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Video - 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY FINAL

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BRAVE BOCKO EARNS HIS PLACE IN DERBY HISTORY

Lenson Bocko is the 2019 Boylesports Derby champion.

Many were expecting to hear those words when they poured through the Shelbourne Park stiles in their thousands on Saturday night, but few could have expected what was to unfold before their eyes as the Graham Holland trained superstar displayed incredible courage and determination to earn his place in history.

This was a race for the ages. From the outset it was clear the five runners were going off-script. Mucky Brae, as he did in the semis, shot from trap three to lead early, but both Lenson Bocko and Run Happy were soon in full stride.

The last named flew up the fence to take charge on the turn. Mucky Brae was now under pressure from both sides and Lenson Bocko moved second despite taking a bump. Behind the front three Killmacdonagh sat fourth with Boylesports King bringing up the rear.

The race was now on. As he did in the Champion Stakes decider, Run Happy set a blistering gallop at the head of affairs. Lenson Bocko was now clear second and right on the tail of the leader as they entered the back. There was a two length gap back to Mucky Brae with Killmacdonagh in fourth. Still Boylesports King sat at the rear.

Run Happy increased his lead to a length and a half into the third turn and his supporters were starting to believe. But still Lenson Bocko chased him hard in second and he started to close the gap as they hit the final turn. By Now Boylesports King was starting to advance, but he remained lengths off the pace.

Killmacdonagh and Mucky Brae clashed between the last two bends and that left Boylesports King to shoot around the outside to go third. Up front, Run Happy remained in control but Lenson Bocko, despite swinging wide off the final turn, was carrying plenty of momentum.

The decibel level was now in danger of lifting the Shelbourne roof. Lenson Bocko advanced on Run Happy, the pair bumped seventy yards from home as the favourite finally mastered the long-time leader, but still Boylesports King kept coming.

Finishing like the proverbial train, Boylesports King was closing fast on the front two. To a deafening roar, the trio flashed past the post locked in battle. To the eye it looked as though Lenson Bocko had just contained the potent finish of Boylesports King and the judge confirmed it.

Graham Holland had claimed his second Derby victory. Lenson Bocko held on by a neck to enter the history books as the 2019 Boylesports Derby champion, stopping the clock in 29.40. Boylesports King went to agonisingly close in second with Run Happy just a head away in third after running the race of his life.

There were joyous scenes on the presentation area as owners Beverly Lochead, Austin Whelan and the hugely popular Len Ponder were joined by family and well-wishers. Lenson Bocko, who was bred by Patsy Collins in Ballylongford, will go down as a brilliant Derby champion. And at just over two years of age the good news is we will be seeing plenty more of this canine superstar in the future.

Conor Gray CEO BoyleSports (Sponsors) presents the trophy to Austin Whelan and the connections of Lenson Bocko after his victory in the final of the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park. Also included are Ger Dollard CEO IGB, Frank Nyham Chairman IGB, Andrew Doyle Minister of State at Dept of Agriculture, joint owners Len Ponder and Graham Box, trainer Graham Holland, Nickey, Rachel, Timothy and Christopher Holland.      Pic: Imelda Grauer

EAST DOMINATES IN MICHAEL’S PLATE

After a series of superb performances through the Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate, Blue East produced yet another foot-perfect effort to claim the €5,000 prize for Graham Holland and Larry O’Rourke.

From the outset it was clear Blue East (Droopy Jet/ Lemon Bolt) was on his way to victory. He flew from the inside box and quickly built a clear lead over his kennel companion Clonbrien Prince. Manuka Man turned third and the order never altered.

Maintaining a tremendous gallop throughout, Blue East ran out a thoroughly deserving winner, crossing the line three parts of a length ahead of the staying on Clonbrien Prince in a very quick 29.39.  

Rita Fortune presents the trophy to Laurence O'Rourke after Blue East won the Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate at Shelbourne Park. Also included are Mary O'Rourke, Ian and Niamh Fortune, Thomas Maurice Roe, Mary McGrath and handler Timothy Holland.                 Pic: Imelda Grauer

SOPHIES CONSOLATION PRIZE

The Peter Cronin trained Sophies Man again showed that he is a potent force when he wears red as he captured the Consolation Derby with a superb display.

Driving up the fence to force his way to the front on the turn, he was always going to come home clear thereafter. Albert Putnam’s son of Droopys Jet and Badminton Maid went clear of Droopys Pension and maintained his advantage to the line, eventually running out a three and a half length scorer in 29.73. 

Shirley Kilmartin presents the trophy to Chloe and Roisin O'Sullivan after Sophies Man won the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound  Derby Consolation. Also included are trainer Peter Cronin, handler Michael Cronin, breeder David McGrath, Brenda Powderley, Paul Smith and Barry O'Sullivan.                   Pic: Imelda Grauer

WHAT NIGHT FOR GRAHAM

This was perhaps the greatest night of Graham Holland’s long training career.

Lenson Bocko and Blue East will rightly attract all the column inches, but he actually won the final five races on the night with Ballyhimikin Jet, Slippy Cian and Lenson Blinder all emerging superb winners of their respective races.

JET TAKES OFF

Ballyhimikin Jet was Holland’s second string in the eleventh race but he produced a fine display to first reel in Great Eastern before going on to contain the late charge of Jaytee Taylor.

Great Eastern flashed from the inside box and set a strong pace, but was always under pressure once Ballyhimikin Jet slipped around second.

Owned by John and Billy Dunne, Ballyhimikin Jet ranged upsides between the last two bends and quickly shot to the front before racing on to a wonderful two and a half length victory over Jaytee Taylor in 29.52.

CIAN GIVES RIVALS THE SLIP

In the very next race Slippy Cian (Crash/ Global Liberty) was one of the more straightforward winners on the night as he dominated over 575yds.

Appreciating the longer run to the turn, Slippy Cian shot to the front on the run up and was three lengths clear entering the back.

Dromrich Altair gave chase in second but there was little he could do to stop the Graham Holland juggernaut. Slippy Cian, owned by the Mad As Hatters Syndicate, maintained a tremendous gallop to the line to eventually see off the gallant Dromrich Altair in 31.03. 

LENSON RUNS A BLINDER

Holland finished his memorable night in style with Lenson Blinder dominating over 600yds.

Despite taking a bump at boxes, Len and Pat Ponder’s charge was soon in control. The son of Crash and Global Liberty led Lemon Ozzy around the turn and thereafter was never going to surrender his lead. Lemon Ozzy did show big pace to close on the leader into the third turn, but Lenson Blinder is exceptionally strong and he powered up the straight to eventually come home two lengths to the good in a fast 32.20.  

AN HISTORICAL RUN BY REDZER ARDFERT

The seventh race over 750yds was billed as the one of the races of the night and it certainly provided one of the best winners of the year in the form of Redzer Ardfert.

Not only did the son of Paradise Madison and Have You One leave a quality field in his dust, but he also smashed his own track record by an incredible .20sec but he smashed the national record, becoming the first greyhound to dip under the 41 second barrier for the six bend trip.

Skywalker Logan came away well to challenge in the early yards, but the Brendan Maunsell trained Redzer Ardfert was also in the firing line and he drove the turn to take charge. Once going to the front there was nothing to get near him. Pulling further and further away from the fourth turn he eventually came home eleven lengths clear of Boylesportstwink in a scarcely believable 40.86. It was perhaps the greatest display of distance running ever seen on these shores.  

SIM A POPULAR WINNER

One of the loudest roars of the evening was predictably reserved for the 2018 Derby champion Ballyanne Sim as he produced a fabulous display of front running to win the fifth race over the standard trip.

Eamon Cleary’s brilliant son of Confident Rankin and Freedom Shadow was backed as if defeat was out of the question and he duly obliged in fine style. Flashing from the inside trap, he flew up the fence to dominate from the start. To a huge ovation throughout, the Mark Robinson trained star ran out a most impressive two length winner over the staying on Clona Star in 28.25.   

XTRA SPECIAL RUN BY BOYLESPORTS

Boylesports Xtra was a superb winner for Derby sponsor John Boyle in the third race over the standard trip.

This was a display of incredible professionalism. The Paul Hennessy trained son of Droopys Jet and Droopys Adelaide was electric at the boxes, flashing from three and soon clearing those on his inner.

It was pretty much a procession from that point on. The October ’16 whelp clocked a sensational 15.75 to the third turn on his way to a brilliant two length victory over the fast finishing Clona Dream in a sizzling 28.06.

AN ELITE DISPLAY

Fifteen minutes later Myles Roban’s Elite Black produced a very similar display to Boylesports Xtra as he too made every inch to win in style.

The talented son of Laughil Blake and Loher Baby shot from trap three and was always in command despite the persistent challenge of Doona Buck.

Elite Black certainly appreciated the step back to 525yds as he stayed on well to emerge a comfortable and most impressive length and a half winner over Doon Buck in a fast 28.28.  

SALACRES DELIVERS A KNOCKOUT PUNCH

The sole sprint provided a thrilling finish with Peter Harnden rewarded for bringing his talented sprinter Salacres Punch (Zero Ten across the water.

Blame The Game was the hot favourite in the stripes and he looked likely to win when finally getting to the front on the turn, despite making a tardy start.

As he entered the home straight the complexion of the race changed slightly. Monbeg Me daddy was now challenging in second spot with Salacres Punch starting to draw closer in third. Monbeg Me Daddy was forced to check wide and he just caught the heels of Blame The Game.

He remained in front, but Salacres Punch was now in full stride and, in a thrilling finish, the UK raider got up in the dying yards to deny the favourite by a head in a fast 18.66. It was a tremendous run by the winner and it has yet to be seen if his connections may journey back across the water for the Night of Stars.     

THE WEST IS AWAKE

By the time the sixth race came along, it was no surprise to see a fast starting trap three runner make every inch.

This time it was the turn of Michael Hogan’s recent Munster Oaks winner Grangeview West.

The Guilfoyle trained daughter of Zero Ten and Portumna West became the second member of the litter to win on the night following the victory of Salacres Punch in the sprint. She too displayed massive early dash, taking charge before the bend and quickly opening a race-winning advantage. Fahrenheit Lor was quickly in chase but there was no stopping the leader, who went on to cross the line a length and a half to the good in 28.23.

GLORY FOR GOLD

Glory Gold kicked off proceedings with a fine effort over 575yds.

Despite fading badly in his previous start over an even shorter 550yd trip, the strapping son of Chenzhou Boy and Glory Kitten went to traps the 7-4 favourite and he duly obliged in gutsy fashion.

Owned by Sheila Duncan and James Kirby, the massive brindle displayed fine pace into the turn to assume control but Harriestown Star turned a close second and looked a big threat throughout. As they turned for home Harriestown Star looked an even bigger threat but he ran into the back of the leader and that proved decisive. Glory Gold stuck on gamely to cross the line a length and a half to the good in 31.24, with Vaguely Noble flying home to grab second on the line.

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AN EPIC FINAL CHAPTER TO A MEMORABLE DERBY

The final chapter of the 2019 Boylesports Irish Derby will be written at a packed Shelbourne Park this evening and those in support of the hot favourite Lenson Bocko will be hoping there are no last-minute plot twists.

On course bookmaker Ted Hegarty summed up the chances of Lenson Bocko best during the week stating, “If it was an ordinary Saturday night the favourite would be 1-2 with the great early gears he’s showing but Derby final night is different with the crowd and the roar.”

Indeed, Derby finals are very different to your average Saturday night contest and strange things can often happen. Since the start of this century, there have been five Derby winners that were returned 8-1 or bigger, including Ballyanne Sim who won last year’s thrilling decider at 12-1.

Run Happy is the outsider of the field, yet he has been reported by Damien Lonergan of sponsors, Boylesports as the most popular greyhound in the betting since Sunday.

All evidence suggests Lenson Bocko is the one to beat, however, and yet the connections and supporters of each of the remaining four greyhounds will come through the stiles this evening in the belief that their charge will do the business in the €140,000 to the winner showpiece.

HUGE KILLMACDONAGH SUPPORT

Killmacdonagh is set to bring the biggest crowd of all with reports suggesting half of Cork will be on hand to cheer her on. If she were to come home in front, Killmacdonagh would be the first bitch to do so since Spring Time in 1999.

