Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ballydoyle Honey is in a class of her own

Published 15/06/2015 | 02:30

Great performances from Farloe Blitz and Gaytime Hawk demanded attention at the Irish trials (stock image)
Great performances from Farloe Blitz and Gaytime Hawk demanded attention at the Irish trials (stock image)

There must already be strong claims for Ballydoyle Honey to be rated with the greatest bitches we have ever seen following another awesome performance in the semi-finals of the Irish Oaks at Shelbourne Park on Saturday.

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Doubts existed as to how she would cope with a trap six draw in the second semi-final but the odds of 1/2 on offer must have been one of the 'gift' prices of this year. She simply treated her rivals with a degree of disdain.

What really left us gobsmacked was that amazing burst of pace out of the second bend.

One moment she was placed fourth but in a matter of five strides she had suddenly finished the race as a contest as she showed half a length in front and then entered her own planet of excellence as she pulled away to win by eight lengths from litter sister Hovex Princess in 28.18. Jumeirah Dancer was a length third.

This was the 11th success of her young career from her 16th start and the mindboggling statistic about her Oaks campaign is that she has won her four heats by an aggregate distance of 29 lengths.

Whatever about the veterans, I have never seen her likes before.

The other heat was true dream stuff as the three outsiders filled the three places and we had phenomenal Tote Forecast and Trio dividends of €378.40 and €937.50 for €1 stakes.

The winner was Ravenswood Emily which prevailed by a thrilling short head from Awaywitdepixies in 28.81 with Piercestown Lucy a length third.

There was no fluke about it as the three outsiders were at the fore all the way and Gerry Barber, who trains the winner which he owns jointly with Derek Hatch, said: "It is a dream come true. To have an Oaks finalist is amazing."

Wimbledon bad luck

It is far from a new experience for Irish dogs to 'enjoy' bad luck when it comes to the draw for the quarter-finals of the William Hill English Derby.

But surely tomorrow's final heat is the pits with four Irish-trained runners in the Pat Buckley duo of Paradise Maverik and Lenson Sanchez and the Peter Cronin pair of Tynwald Bish and Salonika all in together.

But, worse, the race also includes Droopys Nidge which we are also inclined to regard as our own. The line-up is completed by Blonde Nipper which finished third in the Irish Puppy Derby.

But it is not all gloom as Owen McKenna's Farloe Blitz continues to impress following a 28.36 victory gained despite a moderate start.

There were also big runs from Paul Hennessy's youngster Jaytee Jet in a second best of the night 28.27 and Pat Buckley's Lenson Sanchez in a best of the night 28.12.

All in all, seven Irish qualified for tomorrow's action.

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