Saturday.
The visiting quartet are Go Ahead (T1), Quietly (T2), Sidarian Blaze (T3) and Save The Don (T5) with the other two runners in the heat being Making Paper and Swift Perth.
Owen McKenna's Farloe Blitz is the shortest-priced of our runners at 16/1 joint second favourite but he will be up against four other heat winners in Thursday's Heat 7.
Droopys Nidge is the 14/1 favourite and he has drawn trap six in Heat 2 where Holland''s strong-staying Riverside Pat will be an Irish runner in trap two.
There will be eight heats on Friday and the remaining eight on Saturday.