Twenty years is a long time to wait for a female winner and the law of averages may favour the Kieran Lynch trained superstar. She certainly has the pace and power to win a Derby but she must return to her very sharpest.

Thankfully her handler reports her in top condition ahead of her toughest assignment. Said Lynch yesterday, “She’s good, flying, one hundred percent.”. He went on to say, “and she’s definitely not in season”, referring to the rumours suggesting she was a fortnight ago.

He continued: “She seems in better form than last week. I don’t know, maybe she knows she’s in one. I don’t know about the Derby roar, it could cause anything to happen but she’s very laid back, like her owners.”

In order for Killmacdonagh to win, it’s fair to assume she must contain both Run Happy and Mucky Brae into the turn. That could conceivably happen, although she must flash from the inside trap to do so.

Of course, her 2019 record would suggest she is a big-stage performer following wins in the Limerick Oaks, Shelley Fennelly Memorial 550, Sporting Press Irish Oaks and Dundalk International. A Derby success would certainly confirm her standing as one of the greatest ever.

CAN KING COMPLETE DOLORES’ HAT TRICK?

Boylesports King is the youngest finalist and will bid to follow in the footsteps of his grandsire Razldazl Billy by racing to Derby glory for Dolores Ruth.

The Rathangan based handler is, of course, bidding for a third victory in the classic following Razldazl Billy in 2006 and Razldazl George in 2011.

She too reports her charge in great shape ahead of his appearance this evening. Said Dolores: “He’s bouncing and raring to go. The dog has never been better. I think he’ll be fine with the occasion, he’s a super cool dog and he’ll handle the night. He has a great draw and we’re hoping for a break.  

“I know we’ll break. He’s got a great temperament. When he gets into the in-field he only has one thing on his mind. He’s not excitable, he’s just focused.”

Owned by sponsor John Boyle, Boylesports King is likely to tail the field at the turn but such is the potency of his finishing kick that few would rule out his chances of coming from last to first. Of course, he can’t afford to sit too far off the pace but given his improving profile it’s entirely possible he could turn closer than in recent outings. 

Whatever the outcome, both owner and trainer can look forward to the future with Boylesports King. He is a special talent.

HAPPY CAN RUN

Pat Buckley claimed his sole Derby success ten years ago with the sensational College Causeway, but he will be hopeful that Run Happy can provide him with a second victory.

He may be the outsider of the field but the Champion Stakes runner-up is entitled to the utmost respect.

In contrast to College Causeway, Run Happy is all about early speed. He may have shown great back straight pace to qualify for the final behind Lenson Bocko, but if he is to race to Derby glory, the Tom Quinn and Ned Morrissey owned son of Tullymurry Act will need to turn in front this evening.

That’s a big ask in a race such as this, but there is no doubt he has superb speed to the bend and continues to improve.

NO MUCKING ABOUT FOR BRAE

Michael O’Donovan also has a rich Derby heritage after capturing the competition on two occasions with Judicial Pride way back in 2000 and more recently with the dominant Laughil Blake in 2014. Both greyhounds had terrific early speed and so too does Mucky Brae.

He overcame a horrendous draw in his semi-final to earn his shot at the title. Flashing from traps, he made every inch to dead-heat with the unfortunate Our Surprise. He must make a similarly fast start this evening to come home in front but, as with Run Happy, it’s entirely possible.

Owners Mike and Alison Bandurak had a previous finalist in the recent past with Buckos Dream reaching thee 2017 decider. They will be hoping Mucky Brae can give them their greatest night in greyhound racing. 

BOCKO’S DATE WITH DESTINY

When all is said and done, Lenson Bocko is set to go to traps one of the, if not the, hottest Derby final favourite since Prince Of Bermuda finished runner-up at 4-9 in 1956.

The Graham Holland trained superstar races from five which happens to be trap on the longest losing sequence in Derby finals.

In fact, not since the aforementioned College Causeway in 2009 has the runner in the orange jacket come home in front. Everything suggests Lenson Bocko can end that sequence tonight.

He represents three of the big hitters in greyhound racing on this side of the world, Beverly Lochead, Austin Whelan and Len Ponder, and he would be a popular given the support his owners have offered our sport.

If you were to mould a greyhound with the qualities to win a modern Derby, it would take the form of Lenson Bocko. Blessed with incredible early speed, massive pace down the back straight and a bullet proof temperament, the son Droopys Jet is the near-perfect greyhound.  

Tonight, he will put his brilliance to the test on the greatest stage of all. He may be young but a record of ten wins from just twelve starts is further proof that he is a bit special. The script will say that Lenson Bocko will again hit the ground running, drive into a two length lead before the turn and increase his advantage down the back straight.

But races of this nature can to go off script some times. However, this Derby final is Lenson Bocko’s to lose. If he produces his best form, the remainder are probably going to be in a battle for the runner’s up spot.

THE FINAL OUTCOME

The hopes and dreams of those involved in greyhound racing can often come down to a split second, the briefest of moments at trap rise, a small bump at the first turn or the final inches of a contest.

Tonight, it could come down to the width of a fifty-cent piece, but whatever happens we will still be talking of the 2019 Derby decider for decades to come.

A huge crowd will be on hand to witness what could be a race to savour. Mucky Brae and Run Happy will bid to get loose in the opening yards. Killmacdonagh will attempt to contain the same pair into the bend with a view to turning close enough to launch a late challenge.

Boylesports King will unleash a swashbuckling effort from halfway in hope of arriving just in time to lead on the line, but Lenson Bocko holds all the aces. The odds-on favourite possesses raw early speed and looks the likeliest leader. If he does turn in front, it would need something extra special from one of his rivals to halt his march to Derby glory.

Of course, the packed stands and Derby roar are capable of throwing dogs out of their comfort zone, but Lenson Bocko remains the choice to hand Graham Holland a second success after Rural Hawaii won in style in 2016.

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LOOK EAST IN FORTUNE’S PLATE DECIDER

The Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate is the feature of a tremendous undercard and Graham Holland seems to have at least one hand on the trophy with three of the six finalists representing his Golden based outfit.

Blue East, Clonbrien Prince and Macaroon Cruz all have their own individual qualities and claims can be made for each of the three, although the first named seems certain to start a warm favourite.

Larry O’Rourke’s charge has already captured the Select Stakes at Waterford and Kingdom Derby this year and on current form looks the likely winner this evening. From an ideal draw on the fence, Blue East will be difficult to contain in the early yards.

Clonbrien Prince stands out as the main danger although that prediction comes with an asterisk. Should the brilliant son of Confident Rankin return to his best he would be the one to beat, but he is currently performing at a level a little below his best.

That can change, of course, and if he were to come away running, he would certainly make his presence known. Macaroon Cruz completes the Holland team. He will be a bigger price than his kennel mates due to a tricky draw in four. He doesn’t have the early speed to get loose in the opening yards and that leaves him vulnerable to traffic.

Manuka Man is perhaps the biggest danger to the Holland team. Peter Comerford and Tony Moore’s talented son of Kinloch Brae is a strong runner, although he is capable of a flash start. Were he to find one tonight, he could conceivably make a bold bid.

Both Boleys Fella and Dromrich Antares have been running tremendously well, but with no disrespect meant, they could find things happening too quickly in the early stages. Boleys Fella has some superb form over further including a track record for 600yds around Dundalk. He is sure to finish well, but may have too much on his plate at halfway.

Dromrich Antares has a fine draw in six and will, as always, look to pick off his rivals from halfway. He too may find himself with too much to do, however. It’s perhaps safest to go with Blue East to make all, but Clonbrien Prince will cast a large shadow.

PENSION FOR CONSOLATION

The Derby consolation looks a competitive affair, but Droopys Pension appeals from three.

He has superb early speed and if starting on terms could forge his way to the front before the turn. Sophies Man has the best of the draw in one and if repeating his wonderful Derby quarter final effort could also make a bold bid. But such is the nature of this contest that Ballydoyle Valor, Murts Boher and Deadly Dynamite all have strong claims. 

AN UNDERCARD TO SAVOUR

The remaining races on the undercard provide a suitable backdrop to thee Derby final itself. There is real quality on show from start to finish.

 The 750yd contest is of particular interest with six brilliant stayers in the line-up.

Skywalker Logan will start a deserving favourite after capturing the Corn Cuchulainn earlier in the summer, but this is a better race than that decider. Pat Guilfoyle’s star will need to hit the ground running from the insider box and contain the likes of Cushie Jet and Jaytee Tornado in the opening yards. Redzer Ardfert and Riverside Honey will hope their power will come into play, while Boylesports Twink is carrying some tremendous form into the contest.  

Graham Holland has strong claims in the last two races. Slippy Cian could be suited down to the ground by a step up to 575yds in the penultimate race, while Lenson Blinder will start odds-on in the finale over 600yds.

Ballyanne Sim will remain the reigning Derby champion until a little after 9.41pm and he will be hoping to mark the occasion with a victory in the Open 525 fifth race. He has a perfect draw on the fence and looks likely to get first run on some talented rivals which include UK raider Forest Jason, Texacloth winner Costa Plenti and Fainne Chiarrai.

The action gets underway with the first race set to go off at 7.15pm. Fore those that can’t make the stadium, RTE will be covering the final live in a one hour programme between 9 and 10pm.  

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HQ READY FOR A BUSY ONE

Shelbourne GM Patrick Flynn confirmed during the week that he and his team were bracing themselves for another memorable Derby.

Said Flynn: “Everything has gone well at this stage. Everything is in place. The restaurant and suites are fully booked. General admission and packages have sold well so it looks as though it’s going to be another capacity night.

“We’ll open the doors at 4.30pm and there will be music throughout the stadium up to start of racing at 7.15pm and again after racing on the ground floor, which is now the recognised social occasion of the year. We’ll be serving late behind the bar and it should be a great end to a great night.

“After a very strong start to the year, it’s been a challenging few months since the RTE Programme but since advertising started again a few weeks back, the signs are positive and Saturday should be good for the game. It’s been an exceptional Derby on the track and we have several potential great stories in the final itself.”

Indeed, food and beverage manager Darragh Geraghty gave a breakdown of the figures for those attending and there were mighty impressive. He confirmed that it was going to be a full house with 700 booked in for sit down meals between the restaurant and suites, while another 200 will be availing of the hot beef roll and pint package on the booked-out pavilion.

Add to that a 1,000 plus punters that have booked admission packages and a further 2,500 on general admission and it should make for an incredible atmosphere on one of the great nights in world greyhound racing.

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Video – 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY FINAL LUNCH

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OUR SURPRISE OUT OF DERBY

The news came through early on Monday morning that Our Surprise will be a non-runner from Saturday’s Boylesports Derby decider.

It will come as a terrible blow to Brian and Laurence Jones. Of course, the powerful son of Tullymurry Act had won his semi-final, dead-heating with Mucky Brae in 29.32. He seemed to be reaching peak form which makes the withdrawal even more heart-breaking for his connections.

It means trap four will now be vacant for Saturday’s €140,000 showpiece

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Video - 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY SEMI-FINALS

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LENSON BOCKO 8/11 FROM 11/8 FOR BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY

Mucky Brae 4/1 From 12/1 To Land Curly O’Donovan 3rd Derby Title

The 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby finalists have been revealed and what a stunning line up to look forward to this coming Saturday for the €140,000 prize.

Lenson Bocko has held on tight to his ante post favouritism with his odds slashed into 8/11 from 11/8 following his 29.32 effortless display. This Graham Holland star will race from trap five in the final and he looks very hard to beat after a blistering 3.36 split in his heat on Saturday night.

The evening was full of excitement and drama with Magical Bale not making the final, the major shock. One greyhound that has taken a massive price cut is Mucky Brae who is now 4/1 from 12/1 to land Michael O’Donovan another derby title. Mucky Brae landed the second semi-final along with Our Surprise in a thrilling dead heat. Our Surprise showed his massive pace coming from behind to land on the finish line with Mucky Brae as the pair booked their spot in the final.

Mucky Brae produced a career best to record an identical time to Bocko in 29.32 and his sectional of 3.34 is also an improvement on recent weeks. He is getting better and stronger with each run and this Produce Stakes finalist can put it up to the favourite if he can come out of the traps like that once more in the final.

