Honey continues in top form

Ballydoyle Honey’s domination of the bitches’ division continued on Saturday night as Alison Coxon’s remarkable racer broke 28.00 for the second time, when running away with her quarter-final heat of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks at Shelbourne Park.

Honey continues in top form

Trained by Graham Holland, she was sent off a 1-4 chance to continue her remarkable run, and looked every inch a worthy long odds-on favourite as she led from start to finish.

There were useful sorts in behind, but the daughter of Brett Lee and Kildallon Maid simply blew them away as she galloped to a nine-length victory, over Slippery Hanna, in 27.95.

Although she has quite a bit in hand, the July pup has been handed a new challenge in next weekend’s semi-finals, in which she will have to wear the striped jacket for the first time in competitive action.

Holland was also victorious in the first heat as Rising Pearl made all the running and held the strong late challenge of Tyrur Mairead. The winner, owned by the Sidarian Syndicate, showed terrific early pace once more, and that put her in control. However, Tyrur Mairead turned in second place and made rapid inroads from the third turn. In a thrilling finish, 6-4 favourite Rising Twirl held on by a short head, in 28.39.

Tyrur Dicky gave P J Fahy compensation as she made all to take the second heat. The bitch really drove the bend to turn in front, and then stayed on well to beat Jumeirah Dancer by two lengths, in 28.50. Only four went to traps for the third heat, and Urban Gossip, who is a litter sister to Ballydoyle Honey, showed real resolution to score for Reggie Roberts. Lislevane Swift made the early running but the winner, sent off the 4-6 favourite, made rapid gains to challenge at the third.

She was forced to check when trying to make her move along the inner, and found herself back in third place racing the final bends. However, she picked up really well once more and got up in the dying strides to beat Hovex Princess by a neck, in 28.59, with Lislevane Swift the same distance back in third.

There were numerous big performances in the second round of the William Hill Greyhound Derby, most notably from Farloe Blitz, who blew his rivals away with a 27.99 victory on Friday night. That effort saw the Owen McKenna-trained runner promoted to long-odds favouritism, at 7-1.

Droopys Nidge also followed up his first-round victory with a 28.21 success in Friday’s second heat. That came hot on the heels of track record holder Eden The Kid’s 28.15 run. The Paul Young-trained Jaytee Berlin also posted a fast time, with his 28.19 run on the same card.

In the second session, on Saturday night, there was a big run from Pat Rosney’s Newinn Yolo. A strong sort, he led early and pulled right away to beat Clares Wonder by three and three quarter lengths, in 28.03.

Puppy Derby winner Quietly also impressed with his 28.42 victory for Ian Reilly. Pat Buckley’s Coolavanny Jap was also on the mark, winning in 28.32. Last year’s runner-up, Droopys Ward, had to settle for second place behind Geelo Vegas, while Gaytime Hawk overcame trouble, including hitting the rails at the first bend, to qualify in third place behind On Alert.

Oaks trap draw:

First semi-final:

1. Ravenswood Emily, 2. Piercestown Lucy, 3. Lislevane Swift, 4. Urban Gossip, 5 Awaywitdepixies (m), 6. Tyrur Mairead (w).

Second semi-final:

1. Jumeirah Dancer, 2. Hovex Princess, 3. Tyrur Dicky, 4. Rising Twirl, 5. Slippery Hanna, 6. Ballydoyle Honey.

English Derby outright betting:

7-1 Farloe Blitz, 10-1 Newinn Yolo, Droopys Nidge, 12-1 Eden The Kid, Droopys Ward, 16-1 Quietly, 20-1 bar.

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