Ballydoyle Honey so sweet in Easter Cup
Any doubts about Ballydoyle Honey's fitness were quickly dispelled at Shelbourne Park on Saturday when the Oaks heroine produced a stunning winning effort in the first heat of the Ladbrokes Easter Cup second round.
Trainer Graham Holland feared that she was coming into season late last week but she turned up bouncing and quickly assumed control on her way to an eight-length victory over Leave At Dawn in a flying 29.34 for the 550 yards.
That was the outstanding effort on the night but it was only ten spots quicker than Jaytee Jet returned when winning the second heat. Notorious Ben got up late to pip Peregrine Falcon by half a length for second spot.
Recent Best Car Parks Gold Cup winner Slippery Fred maintained his brilliant form when running away with the third heat. Larry Dunne's dog flew from trap five and raced away in glorious isolation to win by five lengths from Lenson Sanchez in 29.56.
Holland had his anticipated 1-2 in the final heat but it took a while to materialise. Sidarian Vega walked out but showed brilliant early pace to lead out of the second bend and, despite fading late, held on by a length from the strong-finishing Skywalker Rory in 29.69, with Only For Life third.
Top run on the supporting card was the 28.38 from Mucho Macho Man, which was the middle leg of a Hennessy treble. He flew clear early and booked his place in the Scottish Derby when coming home clear.