Ballydoyle switched to take in Easter Cup
Plans have been changed again for super bitch Ballydoyle Honey and she is now set to contest the Ladbrokes Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park on Saturday.
Two of her English-based owners were present at Shelbourne on Saturday to see her trialled. Both Peter McMunn and Brian Holder were on the steps to see her covering the 550 yards in 29.45 in a solo spin.
Graham Holland confirmed the change of plan. “When we studied the calendar it became obvious that the Gain 600 and the Sporting Press Oaks were too close together and so it was decided to go for the Easter Cup and to bypass the Gain 600 before trying to defend her Oaks title,” he said.
The Easter Cup heats will be run on Saturday and entries close tomorrow morning for the prestigious event which carries a winner’s prize of €25,000. Trainer Holland, who won the event last year with Sidarian Blaze, has also entered Sidarian Vega, Rural Hawaii, Skywalker Rory and Highview Event.
The entries, of course, also include Saturday’s Gold Cup winner Slippery Fred which finished second last year after a thrilling battle with Sidarian Blaze. Larry Dunne has also entered Slippery Snowy.
Paul Hennessy, who has won the event six times, will be represented by Saturday’s impressive winner Jaytee Jet as well as Jaytee Valencia, Painstown Chief and Mynewbestfriend.
Other leading fancies include Pat O’Brien’s Irish Derby finalist Peregrine Falcon, Pat Buckley’s Lenson Sanchez, Tom O’Neill’s Ballyhooly Henry, Declan Byrne’s Black Tom, Michael O’Donovan’s Laughil Duke, Brendan Matthews’ Leave At Dawn and Gerry Merriman’s Highview Apollo, Premier and Ranger.
Meanwhile, the draw for the second round of the Greyhound & Petworld Supersprint at Curraheen Park on Saturday has thrown up a huge clash in the opening heat.
Drawn to run side by side in traps three and four are the two impressive Ian Reilly-trained heat winners Hee Haws Sheriff and Quietly but the race also includes Paul Hennessy’s impressive heat winner Mucho Macho Man.
Quietly took a spot off the old record when clocking 17.33 but he will have his work cut out to beat his kennel companion Hee Haws from this draw. The Hennessy runner Mucho Macho Man must also be fancied to make the semi-final.
Robert Gleeson had better luck with his two runners. The eye-catching Ballymac Bigmike looks a winner of the third heat from trap six, while Toolmaker Scot is drawn in the final heat and I would anticipate a winning run from him also with the benefit of a run around the track behind him.