Our Surprise has been trimmed into 10/1 from 16/1 and races from trap four as the only middle seed. His trainer Laurence Jones told RTE2 after the result was confirmed that his superstar is lucky to be alive as he was born hours after the last pup and was very weak, so much so that Laurence bottle fed him for the first few vital weeks. His nickname is Sambo and he is a pet around the kennels. It would be a big surprise if this dog lands the final to give his trainer his first derby victory.

Killmacdonagh is the only bitch in the final and she qualified in dramatic fashion by beating Ballydoyle Valor by a head to grab the last qualifying place. She needs to start breaking from the traps better if she is to become the first bitch in twenty years to win the famous derby classic. She races from trap one in the final which is very positive as she won her first-round heat from this trap in her best clock of the competition, 29.39. She also won the Sporting Press Oaks back in June from trap one. Her odds have seen a slight cut into 4/1 from 9/2.

BoyleSports King will race from trap six in a bid to land sponsor John Boyle his first ever derby title. What a marvellous victory this would be for a great ambassador of the industry. His odds have drifted out to 10/1 from 6/1 due to his lack of early pace. He will need some traffic problems up front if he is to collect the top prize as he only starts to race from the third bend. He hasn’t won any of the heats in this derby, but you never know what might happen in a final.

Run Happy has a beautiful draw in trap two for Pat Buckley who was successful at HQ back in 2009 when the great College Causeway won the derby. Run Happy is in super form and ran a big race in his semi-final to qualify in second spot, three and a half lengths off Bocko for the third week in a row. He was second in the BoyleSports Champion Stakes from trap two after taking a flyer from traps. His odds remain unchanged at 14/1.

Sarah Kinsella, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “What a fantastic night at HQ on Saturday night. We got to witness some incredible racing but particularly from Lenson Bocko, who is now 8/11 from 11/8 for the final. Another big mover is Mucky Brae who is 4/1 from 12/1 and is coming into top form at the right time. It’s going to be a cracking final with the sponsor John Boyle in with a chance of winning his own race with BoyleSports King. His odds have drifted out to 10/1 from 6/1 but is not without a chance.”

Link to market;

https://mobile.boylesports.com/sports/greyhounds/future-dogs/shelbourne/boylesports-irish-greyhound-derby

BoyleSpoorts Irish Greyhound Derby Final (Trap Order)

4/1 - KILLMACDONAGH

14/1 - RUN HAPPY

4/1 - MUCKY BRAE

10/1 - OUR SURPRISE

8/11 - LENSON BOCKO

10/1 - BOYLESPORTS KING

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A NIGHT OF DERBY DRAMA AS 12 BECOME 6

For the final time in this year’s Boylesports Derby the field was halved in Saturday’s semi finals and, as you would expect, there were a couple of plot twists and some real talking points.

One of the main talking points was the fact that the two heats were won by three greyhounds and it just so happens that all three posted the exact same time.

The Graham Holland trained Lenson Bocko was understandably a hot favourite for the opening heat and he justified his billing with another foot-perfect display. The real drama came fifteen minutes later, however, as the judge failed to separate Mucky Brae and Our Surprise.

BRILLIANT BOCKO DOMINANT

Derby favourite Lenson Bocko, owned by the Lochead-Ponder-Whelan Syndicate, continued his march through the competition as he produced an incredible display of acceleration to dominate from the outset.

Despite moving off the fence, Deadly Dynamite raced a close second in the opening yards and was just two lengths behind Lenson Bocko on the turn.

Lenson Bocko ran a wonderful bend to increase his lead to three lengths into the back straight and it was clear the son of Droopys Jet and Melodys Diamond was on his way to another faultless victory. The race for the remaining qualifying spots was an altogether different story.

Deadly Dynamite was second into the turn and he increased his advantage over the chasing Run Happy as they entered the back with the latter bumping into his rear. Run Happy was far from finished and he unleashed a massive turn of pace to shoot up the inside of Deadly Dynamite at the third turn. This ensured his place in the decider.

Meanwhile, after taking a hefty bump on the turn and clipping heels with the dog in front of him early in the back straight, Boylesports King looked dead and buried at the tail of the field.

Boylesports King moved fifth between the last two bends but still had a mountain to climb. Lenson Bocko duly raced to an emphatic three and a half length verdict over Run Happy in 29.32, while Boylesports King arrived with a rush to grab third off a tiring Deadly Dynamite.

BRAE AND SURPRISE CAN’T BE SEPARATED

Fifteen minutes later Mucky Brae (Kinloch Brae/ Carmac Cyrus) and Our Surprise (Tullymurry Act/ Corduff Flame) served up a thriller, although the failure of Magical Bale to land a blow was also a major talking point.

It was widely accepted that Mucky Brae faced the worst draw of the twelve semi-finalists, but a lighting fast start from two put a stop to any such thoughts.

In contrast Magical Bale missed the start and his Derby challenge came to an end when his kennel companion Music Toour Ears cut inwards from trap three to bump him in the early exchanges. He found further traffic as Ballydoyle Valor cut the corner.

Our Surprise, owned by brothers Laurence and Brian Jones, was last to hit the ground at trap rise, but flew up the outside and ran a tremendous bend to turn second, while Ballydoyle Valor turned third ahead of Killmacdonagh.

The race was now on for all three qualifying spots. The Michael O’Donovan trained Mucky Brae entered the back straight with two and a half lengths to spare and held that lead passing halfway before Our Surprise started to close the gap into the third turn. Behind the front two, Ballydoyle Valor was holding Killmacdonagh.

As you would expect, Our Surprise continued to come at M.A Bandurak’s Mucky Brae on the run in and the pair flashed past the post together, stopping the clock in 29.32. The photo couldn’t separate the front two and a dead-heat was declared.

A further four and a half lengths adrift, the race for third was also a close run thing with Killmacdonagh finally mastering Ballydoyle Valor in the final strides by a head.

The Derby Draw:

1 KILLMACDONAGH

2 RUN HAPPY

3 MUCKY BRAE

4 OUR SURPRISE (M)

5 LENSON BOCKO (W)

6 BOYLESPORTS KING (W)

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GRAHAM’S PLATE DOUBLE

Graham Holland recorded a tremendous double in the semis of the Michael Fortune Memorial Plate with Macaroon Cruz and Blue East. Blue East led from the outset, avoiding traffic to win the red-hot second heat.

Larry O’Rourke’s wonderful son of Droopys Jet and Lemon Bolt needed to come away racing and he duly obliged for his many supporters. Importantly, he held the early challenge of Elite Black and this effectively won him the race.

Elite Black flew up the turn but when Blue East closed the door, he checked wide causing traffic for the remainder. Blue East was left clear and he went on to score by four and a half lengths in 29.59. Manuka Man came through for second, two and a half lengths ahead of Clonbrien Prince.

Kevin Lees’ Macaroon Cruz was a slightly fortuitous winner of the opening heat as he was left in front between the last two bends. Jirano Classic had just gone to the front from the early leader Da Head Hunter at the third turn but they clipped heels and both lost all momentum. Suddenly, Macaroon Cruz found himself in front and he duly went onto hit the line three and a half lengths to the good over Dromrich Antares in 29.91. Boleys Fella was another length and a half back in third.   

Draw for the final:

1 BLUE EAST

2 CLONBRIEN PRINCE

3 MANUKA MAN

4 MACAROON CRUZ

5 BOLEYS FELLA (W)

6 DROMRICH ANTARES (W)

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DERBY DRAMA TO UNFOLD AT HQ

The biggest news of the week was the confirmation that Magical Bale will take his place in the semi-finals of the Boylesports Derby at Shelbourne Park this evening. A simple text arrived from Pat Guilfoyle on Friday afternoon saying, “Bale will run tomorrow night”.

A matter of hours later, the rumour mill was again resembling a hamster wheel with one of the shrewdest men in greyhound racing saying to me, “I got a phone call. I’m told Magical Bale is absolutely bouncing”.

Whether he is “bouncing” or not, the brilliant son of Zero Ten remains a big player in this year’s Derby and he will start favourite for the second heat this evening. The general consensus during the week was that the near veteran would drift in the betting but the latest reports of his well-being may have the opposite effect and he could possibly start odds-on.

Killmacdonagh is a worthy adversary, however. One of the greatest bitches to ever race on these shores, the Oaks and Dundalk International winner has her eyes firmly on completing an historic treble and Kieran Lynch insists she is not in season following last week’s whispers.

Certainly, her run in defeat last week would suggest she is as good as ever and, from a favourable draw in five this evening, she could represent real value. Normally a fast starter, she can clear Ballydoyle Valor (trap four) in the opening yards and if doing so could have the room of Shelbourne Park into the turn with Music Toour Ears expected to cut inwards from trap three.

That could be bad news for her rivals. Yes, Magical Bale is likely to fly up the fence from his inside draw but he will most certainly need to lead Killmacdonagh to continue his winning ways. Even if the bitch is within two lengths of Magical Bale entering the back, you would fancy her chances.

Of course, Magical Bale must be foot-perfect in the opening yards as his aforementioned kennel companion Music Toour Ears could make life difficult in the early yards. A noted railer, Music Toour Ears could close the door on Magical Bale if making one of his trade mark fast starts.

With all this action happening on the inner, it’s no shock that money came in for Our Surprise at big prices earlier in the week. He faces a favourable draw on the outside and any traffic amongst the inside runners would certainly play into hiss paws.

Ballydoyle valor is also a strong runner. He produced hiss finest display of the Derby last week when flying home behind Magical Bale. He too has a good draw in four, but he must be at his sharpest to take advantage. He will certainly finish well, but it could be too late if the likes of Killmacdonagh and Our Surprise turn in front of him.

The final runner is Mucky Brae. He has been running extremely well through the Derby and has the talent to be a big player, but he couldn’t have asked for a worse draw. Sandwiched by Magical Bale and the rails-seeking Music Toour Ears, he needs to either rocket from trap two or miss the kick and hope a gap appears on the turn.

Magical Bale is the percentage call and the most likely winner, but at the likely prices Killmacdonagh represents real value and she gets the nod. Our Surprise can chase the pair into the Derby decider.

RED-HOT FAVOURITE

It’s no surprise to see Lenson Bocko a red-hot favourite for the opening heat.

The Graham Holland trained star deserves his place at the head of the betting for outright glory and he can go one step closer with a typically foot-perfect display this evening.

His rise up the ranks has been meteoric and on current form he is perhaps the best in training. His last two wins were nothing short of exceptional and a similar return this evening would see him come home clear.

His owners will be hoping that there are no plot twists as only terribly bad luck can keep him from securing a place in next week’s decider. When searching for the main dangers, Boylesports King will perhaps get most attention, but his style of running is unlikely to worry the favourite.

That’s not to say I don’t think Boylesports King will be second. In fact, it’s hard not to fancy Boylesports King to grab the runners-up spot, but the point is that he needs the favourite to make a major mishap to worry him in running.

Instead, Run Happy is the most likely to threaten Lenson Bocko to the third turn. The Champion Stakes winner has tremendous early dash and looks set to go up fast from trap four. Were Lenson Bocko to miss the start, it’s Run Happy he would have to negotiate a passage around, and not Boylesports King.

Strictly on quarter final form, Sophies Man is nearest to Lenson Bocko in terms of time. Importantly, he wore red last week, while he must contend with a trap two draw tonight. If he is to emerge as a danger to Lenson Bocko he must clear the inside runner Deadly Dynamite in the opening yards.

Murts Boher, a kennel companion to Lenson Bocko, will also have support, although he needs to be at his very best from a tough draw. With Sophies Man and Run Happy on his flanks he may need to make the fastest start of his career. 

With the prospect of things getting tight on the inside of the track, the aforementioned Boylesports King, who wears the stripes, may emerge as the closest challenger to the favourite at the business end. Owned by Derby sponsor John Boyle and trained by Derby winning handler Dolores Ruth, Boylesports King may not be the fastest to the opening turn but very few can match him for power and pace from halfway. He has lit up the competition with a series of incredible, swashbuckling displays from halfway and if you are looking for a College Causeway type, look no further.

