Holland team holds aces in Irish Laurels betting
Golden-based Graham Holland is in a position of power in the Red Mills Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park. Going into the quarter-finals, he is responsible for five of the remaining 24 runners and has three of the top five favourites.
The luck has slightly deserted him with three of his dogs, Sidarian Blaze, General Wolf and Coolavanny Pandy, drawn in opposition in the second heat.
"There's nothing you can do about the draw," he says. "Sidarian Blaze missed the break a little on Saturday but he will have to come out this time as it is a very strong heat with Jaytee Valentia and Ridgemount Bart also in there."
This heat actually has four of the second-round heat winners in addition to Sidarian and Coolavanny. In contrast, Vans Viking would appear to be very favourably drawn in Heat 3 where he goes from the inside with Champagne Jackie the only other second-round winner in the line-up. This favourable draw is one of the reasons for Vans Viking being the 4/1 general favourite .
"It was nice to Vans Viking coming back to his Tralee form. He had a few niggles and the Derby was too far so we didn't go there," said Holland. "He just wasn't breaking at Dundalk but this was much better."
The two dogs breaking the Holland monopoly at the top of the betting are Midtown Raffa and Vimmerby. Moss O'Connor's Midtown Raffa looks to have the easier task in Heat 4, while Johnny Kavanagh's Vimmerby is drawn very far out in six in the first heat.
Now Vimmerby couldn't be described as an out-and-out inside runner as he is inclined to move wide early from traps but he isn't an outside runner either. Much will depend on the run to the bend where he has to get the better of Farloe Calvin and Young Legends.
Bonnie so good
A new staying star is growing in stature by the week as Liam Dowling's Ballymac Bonnie marches towards victory in the €4,000 Droopys Stud Open Marathon at Waterford.
This bitch is now unbeaten after four races over the six bends and, following her flying 40.13 run in the semi-final, she has been installed as 4/5 favourite by track layer John Mitchell for the final.
On Saturday she won by seven-and-a-half lengths from the very useful Sparta Kay and it will take trouble to upset her in the final.