Saturday 1 October 2016

Ballydoyle Honey facing late Easter Cup decision

Published 05/03/2016 | 02:30

'Holland stresses that his other dogs are all in great form and there is no evidence to suggest that a widespread virus has hit the kennel' Stock photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
'Holland stresses that his other dogs are all in great form and there is no evidence to suggest that a widespread virus has hit the kennel' Stock photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Despite the fact that Rural Hawaii was withdrawn from tonight's Ladbrokes Easter Cup heats at Shelbourne due to a slight virus, there are currently no fears that the four other Graham Holland runners in the heats will be absentees.

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The trainer reported yesterday that blood samples have been taken from Rural Hawaii and another of his younger dogs and these have been sent for testing to Cork. But he stresses that his other dogs are all in great form and there is no evidence to suggest that a widespread virus has hit the kennel.

There is, however, a slight doubt surrounding Ballydoyle Honey's participation in the first heat as she has shown some signs of coming into season. "There are some slight indications but we will wait until Saturday to make a decision. It could well be a false season and we won't make a rushed decision. I also have to discuss the situation with the owners," Holland said.

Presuming Ballydoyle Honey (9.27) does turn up she can get back on the winning trail at the main expense of Leave At Dawn and Jaytee Valencia.

The absence of Ballyhooly Henry and Rural Hawaii means that Heat 2 will be a four-runner affair and this can be a thrilling battle between Peregrine Falcon and Jaytee Jet (9.42) with superior fitness shading it for the latter.

Larry Dunne's Slippery Fred (9.57) has really hit top form in the past few weeks and if he can overcome an unfavourable draw in five he can get the better of Lenson Sanchez and Country Legend in Heat 3. Two Holland runners Sidarian Vega (10.12) and Skywalker Rory can dominate the final heat and Vega's early pace can decide it.

Reilly double

After clashing in the second round, the two Ian Reilly-trained runners Hee Haws Sheriff and Quietly have avoided each other in the draw for the semi-finals of the Greyhound & Petworld Supersprint at Curraheen Park and both can win their respective heats.

Hee Haws Sheriff (9.05) really does look the supreme two-bend performer and Ciaran Burke's dog is a confident selection for the first semi where the likely danger is Robert Gleeson's well-drawn Toolmaker Scot.

Quietly (9.20) had to give best to Hee Haws Sheriff last week but did run well in defeat. This time he faces a tough battle with Leonard O'Hanlon's Ballymac Sexton and Gleeson's Ballymac Bigmike. Quietly may grab the early lead and hold onto it.

The semi-finals of the Red Mills Champion Bitch Stake will be run at Thurles and here the Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Grace (10.17) can follow up last week's impressive run from a favourable inside draw in the second heat. Borna Candy could be the main danger.

The other heat looks very open but a chance is taken with Gleeson's Droopys Sambuca (10.02) which has only returned from a break. She is capable of much better than last week's run and gets the vote to win from Nushkas Top Gal.

Irish Independent

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