Ballydoyle Honey produces another top drawer effort at Shelbourne Park

The surface at Shelbourne Park was clearly in great condition for Saturday night’s programme, and it was the remarkable Ballydoyle Honey, trained by Graham Holland, who posted the fastest time of the night when producing a typically strong display in the first semi-final of the Gain Dog Foods Christmas Oaks.
Ballydoyle Honey produces another top drawer effort at Shelbourne Park

Rural Maui led until Follys View took over racing down the back, but 4-6 favourite Ballydoyle Honey moved into contention soon afterwards.

With her customary turn of pace, she raced between the leaders around the final bends, before stretching two and a half clear of Follys View, in 28.02, with Urban Gossip in third.

The judge was unable to separate Shane O’Gorman’s Yahoo Perlena and Graham Holland’s Hovex Princess in the second semi-final.

Off a sizzling 1.91 sectional, the former took control early but the latter produced a fine late effort to share the spoils, in 28.25, with Droopys Aurora in third.

A single spot separated the two semi-final heat winners in the Comerford Cakes Open 525. Farloe Joey, trained by Owen McKenna, took the first of them in fine style.

Creamery Bale led early, but an eye-catching turn of pace carried Farloe Joey to the front at the third turn, and he maintained his momentum to score by three and a half lengths, in 28.11.

Every so slightly quicker was the Graham Holland-trained Proud Graham, who made all the running in the second heat.

It takes a fair performer to lead Toolmaker Scot early, but the winner was able to do that in some style. Some five clear racing down the back, he won by four and a half from Toolmaker Scot, in 28.10, with Black Alder in third.

That victory completed a four-timer for Holland, who had also taken the first two races on the card. Clares Queen stayed strongly to take the opener in 31.41 (575), while Coran Sky proved too good for his rivals.

The latter, owned by Paddy Crowley and sent off a 4-7 chance, was always to the fore, and forged two clear in 28.55, to record a 17th career victory.

The second round of the Vulturi@Stud Kingdom Derby took place on Friday night in Tralee, and former Puppy Derby winner Quietly was the star turn when he made all for a facile victory in the first heat, in 28.30.

Killahanstranger, out of a half-sister to former Derby winner Skywalker Puma, impressed as he ran the winner to two lengths, in what was just his fourth outing. Baltovin Lee (28.85), Noelles Darling (28.63) and Droopys Nine (29.23) took the other heats. The semi-finals take place this Friday night.

Gain Dog Foods Christmas Oaks final:

1. Hovex Princess, 2. Yahoo Perlena, 3. Follys View, 4. Droopys Aurora, 5. Ballydoyle Honey (w), 6. Urban Gossip (w).

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