Withdrawal of Honey shakes up Easter Cup field
Published 12/03/2016 | 02:30
The complexion of the Ladbrokes Easter Cup has changed dramatically with the confirmation that super bitch Ballydoyle Honey has come in season and will miss tonight's semi-finals at Shelbourne.
Connections of the Oaks winner had been expecting her to come into season for months but her long-term target of an Oaks defence is now a race against time.
Ballydoyle Honey was due to contest the second semi-final and that race now features a clash between Slippery Fred, Peregrine Falcon and Sidarian Vega, though Jaytee Valencia and Only For Life cannot be ruled out of calculations.
Larry Dunne's Slippery Fred (10.12) is in the form of his life and a trap-one draw should clear the way for a fourth win on the trot with Peregrine Falcon his likely main danger.
It is a year since Jaytee Jet (9.57) made his debut at Enniscorthy and he has oozed star quality in all his career outings. He does appear to have drawn the easier of the two heats but he still has a tough test.
Lenson Sanchez was disappointing last week but a trap-one draw could see him step up considerably while Leave At Dawn and Skywalker Rory will also be expected to produce big runs. The vote, however, goes to Jaytee Jet to win for Paul Hennessy and owner John Turner.
Best bet on the Shelbourne supporting card can be the Graham Holland-trained Proud Graham (10.27) in the concluding 550 where the long run to the bend can be ideal for his early pace.
It is a huge night on the track front with a number of major attractions. The first round of the €80,000 Kirby Memorial will be run at Limerick and a host of young stars will be in action in the 12 heats.
Best bets in the first round can be Aghaburren Lola (7.55), Skywalker Manner (8.10), Coolavanny Wendy (8.25), Droopys Roddick (8.40), Clares Rocket (9.25), Droopys Tee (9.40) and Double Oh Seven (10.25).
Ian Reilly-trained kennel companions Quietly and Hee Haws Sheriff (9.30) are capable of dominating the final of the Greyhound & Petworld Supersprint at Curraheen but they can afford no mistakes. Both have produced record runs during the event and the Ciaran Burke-owned Hee Haws earns the vote.
It will be close as Hee Haws has to clear rivals Quietly, Ballymac Sexton and Toolmaker Scot to the bend while Ballymac Mike will be motoring late on the outside. If Hee Haws can hit the lids fast he should be the winner but Quietly is very well housed.
Also tonight, the final of the Red Mills/TSC Champion Bitch Stake will be run at Thurles and here Robert Gleeson looks to have a real chance with Droopys Sambuca (10.17).
Sambuca came back to top form following her lay-off last week and can get the better of those consistent performers Rastafari Chic and Jaytee Grace.