Dude crowns amazing treble for Holland
There's just no stopping champion trainer Graham Holland at the moment and he highlighted his status with a number of high-profile winners at the weekend.
Following a magnificent four-timer at Shelbourne Park on Saturday in the Sporting Press Irish Oaks, he recorded a brilliant hat-trick at Clonmel on Sunday in the second round of the BIF Produce Stakes.
His ante-post favourite, Rural Hawaii, justified odds-on favouritism, clocking 28.72. Calzaghe Clampet returned the second leg of Holland's treble when coming from off the pace to win 28.76 However, the pair were eclipsed somewhat by their kennel companion, Amazing Dude.
The precocious son of Royal Patrol has made an outstanding start to his career and is now certain to claim an even loftier position in the outright betting following a clinical trap-to-line victory in 28.58.
The display brought his career tally to four wins from five starts. Despite a large frame, 'Dude' has superb trapping ability and the sort of pace, both into the corner and down the back straight, that can outgun even the most talented of rivals.
There were many more fine performances in the Produce Stakes, including that of Trinity Forest. In what was billed as the hottest contest of the round, Trinity Forest produced a foot-perfect display, making all after a lightning-fast start to stop the clock in 28.66.
The competition continues on Sunday evening with the quarter-finals, where the clash of Trinity Forest and the ante-post favourite Rural Hawaii is the stand-out.
Meanwhile, the waiting is nearly over as far as the William Hill English Derby is concerned which starts tomorrow night. There are 255 dogs taking their chance in the Wimbledon showpiece and the logistics of running such an event are complicated, to say the least. Management and sponsors have agreed that the opening round consists of 48 heats run across four days with two to qualify from each.
It means that 159 greyhounds will exit at the first hurdle. Of course the breakdown doesn't allow for six-dog races, which means that 33 of the 48 heats will be run as five-dog affairs.
The Irish entry is particularly strong with over 40 runners taking their chance in an event Ireland last won in 2008 with Loyal Honcho.