As stated, he is unlikely to threaten Lenson Bocko through the early yards, but were the favourite to tie up in the closing yards, Boylesports King would be the one to capitalise.

All evidence suggests Lenson Bocko will continue his winning ways. Should he start on terms, he is likely to race into a clear advantage before the second corner. Boylesports King can come through for second with the battle for third likely to depend on which of the remainder gets the clearest run at the third turn.

A reminder that the Derby action, including the draw for the final, can be viewed live on RTE 2 between 9 and 10pm this evening. 

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BLAZE TO LIGHT UP PLATE

He may have been picked up in both his outings to date in the Michael Fortune Derby Plate, but it could be worth following Easter Cup champion Clona Blaze in the red-hot second heat this evening.

Graham Holland sends out three of the six runners in this contest and has reason to be hopeful of his chances.

It truly looks a wide-open affair but with the prospect of a fast running surface, the nod goes to the likeliest leader, Clona Blaze. Blessed with incredible trapping ability and massive early speed, he is an odds-on chance to lead the field around the turn.

Yes, he may have been disappointing in his last two outings but one suspects he will be ready to take advantage this evening. Holland’s other runners Clonbrien Prince and Blue East are also entitled to plenty of respect. The latter has been running well but could be hindered by the presence of the fast-starting Elite Black on his immediate inner in one.

Clonbrien Prince is undoubtedly fast enough to make a bold bid but is currently a yard or two off his best. If he can come on for his recent outings he would have obvious claims, although he may also need to find his trapping boots.

The Peter Cronin trained Worseforwear is favourite for the competition and also has real claims, but only his best will suffice. While I expect him to get involved, he will need to go up a little faster than in his last two wins to turn close enough. In short, there will be no shock in this contest with each of the runners holding some sort of a chance, but an early advantage may prove the difference for Clona Blaze.

Graham Holland and Peter Cronin are also expected to have a big say in the opening heat where Da Head Hunter could prove the one to beat for Cronin. The son of Droopys Scolari seems to be around a long time but doesn’t turn four until January.

He retains all his ability and should he trap on terms he can assume control into the turn. Jirano Classic stands out as the main threat in the early stages, but he would find it difficult to pick up Da Head Hunter were he to slip around in front.

Macaroon Cruz is perhaps the best drawn greyhound in the contest. He races in the red jacket and has the pace and power to make a bold bid. He will need to contain Da Head Hunter into the turn, however, which is easier said than done.

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A MAGICAL SCARE

For the second week running the rumour mill started to work at full capacity on Tuesday morning, but unfortunately in contrast to seven days earlier there these rumours are well founded with Pat Guilfoyle confirming that Magical Bale has a “small problem” ahead of his appearance in the semi-finals of the Boylesports Derby at Shelbourne Park on Saturday.

Despite the problem the firms have stood firm and he remains a clear second favourite for outright success with Sponsors Boylesports going 5-2 about the brilliant son of Zero Ten. He also remains a 4-5 chance for the second heat with the sponsors, although he is sure to drift later in the week.

Pat Guilfoyle said of the injury, “He has a small problem. It’s an old injury that has flared up and we’ll work on him all week. As it stands, we’re hopeful he will be okay to race.

“In the past he has reacted well to treatment on the injury and we’re hopeful it will be the same in this case. We’ll do our very best to have him fit but for the moment it’s just a case of keeping the fingers crossed. It’s unfortunate but it goes to show there’s never a dull moment in greyhound racing.”

A word of caution to those looking to oppose Magical Bale. AS the old golfing analogy would suggest, “Beware the injured golfer”. We’ve seen greyhounds winning the classic in the past while under a cloud. Manx Treasure is one that certainly comes to mind. So does Razldazl Billy, who was subject to a major scare in the days leading up to his final before coming home clear of his rivals.

Of course, Guilfoyle has two runners remaining in the Derby with Music Toour Ears also lining out in the second semi-final, while he has already experienced Irish Derby glory with Good News as recently as 2017.

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DERBY DETAILS

With the Derby near competition, Patrick Flynn was on to confirm the details of the days ahead.

As stated above, the doors will open at 5.30pm on Saturday to allow punters view the All-Ireland replay prior to racing.

If you can’t make it to Shelbourne, you can view the Boylesports Derby action live on RTE with a 60 minute programme running from 9pm to 10pm. The broadcast will include 3 live races including the two Derby semi-finals and a recording of a number of races also. The draw for the final will be made immediately before they go off air.

On Monday, the pre-Derby Lunch for those with finalists will take place in the Oaks Suite from 12noon at Shelbourne. This event has grown from strength to strength in recent years offering the connections of all six finalists an opportunity to relax and mingle in the build up to the big day.   

Derby Final Ticket information:

Now on sale. Adult price €20 (includes race card): Student/OAP €10 (includes race card) Id must be presented at the stiles if requested with Student/OAP tickets.

Tickets available from Shelbourne reception office hours Monday to Friday: Night Office ground floor during racing: Calling National Sales centre on 061 448080 or from outside ROI on 00353 61 448080 or by booking online at www.shelbourneparkgreyhoundstadium.ie

Group Packages:

Great Value Group package; Derby Track Special Package €25pp (parties of 10+) - must be pre-booked

Admission & race card

Hot Beef Roll

Pint of Heineken/Orchards Thieves.

Reserved area on roof top Pavillion

**It’s worth noting that 10% of all admission and food packages will be donated to the Greyhound CareFund. 

Derby Final Day:

Doors will open at 4.15pm with music throughout the stadium from 4.30pm in advance of racing starting at 7.15pm

Best dressed lady competition:

The 2019 Derby Best Dressed prize includes:

  • Overnight stay in 4 star Dublin Hotel        
  • Complimentary dinner for 2 people in Shelbourne Park, including champagne on arrival and €100 Tote Betting vouchers
  • A race named after the winner plus post-race presentation*
  • A €500 shopping voucher 
  • Two Runners-up will receive Dinner for 2 people in Shelbourne Park, including a complimentary bottle of house wine and €50 tote betting vouchers 
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Video - 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY 4th ROUND HEATS

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BOCKO STILL DERBY FAVOURITE

It will come as no surprise to any that watched Lenson Bocko in full flight last Saturday night in the quarter finals of the Boylesports Derby that he became the first greyhound to retain his place at the head of the betting in the classic.

The Graham Holland trained superstar is simply incredible and a 2-1 quote for outright glory with the sponsors looks perfectly fair.

Magical Bale went just over a length slower than Bocko in his quarter final and continues to get better with each run through the competition. Understandably, he is the 7-2 second choice in the market ahead of Killmacdonagh, who herself ran a huge race in defeat behind Magical Bale on Saturday.

The full betting reads:

2 Lenson Bocko, 5-2 Magical Bale, 7 Killmacdonagh, 8 Boylesports King, 16 Mucky Brae, 16 Run Happy, 16 Sophies Man, 16 Our Surprise, 25 Murts Boher, 25 Ballydoyle Valor, 33 Music Toour Ears, 40 Deadly Dynamite.

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KILLMACDONAGH IN GREAT ORDER

The rumour mill was in danger of bursting into flames last week, such was the speed in which it was turning, but contrary to the widely circulated whisper, Killmacdonagh was not in season ahead of her quarter final appearance in the Boylesports Derby and as we type these words she remains in great order and season free. 

Kieran Lynch was certainly bemused about where the rumour came from. “We don’t know where the rumours came from but I can confirm that she wasn’t or isn’t in season. She is due very soon but, honestly, she’s in great order and we’re just delighted to be still there.

“So many people actually said it to us that she was in season that I actually checked her again this morning. But I promise you she is not in season.”

As for her performance, Lynch was delighted: “She ran great. She trapped alight but seemed to collide with the two dog early and four edging inwards didn’t help either. She rode a bump on the turn and when she was fourth down the back I was doing that math in my head.

“I knew the Ballydoyle [Valor] dog was strong so she was going to struggle to pick him up and Johnny’s is a right little dog [Droopys Pension] but thankfully she got there even though she took another bump off the final bend. That was probably her own fault as she was trying to edge in while the Droopys dog was tiring a little.

“She’s a great bitch and so strong. After the race Pat [Guilfoyle] actually said to us that even though Magical Bale was in front he took a glance back to see where our bitch was. That’s a fair compliment. But yeah, it’s great to be there and the draw could have been far worse. We’re quite happy with it.”      

Indeed Killmacdonagh did run an exceptional race in defeat and remains one of the main fancies for Boylesports Derby glory. The sponsors have installed her a 7-1 chance for Derby glory and given the fact she has been handed a good draw in the semis, that price could look on the big side come next Sunday morning. 

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BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY SEMI-FINAL DRAW

1st Semi-Final

1 DEADLY DYNAMITE

2 SOPHIES MAN

3 MURTS BOHER

4 RUN HAPPY

5 LENSON BOCKO (W)

6 BOYLESPORTS KING (W)

2nd Semi-Final

1 MAGICAL BALE

2 MUCKY BRAE

3 MUSIC TOOUR EARS

4 BALLYDOYLE VALOR

5 KILLMACDONAGH

6 OUR SURPRISE (M)

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BOCKO AND BALE STAR IN DERBY

As they did seven days earlier, both Lenson Bocko and Magical Bale laid down a marker in the quarter finals of the Boylesports Derby at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.

Lenson Bocko was aiming to become the first greyhound in the competition to retain favouritism and he did so in some style, while Magical Bale also won with real efficiency. Not to be outdone, Murts Boher also won for the second week running and Sophies Man produced a career best effort to emerge a deserving winner of his heat. 

Heat 1 – BOCKO DOMINATES AGAIN

After taking over the mantle of Derby favourite seven days earlier when posting a brilliant 29.27, Lenson Bocko posted an identical time in the opening quarter final to justify his lofty position at the head of the outright betting.

The Graham Holland trained superstar was an odds-on favourite to win the heat and his backers were in clover from the opening stride. Flashing from the outside box, Lenson Bocko quickly moved clear.

In contrast his main market rival Grangeview Ten seemed to charge the traps moments before the lids opened. Those on his flanks came away fractionally better and, while Grangeview Ten did show early speed to challenge for second on the turn alongside Run Happy and Deadly Dynamite, he found traffic and that effectively ended his Derby challenge. 

Run Happy was left second but was in danger of losing sight of Lenson Bocko who was racing clear of the field. Credit must go to Run Happy as he did close the gap fractionally to the third turn but from this point Lenson Bocko eased further away to eventually cross the line seven and a half lengths to the good in a magical 29.27. Run Happy held off the advancing Deadly Dynamite by a head to take second.

Heat 2 – SOPHIE IS THE MAN

Sophies Man came in for some shrewd support ahead of the second quarter final and it was inspired as the Peter Cronin trained son of Droopys Jet and Badminton Maid displayed real pace and determination to come home in front.

Albert Putnam’s charge came away racing from the inside trap to challenge early, although Mucky Brae held a narrow lead into the turn. Sophies Man had no intention of giving up his inside line, however, and he drove the turn, forcing Mucky Brae out of his way in the process.

Behind the front two, Ballymac Cooper displayed fine early dash after a moderate start to sit just behind them in third but he was kept wide on the turn and was in a vulnerable position entering the back.

Sophies Man entered the back with a narrow lead but seemed to show more acceleration than his pursuers and was almost two lengths to the good passing halfway. Mucky Brae and Ballymac Cooper were locked in a tight battle for second, while at the tail of the field Boylesports King started to kick into gear as they approached the third turn.

Sophies Man increased his lead before the final turn to enter the home straight with three lengths in hand and that was enough. Boylesports King arrived late and fast, passing three of his rivals in a matter of strides on the wide outside on the run in to grab second. But Sophies Man was too good on this occasion and he duly took the verdict by two lengths in 29.45. Mucky Brae was another two lengths away after winning the battle for third by a neck over Ballymac Cooper. 

Heat 3 – ANOTHER MAGICAL DISPLAY FROM BALE

All evidence would suggest that 2018 Derby runner up Magical Bale will go close again this year following another wonderfully professional display in the third quarter final.

The Pat Guilfoyle trained superstar was sent to traps the 6-4 favourite and he was soon in control.

Breaking fast from the inside box, the Westwell Racing Club Syndicate owned son of Zero Ten and Sizzling Sarah was almost a length in front by the winning line first time around. By the turn, his lead was down to less than half a length as Droopys Pension charged up his outside.

