Ballydoyle can continue her march to glory
Another memorable four-timer at Shelbourne Park on Thursday showed that the all-conquering Graham Holland kennel retains its huge level of form and the Golden-based trainer heads into a massive weekend with major fancies in the Sporting Press Irish Oaks, the William Hill English Derby and the BIF Produce Stakes.
Graham's wife Nicky is looking after the home forces and she will travel to Shelbourne with a team that includes their three runners in the Oaks. Unfortunately for them all three were drawn together in the second heat, but it will surely take more than a difficult draw to halt the amazing progress of the brilliant Ballydoyle Honey (10.12).
Not alone will she have to overcome her kennel companions Hovex Princess and Rising Twirl but also such as Jumeirah Dancer, Tyrur Dicky and Slippery Hanna. She can lead home Tyrur Dicky and Jumeirah Dancer.
Ballydoyle's main rival is her litter sister, the Reggie Roberts-owned Urban Gossip (9.57) and this strong runner can overcome tough opposition to win the first heat. Lislevane Swift can go off in front but can she hold off big finishers such as Urban Gossip and Tyrur Mairead? Doubtful, but all three can make the decider.
Gerry Melia's Greenwell Hulk (9.27) commences his defence of the Gain 600 in the third heat and can win from Ballymac Matt while the other heats of this feature can go to Cable Bay (8.57), Deanridge Pennys (9.12) and Skywalker Farloe (9.42). Also on the Shelbourne card the semis of the ECC Timber 525 can be won by Jaytee Pharaoh (7.57) and Balline Bolt (8.12), while one of the star attractions of the night is Boylesports Derby champion Laughil Blake (10.27) in his comeback race.
Twelve Irish runners will contest the third-round heats of the English Derby at Wimbledon and we can win at least half the contests. Quietly (7.16), Lenson Sanchez (8.04), Farloe Blitz (8.19) and Gaytime Hawk (9.07) can win while a number of others can also progress.
There will be huge interest in the running of Droopys Nidge (7.32) and he clearly has the pace to win a race that includes the Pat Buckley duo of Paradise Maverik and Coolavanny Jap, but he could well be in trouble on the opening bend.
Brendan Maunsell's Fire Height Amy (9.45) can defy Droopys Oddysey in the final of the Barry's Tea 750 at Curraheen.
The final of the BIF Produce Stakes heads a high class Clonmel programme tomorrow (7.30) and the €30,000 prize for the big one looks destined for the Holland kennels via their flying Amazing Dude (9.30) which can lead home Ballybough Mondo.