Ballydoyle Honey on track for sweet double
Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30
Each year, the fairer sex take over Shelbourne Park during the months of May and June and they rarely fail to deliver on the big stage.
Last weekend was a perfect example as the best of an exceptional crop of young bitches produced one of the greatest races ever seen at the Ringsend venue.
The very special Ballydoyle Honey emerged triumphant in the final of the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks, and a week on she will commence her bold bid to complete a famous double in the opening round of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks.
The double has been achieved twice in recent years by Droopys Twirl and Dalcash Dvinsky and Ballydoyle Honey isn't a big price to replicate the pair.
She lines out in Heat 8 where her clash with Priceless Lassie stands out as the highlight of the round.
Priceless Lassie is one of the few females in training with the pace to challenge Ballydoyle Honey, but on current form it would foolish to oppose the latter from a favourable draw in one.
Of course, the last time Graham Holland's superstar wore the red jacket she raced into the history books.
Posting 27.86, she became the fastest bitch ever to cover 525yds in Ireland.
In short we're expecting Ballydoyle Honey to win tonight and it will take something out of the ordinary to stop her from completing an Oaks double in five weeks' time.
Of those in her way, Cashen Maureen, Skywalker Pearl, Slippery Hannah and the aforementioned Priceless Lassie are probably the best equipped to give her trouble.
With the exception of Priceless Lassie, expect those named to win their respective heats tonight.
Cashen Maureen is perhaps the most interesting of the quartet.
She started her career on these shores and looked a potential star before being sold across the water after finishing runner-up in the 2013 National Puppy Stake.
She now returns to Ireland as the reigning English Oaks winner and looks the part in the final heat.
Time for tea
The stamina set dominate tonight's action at Cork as the Barrys Tea 750 kicks off.
It's no surprise to see Droopys Oddysey head the betting, but there are a couple of newcomers to six-bend racing waiting their big chance.
His kennel companion Droopys Bomber is a high-class recruit to the staying game and, after a sensational 28.17 trial last weekend, is expected to make a winning start to his new career in Heat 4.
Tradition falls into the 'could be anything' category, although all evidence suggests Pat Dalton's bitch will be special over an extended trip. She will be very difficult to contain in the final heats.