Importantly, Magical bale had the inside line and he stayed tight to the fence to increase his lead to over a length and a half as they entered the back. Droopys Pension turned second, while behind the front two Ballydoyle Valor forced his way up the inside of Killmacdonagh to go third.

Magical Bale was now control and at no point looked like surrendering his lead. Droopys Pension remained second to the third turn, but he was to run out luck. With Ballydoyle Valor showing fine pace to challenge on his inside, Droopys Pension was now a sitting duck.

Ballydoyle Valor moved second on the fence approaching the final turn, while Killmacdonagh was now in full flight in fourth. Magical Bale duly obliged, holding the late charge of Ballydoyle Valor by three parts of a length in very fast 29.35, while Killmacdonagh charged up the outside to recover from a final turn bump to qualify in third, a further two and a half lengths adrift.

Heat 4 – BOHER WINS AGAIN

After opening his Shelbourne Park account last week, Larry O’Rourke’s Murts Boher doubled his tally at the Ringsend venue when posting an identical 29.61 in the final heat.

As expected Music Toour Ears shot up the fence to set a furious gallop but Murts Boher was right on his shoulder to the turn and despite taking a bump remained in the ideal position to strike as they entered the back.

By halfway Murts Boher was on terms and he eased into the lead by the third bend. Our Surprise was not the main threat to the new leader as he charged into the third turn to go second on the rail.

Murts Boher had a cleaner run at this point, however, and that allowed him steal a couple of lengths which was to prove decisive. Our Surprise did run on strongly to close on the leader, but Murts Boher went on to record a three parts of a length victory over his rival in 29.61. Music Toour Ears clung on for third two lengths back.

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WORSE GOES FASTEST IN PLATE AGAIN

For the second week running, Worseforwear set the standard in the Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate and for the second week running it took the judge to give the verdict to the Peter Cronin trained star.

Last week Clona Blaze was denied in the final stride and this week it was Blue east that was denied in almost identical fashion. Indeed the winning distance, a short head, was also identical. Blue East shot from the inside trap to dictate to the turn.

Worseforwear turned second and seemed likely to stay there with Blue East maintaining a strong gallop throughout. Indeed, even as they turned for home it seemed the order wouldn’t change but in the last fifty yards things finally started to happen for Worseforwear. He stayed on well to flash past the post locked in battle with Blue East. The judge gave the verdict to Worseforwear by the minimum margin in 29.44.

A DOUBLE FOR PETER

Peter Cronin completed a Derby Plate double in the final heat with Da Head Hunter showing all his pace and experience to take charge on the turn.

Pudgie Budgie flashed from traps to lead into the turn, but at this point Da Head Hunter shot through on the fence.

Once going to the front the near veteran son of Droopys Scolari and Samiya was never going to be denied. Larry O’Shea’s charge stayed on well to record a three length victory over Manuka Man in 29.77. Harriestown Star ran a fine race to finish just a neck away in third. 

CRUZ WINS WELL

Macaroon Cruz upset his more fancied kennel companion Clonbrien Prince in the second heat.

Elite Black, as he did seven days earlier, set a strong gallop but he again ran out of steam. In contrast Macaroon Cruz, who had turned in second, stayed on strongly to lead late for a length victory in 29.56. Clonbrien Prince, after failing to fire in the early yards stayed on well to grab second, a neck to the good over the retreating Elite Black. 

A CLASSIC PERFORMANCE

Jirano Classic (Kinloch Brae/ Pennys Queen) ran out a fine winner of the third heat for Johnny O’Sullivan and Pat Norton.

As expected the hot favourite Clona Blaze set a searching pace after a flying start but for the second week running he failed to hold his advantage.

Jirano Classic turned second and this was to prove decisive. As Clona Blaze started to show signs of fatigue approaching the third turn, Jirano Classic started to draw closer. He made his move turning for home. Staying close to the fence he shot past the early leader to emerge a deserving three parts of a length winner over the staying on Boleys Fella in 29.80. Clona Blaze was the same distance away third.

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BRILLIANT BOCKO TO SHINE AGAIN IN DERBY

Many saw last week’s third round performance from Lenson Bocko as that of a Derby winner in waiting.

Tonight, at Shelbourne Park, the brilliant son of Droopys Jet will attempt to retain his position at the head of the market for the Boylesports Derby when he lines out in the second quarter final.

The Graham Holland trained star was incredible last week, as he displayed awesome speed to the third turn before staying on better than ever before for a wonderful 29.27 success. A similar return this evening would see him strengthen his grip on the Derby.

Of course, at this late stage in the competition nothing will come easy and Grangeview Ten, Run Happy and Deadly Dynamite will stand in his way this evening. Grangeview Ten is the obvious threat after posting some incredible sectionals in recent weeks.

The Produce Stakes champion will fly up the inside from trap two, but the presence of Run Happy and Deadly Dynamite on his flanks is not ideal.  In contrast, Lenson Bocko lines out in the stripes and seems certain to get a clear passage into the bend.

With Highview Micro and Dromrich Altair on his inner, Lenson Bocko should get loose in the early yards. If doing so he would be difficult to contain. Grangeview Ten can emerge his nearest challenger, while third spot could go to any of the remainder. That includes Dromrich Altair and Highview Micro despite their generous odds.  

HEAT 3 A THRILLER

Four of the eight third round heat winners clash in Heat 3 and it promises to provide the race of the night.

Killmacdonagh is on a run of eight straight victories but there have been rumours circulating about the Kieran Lynch trained superstar.

Whether the rumours are true or not, she is now likely to drift in the betting prior to the off. Just remember, that if she lines out this evening connections obviously feel she is fit to race and I would suggest you don’t dismiss her claims despite what the market suggests.

Magical Bale is now likely to start an even warmer favourite than some expected when the draw was made. The 2018 runner-up is fast approaching peak form and after a thoroughly profession display last weekend will be difficult to stop.

The Pat Guilfoyle trained star will fly up the fence and looks the likeliest leader. If he does turn in front, it would take something very special from one of his rivals to get back on terms. Slippy Cian is capable of pushing Magical Bale hard. A finalist last year, the brilliant son of Clash is another that seems to be returning to his very best.

He also has an ideal draw in the stripes and will certainly attract support. His tendency to run wide in parts is a concern but there is no doubt he has the engine to make a bold bid. Droopys Pension remains unbeaten in competition and is fast enough to figure, although this is his toughest ever test.

Killmacdonagh was the original choice, but given the circumstances Magical Bale is perhaps the logical choice. He can make all to lead Killmacdonagh and Slippy Cian across the line.

COOPER READY TO FIRE

Ballymac Cooper and Mucky Brae will dominate the betting in Heat 2 and it’s difficult to see past them, although the withdrawal of Jumeriah Buddy will suit none more than the big finisher Boylesports King.

Mucky Brae has been flying under the radar somewhat, despite winning his last two outings, and he again looks certain to race prominently. A noted fast starter, he has also shown a different side to his game in the past fortnight.

When challenged off the final turn, the Michael O’Donovan trained son of Kinloch Brae pinned his ears back and kicked on again. He will no doubt prove hard to pass if dictating, but Ballymac Cooper has a certain x-factor.

With the aforementioned Boylesports King drawn on his immediate inner, Ballymac Cooper seems likely to get a clear passage into the bend. If he gets a clear run into the back straight, the pure pace of Ballymac Cooper could prove decisive.  

Mucky Brae is the obvious danger, although supporters of the big two will certainly be keeping an eye out for Boylesports King who will be finishing faster than any. He can come through to make the frame and continue his Derby journey.

MUSIC TO PLAY THE RIGHT TUNE

Early speed may prove the decisive factor in the final heat for Music Toour Ears.

The sponsors have installed Lenson Blinder a warm favourite but he seems to have a lost a yard of pace to the turn and that could prove his undoing.

In contrast, Gold Cup winner Music Toour Ears is a professional starter with fine early speed. The Pat Guilfoyle trained star is selected to make all. Murts Boher may turn closest but would be vulnerable to big finishers if failing to dictate and Lenson Blinder can come through for second, while it could come down to a shootout between Murts Boher, Our Surprise and Toolmaker Daddy for the last of the semi-final spots.

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BUDDY OUT OF DERBY

Jumeriah Buddy was withdrawn from the Boylesports Irish Derby on Friday evening meaning that trap two will be vacant in the second quarter final.

There was also a further withdrawal from the Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate with last year’s Leger winner Blastoff Jet confirmed a non-runner from trap four. That trap will remain vacant also.

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PRINCE TO RULE IN PLATE

It may be almost three months since Clonbrien Prince last won a race, but the brilliant tracker can justify his billing as the one to beat in the Michael Fortune Derby Plate when he lines out in the opening quarter final at Shelbourne Park this evening.

The Graham Holland trained star is a 7-2 chance with the sponsors Boylesports for the €5,000 event and after a couple of pipe-openers in recent weeks he is ready to start firing on all cylinders. His last win may have come in June, but it’s worth noting that he had a break after the English Derby and his losing sequence only sits at three.

He is unlikely to make it four losses on the bounce and the betting will reflect that. Expect the brilliant son of Confident Rankin to start an odds-on favourite in Heat 2 and, if trapping on terms, he may have too much ammunition for his rivals.

Cushie Jet is unquestionably one of the fastest in training on his day and looks the main threat, but he may struggle to match his rival for early dash, while the remaining runners need luck on their side.

BLAZE TO LIGHT UP THIRD HEAT

Graham Holland will have another odds-on favourite in the form of Clona Blaze in the very next heat.

The Easter Cup champion may have been collared in the final stride last weekend, but he is fully expected to get back to winning ways.

In a race where there is a distinct lack of early speed, with the favourite obvious exception, Clona Blaze seems certain to open a clear lead. Jirano Classic is likely to get first run at Clona Blaze but he will struggle to get back on terms.

PETER TO RECORD A DOUBLE

Peter Cronin is chosen to record a double in the two remaining heats.

The aforementioned Worseforwear can get the better of Blue East in the opening appeals in the opening heat. The wide runner has a perfect draw in the stripes and looks certain to race prominently from the off.

Blue East is certain to go up fast on the inside, but recent form would suggest that Worseforwear has the legs of that rival.

The final heat is now a five-dog affair following the withdrawal of Glory Gold. In his absence, Da Head Hunter looks the most likely leader and if getting to the front the talented tracker would be near impossible to pick up. Manuka Man would have strong claims also, but he must hit the ground running from trap four.

BOCKO IMPRESSES ON THE CLOCK

To the eye Lenson Bocko was in a league of his own in the third round of the Boylesports Derby and the clocks back up that view.

The Graham Holland trained star posted a sizzling 29.27 on his way to a facile victory, but his third bend sectional was also pretty special.

Flashing from traps, he recorded a 3.33 split before stopping the third bend clock in a brilliant 16.96. It’s no surprise the brilliant son of Droopys Jet is now the sponsor’s 9-2 favourite for outright success.

After going fastest to the third turn in the first two rounds, Grangeview Ten was almost three lengths slower than Lenson Bocko as he clocked 17.14 off a 3.38 sectional. Perhaps most notable is the fact that Grangeview Ten also came home slower than seven days earlier.

Both Magical Bale and Droopys Pension 17.17, which after more inspection was quite impressive considering the fact that both were much slower to the first split that the aforementioned Lenson Bocko and Grangeview Ten.

Magical Bale, in particular, seems to be improving each week and is clearly finding his very best form at just the right time. Slippy Cian is also going the right way. He posted his fastest third bend sectional (17.18) before staying on strongly for a comfortable victory. Have little doubt a second Derby final appearance is on the table for the Graham Holland trained star is he continues to progress through the competition.

 

 

First sectional

3rd Bend

Clock home

Lenson Bocko

3.33

16.96

12.31

Grangeview Ten

3.38

17.14

12.68

Magical Bale

3.46

17.17

12.29

Droopys Pension

3.51

17.17

12.48

Slippy Cian

3.44

17.18

12.23

Mucky Brae

3.39

17.26

12.36

Ballymac Cooper

3.52

17.30

12.32

Murts Boher

3.47

17.31

12.30

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DERBY BONUS UPDATE

Killmacdonagh has bigger targets in her sights at present, but William Hennessy will receive a cheque for €3,000 after his Oaks and International winner claims the bonus as the last standing bitch in the Boylesports Derby after her latest wonderful success.  

