Ballymac Tas 6/4 Fav to Become First Female Winner of JP McManus Stake

It was a night to remember for Liam Dowling on Saturday in Limerick as he qualified his two semi-finalists through to the big €80,000 cracker this weekend. The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial is sponsored by JP McManus and his wife Noreen, in memory of her parents. Liam Dowling has never won this competition before but has a strong hand now with two finalists.

Ballymac Tas showed great guts and determination in her heat after an early challenge from Herecomesdahoney in trap five. Ballymac Tas was perfectly drawn on the rails and managed to pull away from the second bend to claim a four-length victory in a fast clock of 28.27. BoyleSports make her the 6/4 favourite from 13/8 for the final with her little brother Ballymac Syd the second favourite at 11/4 backed from 7/2.

Dowling has confirmed that Ballymac Syd was tired on Sunday after his great qualifying effort on Saturday night. He is not the fastest away and is giving himself a lot of work to do. He is drawn in trap five for the final but will have to be at his sharpest to pick the leaders up.

Herecomesdahoney was 40/1 at the start of the competition and is now just 5/2 to give trainer Graham Holland another major victory to add to his impressive trophy cabinet. He is drawn in trap one for the big event and will take all the beating having already performed his career best effort of 28.30 in the quarter finals wearing the red jacket and is super quick away from the boxes.

Robert Gleeson is a young trainer who is going places and has been in flying form of late particularly with his finalist and semi-final winner Toolmaker Josie. He is failing to make a fast start from traps but has huge pace and makes up a lot of ground which has seen him qualify each week. He recorded 28.63 on Saturday, around five lengths off Ballymac Tas. Toolmaker is 10/1 from 12/1 to win from trap four.

Sarah Kinsella Spokesperson for BoyleSports said:

Punters really fancy Ballymac Tas in the final this Saturday with BoyleSports reducing her odds from 13/8 to 6/4 but she was available at 7/1 at the start of the competition. Liam Dowling’s second runner in the final is Ballymac Syd who is available at 11/4 from 7/2. With €80,000 to the winner this prestigious event could see the first female winner in Ballymac Tas and a first win for her trainer Liam Dowling which would make a great story”.

Frank Kieran Spokesperson for BoyleSports said:

Double-handed in the final, Liam Dowling looks well positioned to claim his first Con & Annie Kirby Memorial. Of his pair, I’d be inclined to side with Ballymac Syd to get the better of his sister. The strapping 85-pounder has had to come from off the pace in the last three rounds to qualify, but back in trap 5 – the box from which he powered to victory in the opening round, he looks a leading player for outright glory”.

Con & Annie Kirby Memorial (in trap order)

5/2 Herecomesdahoney

10/1 Deadly Storm

6/4 Ballymac Tas

10/1 Toolmaker Josie

11/4 Ballymac Syd

6/1 Antigua Rum

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Jack Neville