Triumphant Bonnie heads for Towcester
Crowned the leading Irish six-bend performer on Friday night after a pulsating performance in the final of the Gain Dog Food Corn Cuchulainn, Ballymac Bonnie is now going to take on the cream of the British eight-bend races in the TV Trophy, which starts at Towcester on Saturday.
It is a brave but fully understandable decision by Kerry owner/breeder Liam Dowling as Bonnie is not adequately served by the 750 yards trip and could well be much better suited by the testing 906 metres at Towcester.
Speaking after she had come from last place to capture the €12,500 prize in hugely impressive fashion, Dowling said there was nothing else for her at the moment and that her end-of-season aim is the Night of Stars where she would be a likely winner of the 850 yard event.
Bonnie's main rival in the TV Trophy will be another former Harold's Cross star, Roxholme Magic, which was known as Magical Kitty when she failed to land odds of 2/5 in the final of the Bookmakers Marathon over 1,010 yards at the Dublin track last December. She has since taken Britain by storm and is a bitch in the same league as Bonnie.
It was a relatively quiet night on the track front on Saturday. The big movers on the BoyleSports Irish Derby front were PJ Fahy's Tyrur Van Gaal and Larry Dunne's Slippery Snowy.
Van Gaal is a hugely pacey dog with only two races under his belt and he toured the 525 yards in 28.33 in a pre-racing trial. Other smart trial runs came from Farloe Blitz 28.50, Country Legend 28.59 and Tyrur Tommy 28.63.
Star of Saturday's racing was Larry Dunne's Slippery Brett, which put himself into the Derby picture with a 29.60 run in the concluding 550, where he took it up on the third bend and won by four lengths from the staying favourite Secreto.
Bank Holiday Mondays at Youghal can be great fun and the local track will be buzzing today when there is a Gala Fun Day organised in conjunction with the final of the FFK Sires Southern Oaks.
There will be free admission for all, sponsored by the Track Supporters' Club, who will also support a free raffle on the gate. There will be the annual Best Dressed Lady Competition with massive prizes offered by sponsors Castlemartyr Hotel and Resort.
The race itself looks a high-class contest, but the draw does appear to have played into the hand of Hovex Princess, which is one of two Graham Holland-trained runners. She goes from one while kennel companion Skywalker Pearl is in two.
The main danger to both could well be Donal Murphy's Badminton Rossa.