The bonus for the most successful Owner/ Trained runner will be shared by Lolos Bear and Monbeg Bakayoko. Both were eliminated on Saturday with Ronnie Craven’s Lolos Bear finishing fourth behind Droopys Pension in Heat 3 while Eamon Doyle’s Monbeg Bakayoko finished fourth in the final heat. Both Craven and Doyle will receive €1,000 for the efforts of their charges.  

Tiger Reef had already claimed the €2,000 bonus as the Trial Stake winner to go furthest the previous weekend. The only bonus left up for decision is that of the syndicate owned greyhound top go further in the competition.

There are 5 greyhound remaining that fill that criteria and it’s a pretty illustrious list. Indeed, in order to win the bonus, the greyhound in question may need to win the Derby. The five runners are Slippy Cian, Music Toour Ears, Cash is King, Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko.

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DERBY QUARTER FINAL BETTING

Sponsors Boylesports have been really on the ball again this year, pricing up each and every heat early in the week and it’s no different with the quarter finals.

They see Lenson Bocko as the banker of the round and have installed him as the only odds-on favourite in the four heats.

Ballymac Cooper is a warm favourite for the second heat, Magical Bale (6-4) is favoured over Killmacdonagh (9-4) in Heat 3, while Lenson Blinder is an even money favourite for the final heat. 

Heat 1: 4-5 Lenson Bocko, 2 Grangeview Ten, 7-2 Run Happy, 14 Deadly Dynamite, 20 Highview Micro, 33 Dromrich Altair. 

Heat 2: 11-10 Ballymac Cooper, 13-8 Mucky Brae, 9-2 Boylesports King, 10 Sophies Man, 14 Jumeirah Buddy, 20 Knight Rocker

Heat 3: 6-4 Magical Bale, 9-4 Killmacdonagh, 5-2 Slippy Cian, 11-2 Droopys Pension, 16 Cabra Firmino, 20 Ballydoyle Valor

Heat 4:  Evens Lenson Blinder, 10-3 Music Toour Ears, 9-2 Our Surprise, 5 Murts, Boher, 8 Toolmaker Daddy, 12 Cash Is King

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Video - 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY 3RD ROUND HEATS

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LENSON BOCKO 5/1 FROM 14/1 NEW FAVOURITE FOR BOYLESPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY

SUPER BITCH KILLMACDONAGH 6/1 FROM 8/1 FOR DERBY GLORY

What a night it was at HQ on Saturday as 48 became 24 in the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby in dramatic fashion. There is a new favourite in town in the ante post market for the fourth time and it’s super pup Lenson Bocko that heads the betting.

Graham Holland’s magnificent powerhouse is now 5/1 from 14/1 to win the derby following his flawless performance in the opening round clocking 29.27. This two-year old is now eight times a winner from ten starts and is fast becoming a big loser in the BoyleSports book.

At the start of this classic competition, Lenson was 16/1 and he was never any bigger as he recorded 29.47 around Shelbourne Park on just his seventh start, so his talent was obvious. There are plenty of things to like about this dog with his slick early pace and savvy running style. Holland has five dogs left in this derby but Lenson could be the one to win him his second title.

Killmacdonagh can break the long wait for a bitch to win the derby as it has been twenty years since Spring Time claimed the prize for Gerald Watson. Kieran Lynch can be that trainer to burst onto the history pages with his flying machine that is Killmacdonagh. She has won her last eight races but on Saturday night in the 3rd round she produced a stunning display of determination to land the spoils in front of the tiring Ballymac Cooper in 29.61. BoyleSports have trimmed her price into 6/1 from 8/1 following her cool display as she stole the show yet again coming from fifth place to first.

Magical by name and magical by nature. What a win from the super talented Magical Bale to land heat seven for Patrick Guilfoyle in 29.46, his fastest of the competition so far. He proved how much he loves the red jacket by bursting from the traps and making all by an impressive five lengths to Knight Rocker. Magical has been cut into 6/1 from 10/1 and shares joint second favouritism with Killmacdonagh. That’s seventeen wins and over €33,000 in prize money for the wonderful servant who turns four years of age in January. He knows all about derby finals having made the 2018 Irish final and 2019 English final. This year could be his year before he heads off to become a stud dog.

Michael ‘Curly’ O’Donovan is one of the best greyhound trainers in the country and has been for many years. Michael won the Irish derby twice with Judicial Pride in 2000 and Laughil Blake in 2014. He trains Mucky Brae who was born on the 28th of March 2017 and is relatively lightly raced. He reached the Produce Stakes final this year that was won by the fast Grangeview Ten (who is 8/1 from 12/1). He arrived at HQ in July and produced two blistering back to back wins in 28.16 and 28.09 respectively before his derby campaign started. Mucky was second in the first round but cleaned up his act to win his last two heats, improving with each run. He is a dark horse with his odds now at 16/1 from 20/1 following his lovely victory at the weekend in 29.59, putting him right into the mix for the talented trainer.

Another ante post mover in the book is BoyleSports King who is now 25/1 from 33/1 and a huge contender with his brilliant pace. King has finished second in all three rounds so far with just one win on his card around the Dublin circuit in 29.69 for this trip. He is very slow away from the traps and that is what his kryptonite is. If he can improve at the boxes and get in front early some night, it would be a massive clock. It’s only a matter of time before it all clicks together for him but if it’s going to be in this derby, then 25/1 looks nice value in what would be sponsor John Boyle’s first ever derby win.

Other movers are Slippy Cian (8/1 from 16/1), Lenson Blinder (10/1 from 14/1), Droopys Pension (16/1 from 20/1) and Music Toour Ears (40/1 from 66/1).

Sarah Kinsella, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “What a phenomenal third round on Saturday night at HQ with the shock elimination of Wolfe, who was a big loser for us in the book. However, Lenson Bocko is gaining all the support now with his price slashed into 5/1 favourite from 14/1 and he looks a serious contender after his wonderful victory in 29.27, the second fastest time of this derby”.

Link to market:

https://mobile.boylesports.com/sports/greyhounds/future-dogs/shelbourne/boylesports-irish-greyhound-derby

BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby 

5          Lenson Bocko

6          Killmacdonagh

6          Magical Bale

8          Grangeview Ten

10        Lenson Blinder

10        Slippy Cian

10        Ballymac Cooper

14        Run Happy

16        Droopys Pension

16        Mucky Brae

25        Boylesports King

33        Cabra Firmino

33        Deadly Dynamite

33        Our Surprise

33        Sophies Man

40        Murts Boher

40        Music Toour Ears

50        Ballydoyle Valor

50        Toolmaker Daddy

50        Jumeirah Buddy

66        Cash Is King

100      Highview Micro

100      Dromrich Altair

150      Knight Rocker

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BOYLESPORTS DERBY QUARTER FINAL DRAW

Heat 1

1 RUN HAPPY

2 GRANGEVIEW TEN

3 DEADLY DYNAMITE

4 DROMRICH ALTAIR (W)

5 HIGHVIEW MICRO (W)

6 LENSON BOCKO (W)

Heat 2

1 SOPHIES MAN

2 JUMERIAH BUDDY

3 KNIGHT ROCKER

4 MUCKY BRAE

5 BOYLESPORTS KING (W)

6 BALLYMAC COOPER (W)

Heat 3

1 MAGICAL BALE

2 BALLYDOYLE VALOR

3 KILLMACDONAGH

4 CABRA FIRMINO

5 DROOPYS PENSION

6 SLIPPY CIAN (W)

Heat 4

1 MUSIC TOOUR EARS

2 LENSON BLINDER

3 MURTS BOHER

4 TOOLMAKER DADDY

5 OUR SURPRISE (M)

6 CASH IS KING (W)

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A NIGHT OF DRAMA IN BOYLESPORTS DERBY

The third round of the Boylesports Derby provided a bit of everything on Saturday night.

Graham Holland had an incredible treble with Lenson Bocko his standout star clocking a sensational 29.27, Magical Bale confirmed his standing as one of the best in the business and defending champion Ballyanne Sim made his exit but the real talking point came in Heat 5 where there was real drama as Laughil Josh turned back up the track after a fall. 

Heat 1 – BOCKO BLASTS INTO DERBY RECKONING

He may have only finished third in the second round, but in defeat Lenson Bocko displayed massive pace and a real determination to get involved.

Understandably, he was installed favourite for the opening third round heat and he delivered in some style.

The Graham Holland trained son of Droopys Jet and Melodys Diamond flashed from trap five and displayed fine acceleration to get daylight on the fast starting Jumeriah Buddy. In contrast both Run Happy and Jaytee Taylor missed the start.

Lenson Bocko held an almost four length lead at halfway from Jumeriah Buddy with the remainder making little impression a further five lengths adrift. At this point Winetavern Don was third but being challenged by Ballyhimikin Jet.    

Lenson Bocko continued to stride on majestically into the home straight and he went on to record a hugely impressive five and a half length victory over Jumeriah Buddy in a sensational 29.27. The race for third was a far more exciting affair.

Winetavern Don and Ballyhimikin Jet clashed at the third turn, sending the former crashing to the ground. He in turn badly hampered the improving Jaytee Taylor and Run Happy was left third. That was where Run Happy was to finish, a length and a half behind Jumeriah Buddy.  

Heat 2 – CIAN COMPLETES A HOLLAND DOUBLE

Just fifteen minutes after the brilliant run of Lenson Bocko, the Full House Syndicate owned Slippy Cian emerged a fine winner of the second heat as he held off the late charge of Boylesports King to complete a quick double for Graham Holland.

Allaghaun River shot from the inside box to lead in the opening yards but Slippy Cian raced up on the outside to challenge at the turn. At this point Allaghaun River was clipped from behind and that effectively ended his Derby challenge.

Slippy Cian found himself four lengths to the good over Sophies Man at the second turn but Boylesports King was now the only obvious threat. After avoiding the opening bend traffic, he was third and moved second before the third turn.

Slippy Cian (Crash/ Global Liberty) continued to race clear of his rivals, but Boylesports King began to eat into his advantage. When Slippy Cian swung wide off the final turn, he gave Boylesports King a chance. Alas the deficit was too great for Boylesports King and Slippy Cian took the verdict by a rapidly diminishing length in 29.41. Sophies Man was a further five lengths back in third.   

Heat 3 – PENSION MAKES IT THREE FROM THREE

Droopys Pension made it three from three for favourite backers, but also three wins from three starts in this year’s Derby in Heat 3.

It was widely accepted he had a kind draw in six despite his seeding, but few could have expected the extent to which Music Toour Ears would cut in from trap five.

In fact Droopys Pension was slowly into stride but the son of Quietly and Droopys Maid was left with so much room to race that he comfortably made the turn in front. Remarkably, despite taking a number of bumps as he dived inwards, Music Toour Ears turned second but he was never going to threaten the leader.

Trained by Johnny Linehan for Kieran Ryan, Droopys Pension was never under any pressure once moving clear and he coasted home a very easy five length scorer in 29.65. Music Toour Ears took second, two lengths to the good over Deadly Dynamite.      

Heat 4 – MURT BREAKS SHELBOURNE DUCK

Incredibly, Murts Boher had never won a race at Shelbourne Park but he put that right in tremendous fashion in Heat 4 as he led home a one-two for Graham Holland, in turn completing a superb hat trick for the Golden based handler.

Lenson Blinder and Droopys Hunch headed the betting but both struggled into the turn. Droopys Hunch, for once, missing the start, while Lenson Blinder came away well but was outpaced into the turn by his kennel companions Murts Boher and Totos Park.

With the inside line in his favour Murts Boher (Tullymurry Act/ Ballyregan Paws) moved on at the turn from Cash Is King and this was how they remained to the third turn. Lenson Blinder came storming through in the latter stages, but Murts Boher was not for passing and he raced on to a length and a half verdict over his rival in 29.61. Cash Is King was the third qualifier a further length and a half adrift.  

