Honey launches New Year at Shelbourne
The banker bet of the coming year will surely be in the battle for Bitch of the Year with Ballydoyle Honey appearing to be an absolute certainty to get the nomination.
She has been one of the great performers on the Irish tracks for the past 12 months and she is set to start 2016 with another major success in the delayed final of the Gain Feeds Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne on Saturday.
Fears that the traps malfunction might affect her in the long term were largely allayed when she showed no ill-effects whatever in a trial around Shelbourne last Wednesday. She flew around in a morning trial when stopping the clock in 27.99 on a track rated .20 fast.
Two of the other finalists also had a trial spin that day with Shane O'Gorman's Yahoo Perlena going around in 28.17 seconds and Hovex Princess in 28.51 seconds.
Shelbourne manager Declan Carey yesterday confirmed that all six finalists have received a clean bill of health and will be lining up for this decider. The bookmakers agree with the general impression that Ballydoyle Honey will race to another high-profile victory with Paddy Power offering the best odds of 1/2 while best of the remainder is Folleys View which is quoted at 6/1 by Ladbrokes.
The betting on the remaining finalists is 7 Yahoo Perlena, 8 Hovex Princess, 16 Urban Gossip and 25 Droopys Aurora.
On the topic of Shelbourne, the first major event of the New Year will be the Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake which commences on January 16 and then the Best Car Parks Gold Cup will start a week later.
Some of the big young names will be making an early start to their campaign in these events. It must be remembered that the William Hill English Derby has a very early start this year with the final scheduled for Saturday, June 4.
the Red Mills Open Unraced at Clonmel, won last year by Ballydoyle Honey, closed to entries yesterday and the eight first round heats will be run on Sunday.
It looks a really high-class entry and among those that jump out from the rest are Razldazl Duke, Razldazl Tierna, Jumeirah Delboy, Kereight Dodger, Droopys Toulon, Droopys Approve and Laughil Duke.