It's Honey's time to make Derby statement
Thursday's opening session of the BoyleSports Irish Derby really whet the appetite for more of the same and a massive crowd is anticipated at Shelbourne this evening for the remaining 12 heats of the opening round of the 2015 premier classic.
The star attraction this time is Ballydoyle Honey (8.57) as she bids to become the first bitch ever to complete the Irish Oaks and Derby double while also becoming the first female winner of our Derby since Ger Watson's Spring Time back in 1999.
Her trainer Graham Holland had a double in Thursday's heats and he appears booked for a few more this evening. But one suspects his heart will be beating a little quicker than normal as the super bitch is placed in traps for Heat 18. She will be having her first race since the Oaks decider back in June and it will come as a shock if she doesn't continue on her winning ways in a race where the biggest threats could come from her kennel companions Calzaghe Clampet and Hovex Prince.
Holland also has strong winning prospects with the big early-paced Amazing Dude (8.42) and Ardrahan Zindi (8.12) and his runners will also be involved in a few other close battles.
Patrons are warned to get to Shelbourne early in order to avoid the likely chaotic traffic in the area in the period between 6.45 and 7.45pm due to the rugby international.
The opening heat kicks off at 7.43pm and here the Moss O'Connor-trained Secreto can confirm his great promise by leading home Vulturi and Leave At Dawn.
Others worth noting are Cable Bay (7.57), Fair Taxes (Nap, 8.27), Material Man (9.42) and the McKenna pair Farloe Rumble (9.57) and Offshore Bound (10.12).
Forest Bar One
Having extended his unbeaten run to five races over the 400 yards distance, the David Kennedy-trained Trinity Forest will bid to cap his efforts by landing the €20,000 Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup final at Dundalk's dual race-day tomorrow, with the greyhound programme commencing at 7.0pm.
When Trinity Forest commenced his winning ways at Dundalk he was an ignored 6/1 when he beat Hillcroft by a length and three quarters in a flying 21.05. Hillcroft Hero is again among his rivals but John McGee's charge is a long way out and it may prove the undoing of the dog which clocked 21.15 last week.
Ronnie McKeown's Catherines Drico will have much support and looks booked for the frame also while Slipalong Hero, Blenheim Cracker and Trewmount Blue all deserve their place in the sun. The vote, though, goes to Trinity Forest (8.45) which is owned by young Taylor Kearney from Carbury.