Heat 5 – DRAMA APLENTY AS TEN COMES OUT ON TOP

There was real drama in Heat 5 with kennel companions Grangeview Ten and Laughil Josh playing major parts in the contest, although with very different outcomes.

After two brilliant displays of early speed in the two previous rounds, it was no surprise to see Grangeview Ten lead into the turn from Laughil Josh and Wolfe, but then came the plot twist.

As Grangeview Ten took the turn, Laughil Josh and Wolfe became entangled and both were sent to the ground, knocking over Court Of Justice in the process.  Wolfe and Court Of Justice got up straight away and galloped after the leaders, although it was clear their Derby challenge was over.

Unfortunately, Laughil Josh got up and turned the wrong way and began to race back up the home straight. Out front Grangeview Ten continued to dictate with Toolmaker Daddy and Dromrich Altair the only visible challengers.

As the front three turned for home there was a collective prayer from those viewing in the stands. Laughil Josh raced up the straight, coursing the hare, thankfully avoiding the on-rushing trio.

Toolmaker Daddy who was a clear second at the time checked up as a result of Laughil Josh’s actions, but Grangeview Ten kept running and, despite tiring, held on for a three parts of a length victory from the now second Dromrich Altair in 29.81. Toolmaker Daddy was third, a further length and a half adrift.

After a short delay the result was called, meaning it was to stand. Of course, on the back of the card there is a notice which tackles the “Declaration of a No Race”. At the bottom of this notice reads the following: “Note: A greyhound turning back in a race does not constitute outside interference.”     

Heat 6 – KILLMACDONAGH MAKES IT EIGHT ON THE SPIN

There is simply no stopping William Hennessy’s Killmacdonagh at present.

Even when things don’t go her way the daughter of Zero Ten and Deercrest Lady finds a way to win and that was the case in Heat 6 as she flew up the straight to collar Ballymac Cooper in the final strides.

The early pace-setting duties were taken up by Ribchester, but he was in trouble once Ballymac Cooper raced on his shoulder turning into the back straight. At this point Cabra Firmino was third and Killmacdonagh fourth after failing to shake off those on her flanks in the opening yards.  

Ballymac Cooper predictably took charge into the third turn and looked a likely winner, but the Kieran Lynch trained Killmacdonagh had other ideas. After moving third at halfway she was poised to make her move on the inside of the track.

With Ribchester staying wide, Killmacdonagh moved second before the final turn and quickly started to close on the leader. Ballymac Cooper did all he could to try and contain the brilliant Oaks champion but it was futile. Storming up the straight, Killmacdonagh finally mastered Ballymac Cooper in the dying yards to claim an eighth victory on the bounce by a head in 29.61. Cabra Firmino contained the late charge of Ripley Lad to grab third a further four and a half lengths adrift.

Heat 7 – ALL VERY EASY FOR BALE

After the drama of the previous two contests, 2018 Derby runner-up Magical Bale brought normality to proceedings in Heat 7 as he flashed from the inside box to dominate from the start.

The Pat Guilfoyle trained superstar was understandably sent to traps a red-hot 4-6 favourite and that looked a hugely generous price after a stride.

Clear on the turn, the Westwell Syndicate owned superstar moved with real fluency throughout to race to straightforward and very impressive five length victory over Knight Rocker in 29.46. Our Surprise stayed on well to finish just a half-length away in third. While there is no doubting the ability of Magical Bale, this performance thrust him right back into the Derby picture. 

Heat 8 – SIM OUT AS MUCKY OBLIGES

Ballyanne Sim will not defend his Derby title after finding early traffic in Heat 8.

Edging inwards from traps he took an immediate bump and that was that for Eamon Cleary’s brilliant tracker. In contrast M.A Bandurak’s Mucky Brae shot from the inside box to dictate around the turn.

Monbeg Bakayoko and Highview Micro turned second and third and this set up a thrilling finish. Monbeg Bakayoko displayed pace into the third turn to close on the leader, but he eased leaving Highview Micro to lay down the challenge to the long-time leader.

Closing on the Michael O’Donovan trained Mucky Brae around the final turn, it looked as though Highview Micro would get to the leader but Mucky Brae reacted to the challenge and stuck his neck out. At the line Mucky Brae (Kinlcoh Brae/ Carmac Cyrus) had a length to spare over Highview Micro in 29.59 with Ballydoyle Valor coming through for third a further length and a half back. 

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WHAT A NIGHT OF DERBY ACTION

The Boylesports Derby field will be halved once again at Shelbourne Park this evening with 48 becoming 24 ahead of next week’s quarter finals.

Of course, as you’d expect there is nowhere to hide at this point in the competition and looking through tonight’s heats there is no greyhound you could say looks a certainty.

THE KILLMACDONAGH TRAIN TO KEEP ROLLING

After the opening two rounds, Killmacdonagh and Wolfe head the sponsors betting at 8-1 yet both face very tough assignments this evening. Killmacdonagh, fresh from her tremendous victory last week, will start favourite for Heat 6 

The Kieran Lynch trained superstar clearly has the legs of her rivals, but her trap two draw is a serious concern for her many followers. With Cabra Firmino expected to go up fast on her inner and Toolmaker Me Dad likely to edge inwards on her immediate outside, she needs to either fly from traps or miss the kick.

The former seems more likely as she is a natural starter, but don’t be surprised if she has to overcome a rough passage in the opening exchanges. Toolmaker Me Dad was one of two superb heats winners for Robert Gleeson last week when he lowered the colours of Wolfe and he again looks a major player.

He will undoubtedly look to get to the fence in the opening yards and that is a concern, although it could really suit the trap four runner Ballymac Cooper. Liam Dowling charge is clearly amongst the fastest in training but must brush up on his trapping to take advantage of his kind draw if he is to halt the unbeaten sequence Killmacdonagh which currently stands at seven.

TEN TO TAME THE WOLFE?

The clash of Wolfe and Grangeview Ten in Heat 5 could provide fireworks.

The pair are arguably the two fastest greyhounds in the Derby to the third turn and their early buckle could be one for the ages. Pat Guilfoyle’s Produce Stakes winner Grangeview Ten is drawn inside his rival which could prove the decisive factor.

There is no doubt Wolfe has the pace to beat any greyhound in training but he has a similar style of racing to Grangeview Ten and if failing to head his rival by halfway he may struggle to get to the front. The presence of the hugely fast Laughil Josh on the inside adds further intrigue to this already fascinating contest.

LESTER TO PUSH BALE

The sponsors seem to see Magical Bale as the banker of the night as they have installed him an 8-11 chance for Heat 7.

The 2018 runner-up would certainly prefer a middle pitch, but he remains the one to beat from the inside trap.

But don’t think he will have things all his own way. Newinn Lester will give him plenty to think about especially if he comes away racing from trap five. The latter has really impressed in his two starts in the competition, chasing home Killmacdonagh in the opening round before dominating last week.

There is still better to come from Newinn Lester and if Magical Bale is to justify his billing he will need to be at his sharpest in the opening yards of he could find himself behind Newinn Lester both at the start and the finish.

And this is far from a two-dog affair. Should the early paced duo make any mistakes, the powerful Our Surprise will be finishing like a train and ready to pick up the pieces.

BOCKO IN A THRILLER

The opening heat should provide a fitting start to what will be a special night of racing.

Leading Derby fancies Lenson Bocko, Jaytee Taylor, Run Happy and Ballyhimikin Jet all line up in this red-hot contest and plenty believe the Derby winner could emerge from this heat.

Despite finishing only third to Killmacdonagh last week, Lenson Bocko displayed enough in defeat to suggest he is a major player in the classic. The Graham Holland trained star displayed real pace and, more importantly, a real determination to get involved. 

One suspects that if he traps on terms this evening, he could be difficult to contain. Jaytee Taylor is reaching peak form at just the right time and looks the main threat. After a hugely encouraging effort last week, he remains one of the main Derby contenders.

Run Happy should set the pace up the inside of the track. He was denied in the dying yards last week by the subsequently disqualified Jaytee Tornado, but had shown early dash to race clear. He must be respected, but the presence of the early paced Jumeriah Buddy on his inner is not ideal.

Ballyhimikin Jet is also, undoubtedly, fast enough to have a big say were he to find his trapping boots. On paper it looks a potential classic and could be worth thee admission alone.

CIAN TO GIVE ANTON THE SLIP

Slippy Cian and Ballymac Anton will dominate the betting for Heat 2.

Both possess huge pace and much will depend on which of the pair gets first run into the turn. With the slow starting-fast finishing Boylesports King on his immediate inner, Slippy Cian may just have the advantage.

Ballymac Anton, on the other-hand, has Allaghaun River and Scooby Doo It on his flanks and will need to come away racing to avoid crowding. If there was to be a shock in this contest the aforementioned Boylesports King is perhaps the best equipped to provide it.

PENSION TO PAY DIVIDENDS

A stripes draw will also favour Droopys Pension in Heat 3.

Despite being an inside seed, he ran well from five last week when coming home clear in 29.44 and should again get a clear run into the turn with Music Toour Ears expected to edge inwards from five.

Deadly Dynamite is the main threat from one but may struggle to match Droopys Pension for early dash. Great Eastern is also worthy of respect. He has shown fine early speed in both rounds to date, but avoiding Music Toour Ears in the opening yards is his biggest concern. Sliabh Liag is another with ability although she may need to turn in front over this trip to emerge on top. That’s easier said than done in this type of contest.   

HUNCH TO GIVE BLINDER THE SLIP

Brilliant puppy Droopys Hunch will be asked another tough question in Heat 4.

So far she has had an answer to every query and she again looks a certain pace-setter, although her supporters will be hoping Lenson Blinder doesn’t turn too close. If he were to turn in second, he could prove hard to contain.

Lenson Blinder has been showing exceptional pace and power, although he does tend to lack a yard of early speed which is a problem at this level. In fact, the presence of his kennel companions Murts Boher and Totos Park in two and three could cause Lenson Blinder problems.

Both greyhounds can go up well and were they to head Lenson Blinder in the early stages he may find himself with too much to so.

REIGNING CHAMP TO STRIKE

Reigning champion Ballyanne Sim can open his account in this year’s competition in the final heat. Eamon Cleary and Mark Robinson’s brilliant tracker has run extremely well in his two defeats to date in the stake, but he is getting fitter with each spin.

Tonight, he can display his trademark early speed to clear the two fast starters on his inner, Mucky Brae and Monbeg Bakayoko, and that could prove decisive. Both Ballydoyle Valor and Deadly Expert finish fast and will be closing at the finish, but Ballyanne Sim is getting stronger with each run and can hold on to continue his quest of defending his title. 

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DERBY PLATE GETS UNDERWAY

The Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate got underway at Shelbourne Park on Thursday and provided some fine racing action and a couple of real shocks.

In terms of time, Worseforwear set the standard when denying Clona Blaze in one of the best finishes of the evening.

WORSE WEARS DOWN BLAZE

There was a dramatic finish to the second heat, despite only four going to traps, with Paul James’ Worseforwear (Jacksaiem/ Kilara Missy) collaring long-time leader and odds-on favourite Clona Blaze in the final stride.

Clona Blaze shot from five to dictate and raced almost three lengths clear into the back straight, but Worseforwear never let him out of his sights. Closing the gap to the third turn and staying wide of his rival on the run in, the Peter Cronin trained Worseforwear arrived late and fast to score by a short head in 29.86.

MARVELOUS MURT

Pat Carroll’s Ballybough Murt (Superior Product/ High St Miley) has been in brilliant form of late and he made it three wins on the bounce in Heat 5.

Despite his current run of form, his victory would be seen as a real shock. Clonbrien Prince was the hot favourite, but he made a tardy start and found plenty of traffic.

In contrast Ballybough Murt raced prominently to the turn before being handed a wide margin advantage into the back. Cushie Jet turned second and gave chase for the remainder, but there was no stopping the Murt Leahy trained Ballybough Murt as he claimed an incredible twenty third career victory by five and a half lengths in 29.99. Clonbrien prince recovered to qualify in third.

EAST AND CRUZ FOR HOLLAND

Larry O’Rourke’s Blue East was, perhaps, the most straightforward of the heat winners when coming home clear in Heat 4.

The talented son of Droopys Jet and Lemon Bolt shot from trap three and was soon on the fence.

