Sunday 25 February 2018

Honey set to re-appear on Derby final card

The super bitch Ballydoyle Honey is being aimed at the Open Bitch contest
The super bitch Ballydoyle Honey is being aimed at the Open Bitch contest
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

With the final of the BoyleSports Irish Derby due to be run on Saturday week, the build-up to the night has already begun and latest news is that the super bitch Ballydoyle Honey is being aimed at the Open Bitch contest.

Trainer Graham Holland reports that the bitch is in great form following her Derby exit and moved very well in a trial around Curraheen Park on Friday when clocking 28.09. Holland also plans to give her another run around Curraheen which is purely designed as a freshening up process at a different venue.

"She runs Shelbourne well but I felt that a look at another track might do her good and the plan at the moment is to run her in the bitch race on the Derby card and then to go for the Night of Stars Bitch 525 on November 14 if she hasn't come in season," he said.

Another top bitch with Derby final night on her agenda is Liam Dowling's super stayer Ballymac Bonnie and she had a sprint trial at Shelbourne on Saturday night when she covered the 350 yards distance in 19.06.

While on the subject of the pre-racing trials, the most significant was surely the 28.35 clocked by Pat Buckley's brilliant unraced youngster Droopys Roddick. It is some run from a 16-month-old puppy by Droopys Jet ex Droopys Start.

Meanwhile, Barnfield Panda continues to dominate the Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge and is still unbeaten following a brilliant run in the semi-finals.

Pat Buckley's charge displayed top early pace as he built a six-length lead by halfway and then held off the flying finish of Donal Murphy's smashing bitch Badminton Rossa by a length in 28.28 - just five spots off the record.

Barnfield has had the good fortune to draw trap one for Friday's decider, with arch rival Badminton Rossa in the number four box.

The other semi-final featured a strong run from the Pat Guilfoyle-trained Skywalker Rory, who took up the running at the final bend from Water Fern and then pulled out to win by four lengths in 28.52.

Irish Independent

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