Thursday 29 September 2016

Ladies' night out in three final showdowns

Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30

At Shelbourne Park the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks
At Shelbourne Park the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks

There are three major competitions down for decision within a 15-minute period this evening and the likelihood is all three will go to the fairer sex.

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Of course we can say with certainty that two of the three will be won by bitches as they are Oaks finals. The third is the Lee Strand 550 at Tralee, which boasts two female participants, including the favourite.

At Shelbourne Park the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks. This event has been won by some special bitches over the years, but rarely has it attracted so much attention as this season.

The reason is simple. This year's competition, all the way to the final line-up, is perhaps the best in the history of the event. From top to bottom, there is a special group assembled in the €6,000 final, headed by the fastest bitch to ever cover 525 yards at Shelbourne Park, Ballydoyle Honey.

In normal circumstances, a bitch capable of recording 27.86 for the standard trip would be an unbackable favourite, but tonight she could be available at prices close to even-money due to the quality of her opposition.

In other years, Droopys Streak, Skywalker Pearl or, perhaps Urban Gossip, would be favourite, but this is not a normal season. Ballydoyle Honey has lot going for her, but as we saw in her titanic semi-final buckle with Droopys Streak, she is not unbeatable. We will side with the Graham Holland-trained star, but both Droopys Streak and Skywalker Pearl also have outstanding claims.

Follow Hannah

The final of the Holmes, O'Malley, Sexton Solicitors Oaks is the feature at Limerick, where the €4,500 decider boasts a top-class line-up. With numerous styles of racing on show, anything could happen.

All evidence suggests the battle for early supremacy could be between Slippery Hannah, Cloon Glory and Madams Babe, while Borna Helena and Priceless Lassie will be hoping to unleash a decisive finishing kick.

If pushed to pick a likely winner, it's difficult to look beyond Slippery Hannah and Priceless Lassie, with a tentative nod going to the former.

Sweet Music

Musical Dawn and Happy Endings are representing the female of the species in the final of the €8,000 Lee Strand 550 at Tralee and both come into the contest of the back of impressive semi-final victories.

Musical Dawn is the younger of the two and boasts the fastest run of the competition. Blessed with both early speed and stamina, she is a deserving favourite. Happy Endings has obvious claims, but the biggest threat to Musical Dawn may come in the form of the fast-finishing Droopys Hip Hop.

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