Friday 20 July 2018

Ballyhooly Henry the banker in Gain 600 heats

Ballyhooly Henry won the Ballymac Night of Stars 600 at Shelbourne Stock photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Ballyhooly Henry won the Ballymac Night of Stars 600 at Shelbourne Stock photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

It is going to be a hugely busy weekend with two hectic days of classic action.

While the awards for the Champions of 2015 will be handed out at Limerick this afternoon, the racing focus tonight will as ever be on Shelbourne Park where the semi-finals of both the Gain 600 and the Healthcare & Transport Services Puppy Oaks are down for decision.

Ballyhooly Henry (9.57) finished last year by winning the Ballymac Night of Stars 600 at Shelbourne and he looks a likely winner of the first semi-final of the Gain 600. He hasn't been staying as strongly in recent races but should be getting stronger with each run and he looks set to lead early.

Slippery Snowy went faster last week but Ballyhooly can lead him up and go on to victory. Slippery Snowy and Mustang Noplan can follow him home.

Boylesports Duke (10.12) is taking a little time to find his feet in the open racing world but is capable of much better and he gets the vote to lead home Newlawn Luke in the second semi.

With six of the remaining runners in the Puppy Oaks, Graham Holland has a strong hand and he can make it a double in the heats with Sidarian Pearl (9.27) and night's banker Ballinakil Clare (9.42).

The final of the Open Sprint promises to be a real thriller. Ian Reilly's Hee Haws Sheriff (9.12) can lead home old rival Ballymac Bigmike.

Award winners

The champions of 2015 will be crowned at Limerick Stadium at the National Greyhound Awards function and one wonders will any contenders for next year's top bitch award emerge in the semi-finals of the at the venue later in the evening.

Fastest in the opening round was Elusive Maiden but she'll have her work cut out to take the second semi where her chief rivals are Sidarian Nell (10.10)and High St Jesse.

The opening heat could well be the faster of the two qualifiers with heat winners Adamant Gem and Rural Maui opposed by Droopys Sambuca and Skywalker Rossa (9.55), which made a promising seasonal debut last week and she will take stopping.

The 2016 BIF Produce Stakes kicks off at Clonmel tomorrow evening with 12 heats sure to provide top class racing.

Overall favourite to win the classic will surely be the Holland-trained Clares Rocket (9.15) but she will be virtually unbackable to win Heat 8.

The night's other selections are Droopys Nine (7.30), Coolavanny Wendy (7.45), Anopheles (8.0), Escapism (8.45), Razldazl Tierna (9.00), Eightythreelarch (9.45) and Jo Jo Fantasy (10.15).

Irish Independent

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