Wednesday 18 January 2017

Hawaii avoids big guns in Produce draw

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

Fastest opening round winner was Ballybough Mike, which shot from boxes to post a superb 28.54 in a great run
Fastest opening round winner was Ballybough Mike, which shot from boxes to post a superb 28.54 in a great run

We have entered the busiest time on the greyhound calendar.

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Last weekend featured the conclusion of the Puppy Oaks, Lee Strand and Limerick Oaks, while Sunday saw the start of the BIF Produce Stakes at Clonmel, where there were some fine performances.

Fastest opening round winner was Ballybough Mike, which shot from boxes to post a superb 28.54 in a great run.

However, the headlines went to the all-conquering Graham Holland who recorded a wonderful treble which included the ante-post favourite Rural Hawaii.

Amazing Dude and Calzaghe Clampet completed the treble for the Tipperary-based handler. Holland won't have things so easy in the coming weeks, however, as there is real strength in the competition. Other impressive winners included Leave At Dawn, Mallory, Jumeirah Mikey and Razldazl Oisin.

Backers of Rural Hawaii will be happy with his second-round draw.

He has avoided any opening-round heat winners and will start a very short price to win Heat 1.

The highlight of the second round draw is Heat 7 with Sunday scorers, Leave At Dawn and Razldazl Oisin, facing a tough test of their credentials. They will be joined by the fast-finishing Country Legend and the early-paced Trinity Forest.

The Sporting Press Irish Oaks gets under way at Shelbourne Park on Thursday night and after an incredible Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks there are high hopes that this will be one of the strongest Oaks for some time.

Ballydoyle Honey will almost certainly head the ante-post lists after leading home a brilliant field in the final of the Puppy Oaks. Just behind her in that epic contest were Skywalker Pearl, Droopys Streak and Urban Gossip and the prospect of the four meeting again is a mouth-watering one.

The stayers will also have their chance to shine when the Barrys Tea gets under way at Cork on Saturday night. Brian Collins reports a top-class entry ahead of the famous event. The draw is due to take place this afternoon.

Faypoint appeals

The best wine is left until last at Harold's Cross this evening with the last two races of a far greater standard than the remainder of the card. In terms of picking winners, Faypoint Shane, which ran well in his latest outing at Shelbourne Park, makes most appeal in the finale.

Keiko hasn't quite fulfilled her early promise, but remains open to much improvement.

She lines out in trap two in the penultimate race and makes the most appeal. If avoiding traffic problems she can lead home a pretty useful field.

Irish Independent

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