Wednesday 29 March 2017

'Henry' can stake his Champions claim

Pride of place on a very busy night must go to Tralee where the BoyleSports Race of Champions commences. File image. Photo: Martial Colomb
Pride of place on a very busy night must go to Tralee where the BoyleSports Race of Champions commences. File image. Photo: Martial Colomb
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Pride of place on a very busy night must go to Tralee where the BoyleSports Race of Champions commences. Having won the event for the past two years, trainer Graham Holland is launching a strong challenge with four of the 12 entries, including the defending champion Rural Hawaii.

Having run the track so well last year, Rural Hawaii will be well fancied for the second heat but here the Tom O'Neill-trained Ballyhooly Henry (9.57) gets the vote. There will be a mad dash to the bend in the other heat and the Brendan Matthews-trained Leave At Dawn (9.42) might well get the run on Milldean Puma and Skywalker Rory.

At Harold's Cross, the semi-finals of the Peggy Kelly's Islandbridge Cup will be run and the hot favourites to win the two heats will be Ballymac Bigmike and Hee Haws Sheriff.

Ballymac Bigmike (9.25) is in superb form and should be too good for the first heat opposition with Canal View Jenny and Surprising Sea to follow him home. Ian Reilly's Hee Haws Sheriff (9.40) can repeat last week's victory over Razldazl Oisin with Nickys Assassin also making it to the final.

The Red Mills Champion Unraced also reaches the semi-final stage at Kilkenny and Owen McKenna has a big say in the event with four representatives. He can land the first heat with Keplar Nine (9.12) which can lead home Erkina View.

Best of McKenna's three runners in the second heat can be Ballymac Tomasso (9.24) but he will need a flying start if he is to reverse first-round placings with the unbeaten Pennys Wazowski.

Irish Independent

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