Going four lengths clear before the second turn, the Graham Holland trained star maintained a healthy advantage throughout to eventually beat Manuka Man by five lengths in 30.07. Burgess Paddy completed the frame a further length and a half adrift.

Graham Holland later completed a double with Kevin Lees’ Macaroon Cruz coming home clear in the final heat. The son of Superior Product and Skyline Amber looked set to enter the back straight in second when Monroe Mike forced his way through on the fence at the turn. Alas Monroe Mike seemed to lose his action before the second turn and that left Macaroon Cruz to race into a decisive lead. Minor Mike stayed on well for second, but Macaroon Cruz came out five lengths on top in 30.36.  

DETERMINED JIRANO

Pat Norton’s Jirano Classic (Kinlcoh Brae/ Pennys Queen) enhanced his already impressive career tally in Heat 3 when driving to the front on the corner, forcing Crackling Blitz out of his way.

Da Head Hunter gave chase down the back straight and did close on the leader up the straight but the Johnny O’Sullivan trained Jirano Classic is a strong runner and he kept finding out front.

At the line the pair were separated by three parts of a length in 30.12. Colemans Flyer ran on well for third a further three lengths back.   

VAGUELY COLLARS NOBLE ELITE

Vaguely Noble (Tullymurry Act/ Groupie Doll) left it late in the opening heat but he finally got there on the line to deny long-time leader Elite Black.

The latter flashed from traps, although the writing was always on the wall once the strong running Vaguely Noble turned second for Declan Landy and Michael Flynn.

Elite Black set a strong pace to the home turn but in the end Vaguely Noble was just too strong and he took the verdict by a half length in 30.15. Swift Shamrock stayed on to qualify in third, a further four lengths adrift.

ANTARES TAKES ADVANTAGE

Glory Gold seemed destined for an easy win the Heat 6, but he seemed to lose his action approaching third turn and faded badly to finish third.

This left the door open for Dromrich Antares. The latter ran a fine turn to move second and this left him in the perfect position to take advantage when the leader started to fade.

Going to the front around the bottom bends, John Durrigan’s talented son of Jaytee Hellcat and Sexy Woman eased away to beat Harriestown Star by four and a half lengths in 30.21. Glory Gold was a length and a half away in the third qualifying spot.

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TEN THE PACE-SETTER AGAIN

For the second week running Grangeview Ten topped the charts as far as third bend sectionals went in the Boylesports Derby.

A week after posting a fastest of the round 17.04, the Produce Stakes champion went a full ten spots faster posting 16.94 on his way to a facile success in the three-runner Heat 12.

It was obvious he was staying on much better also as he posted a fastest of the round 29.41 in victory. To highlight the impressive nature of his third bend sectional, Droopys Hunch was next fastest, despite being over two lengths slower, when clocking 17.09 on her way to another impressive victory in Heat 16.

There was a whole host of runners within a length of her time including Droopys Pension who flew to the third turn in 17.12. In all five greyhounds posted 17.15 sectionals. These included the reigning champion Ballyanne Sim who seems to be simmering along very nicely. Also on this mark were Great Eastern and Run Happy.  

THIRD BEND LEADER’S SECTIONALS – Second Round

Grangeview Ten - 16.94

Droopys Hunch - 17.09

Droopys Pension - 17.12

Ballyanne Sim - 17.15

Great Eastern - 17.15

Run Happy - 17.15

Newinn Lester - 17.18

Ballymac Anton  - 17.18

Toolmaker Me Dad - 17.20

Music Toour Ears - 17.20

Killmacdonagh - 17.22

Winetavern Don - 17.25

Ribchester - 17.30

Totos Park - 17.31

Court Of Justice  - 17.41

Toolmaker Daddy - 17.50

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PRINCE TO SHINE IN PLATE

The Michael Fortune Memorial Derby Plate will get underway at Shelbourne Park this evening and as you’d expect, after the shocks in the first two rounds of the Derby, there are some very talented greyhounds in the entry for the €5,000 competition.

One man that certainly holds a strong hand is Graham Holland. Of course, he would sooner the likes of Clonbrien Prince, Clona Blaze and Blue East were still in the Derby but they stand out as three of the big players in the Plate.

Easter Cup champion Clona Blaze is the first of Holland’s big three to race and he is the one to beat in Heat 2 where Worseforwear and Leger winner Blastoff Jet are the main dangers. Clona Blaze returned to winning ways last weekend and is drawn on the right side of the stripes runner Worseforwear in five.

A natural starter with big early speed, Clona Blaze can master both his rivals in the opening yards to make every inch. Worseforwear is nominated as the main danger, but Blastoff Jet is respected despite failing to produce his best form in 2019.

Everything seems to be in favour of Clonbrien Prince in Heat 5 and he should run out a ready winner if avoiding bad traffic. He has superior early speed to his rivals and can turn in front before going on to make every inch.

Cushie Jet has a massive engine and is entitled to plenty of respect, but he can’t afford to give Clonbrien Prince a handy lead. Fast Fit Act is best drawn of the remainder and can fill the frame.  

Of Holland’s big three, Blue East faces the toughest test but remains the one to beat in Heat 4. He was desperately unlucky to get eliminated from the Derby last weekend but can turn in front tonight before making all. Manuka Man is the obvious danger in one.

Paul Hennessy will be hoping Lebudgiesmuggler can repeat his best form in the opening heat. If doing so he may prove too sharp for his rivals. Vaguely Noble and Swift Shamrock can finish fast to fill the frame.

Colemans Flyer is a tentative choice in Heat 4. He has limited experience around Shelbourne, but if reproducing his Aug 3rd trial form he could be hard to beat. On that occasion he posted 29.43. From an ideal draw on the fence he gets the nod over Da Head Hunter.

The inexperienced Glory Gold looks the part in the final heat, although a trap five draw is far from ideal. The son of Chenzhou Boy may edge inwards to the turn but he has the early speed to turn in front.

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TIGER REEF CLAIMS FIRST DERBY BONUS

After finishing third to Slippy Cian in the second round, securing a place in the final 48 of the Derby, Tiger Reef earned Rebecca Goff a €2,000 bonus for being the last remaining trial stake winner left in the competition.

It was the first of the Derby bonuses to be won, but there is a strong chance a second will be claimed on Saturday with only two owned-trained greyhounds remaining. The stipulation is that the owner cannot hold a trainer’s license which means that just Lolos Bear for Ronnie Craven, or Monbeg Bakayoko for Eamon Doyle can win the €2,000 prize.

As you’d expect, both face tough assignments on Saturday and were both to fail to progress the prize would be shared.

The largest bonus up for grabs is the €3,000 on offer for the top bitch. Of course, Killmacdonagh is favourite to capture that prize but Droopys Hunch, Sliabh Liag and Jaytee Spirit also remain in in the hunt.

The most competitive of the categories is for the top syndicate owned dog. There are six very talented greyhounds in that race. They are Slippy Cian, Scooby Doo It, Music Toour Ears, Cash Is King, Lenson Bocko and Magical Bale.  

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LYNCH HAPPY WITH HIS DERBY FAVOURITE

Following her brilliant display on Saturday in the second round of the Boylesports Derby, Oaks and International winner Killmacdonagh is now the clear 6-1 favourite for outright glory with the sponsors for the classic.

The daughter of Zero Ten clearly delighted her handler Kieran Lynch. Said Lynch, “She ran a cracker. I’ll admit, we were worried before the race. We knew four [Magical Bale] was going to edge in, but she’s a clever tracker. I was impressed with how she ran the first bend, she just eased off the throttle slightly and waited for her time.

“You may laugh, but I told the lads last week going to Shelbourne I thought she was a bit flabby and that she would only come on for it. She just loves running and after a break she needs a run or two. She’s just that type.

“She could hopefully get better. But she has a tough draw next week so qualifying is all we are concerned with at the moment.”      

Certainly, Kieran has every reason to be happy with his charge, but he did stress that qualification is the main aim in the coming weeks. She faces another tough test on Saturday in the third round, but on current form it’s impossible to oppose the wonder bitch. She will be seeking an eighth win on the bounce when she lines up in Heat 6.  

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Video - BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY SECOND ROUND HEATS

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BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY THIRD ROUND DRAW

Heat 1

1 Jumeriah Buddy

2 Run Happy

3 Winetavern Don

4 Ballyhimikin Jet (m)

5 Lenson Bocko (w)

6 Jaytee Taylor (w)

Heat 2

1 Allaghaun River

2 Ballymac Anton

3 Scooby Doo It

4 Sophies Man

5 Boylesports King (w)

6 Slippy Cian (w)

Heat 3

1 Deadly Dynamite

2 Lolos bear

3 Sliabh Liag

4 Great Eastern

5 Music Toour Ears

6 Droopys Pension

Heat 4

1 Lenson Blinder

2 Murts Boher

3 Totos Park (m)

4 Tiger Reef (w)

5 Droopys Hunch (w)

6 Cash Is King (w)

Heat 5

1 Laughil Josh

2 Grangeview Ten

3 Wolfe

4 Toolmaker Daddy (m)

5 Court Of Justice (w)

6 Dromrich Altair (w)

Heat 6

1 Cabra Firmino

2 Killmacdonagh

3 Toolmaker Me Dad

4 Ballymac Cooper (w)

5 Ribchester (w)

6 Ripley Lad (w)

Heat 7

1 Magical Bale

2 Knight Rocker

3 Sign On Aki (m)

4 Our Surprise (m)

5 Newinn Lester (w)

6 Jaytee Spirit (w)

Heat 8

1 Mucky Brae

2 Monbeg Bakayoko

3 Ballydoyle Valor

4 Ballyanne Sim

5 Deadly Expert

6 Highview Micro (w)

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KILLMACDONAGH STARS IN DERBY ACTION

The second round of the Boylesports Derby came to a thrilling conclusion at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night and, yet again, there were some incredible performances.

Honour of going fastest went to Grangeview Ten, Liam Dowling had a wonderful double and Droopys Hunch ended the round in brilliant fashion. But the undoubted highlight was the display of Killmacdonagh as she saw off Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko in devastating fashion.

Heat 9 – MUCKY DIGS IN

Mucky Brae displayed fine pace and determination to win Heat 9 despite the best efforts of Winetavern Don.

The pair had a great tussle and no other runner really looked like landing a telling blow.

Both greyhounds were fast into stride, but Mucky Brae held a narrow lead into the turn. Down the back straight Winetavern Don travelled with real purpose and held a narrow lead approaching the third turn, but at this point Mucky Brae made the most of his inside line to push his way back to the front.

That was the decisive moment in the contest. Once going back to the front Mucky Brae was never going to be stopped and he stayed on to secure a length victory over Winetavern Don in 29.62. Murts Boher followed the pair into the third round, two lengths adrift.

Heat 10 – TOTO SINGS THE RIGHT TUNE

Totos Park seems to come to life at this time of the year and he produced a typically professional display to run out a straightforward winner of Heat 10.

Breaking fastest from five, the Denis Fogarty and Tony McCormack’s veteran son of Slippery Robert and Chivers Mentor was never under any pressure.

Left further clear on the turn, it was a case of by how far he would win at halfway. His kennel companion Ballydoyle Valor ran on strongly to give Graham Holland a one-two, but this was all about Totos Park as he crossed the line five lengths clear in 29.67. Sophies Man was second for much of the way, but was headed late before finishing a short head away third.

Heat 11 – KILLMACDONAGH IS SPECIAL

Heat 11 was billed as the potential contest of the round and it certainly didn’t disappoint with the big three, Killmacdonagh, Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko all playing their part, although the first named emerged a brilliant and most deserving winner.

In doing so William Hennessy’s Oaks champion confirmed her standing as one of the greatest bitches to ever grace Shelbourne Park. Magical Bale shot from trap four to lead Killmacdonagh in the opening yards, but Lenson Bocko displayed fine early speed on the outside to take over second spot on the bend.

This set up a most eventful back straight battle. Lenson Bocko attempted to join Magical Bale on the outside and the pair bumped. While this was happening Killmacdonagh was starting to move through the gears.

Displaying incredible acceleration, the Kieran Lynch trained superstar hit the front just after halfway to put the result beyond doubt. There is no doubting the quality of the chasing duo, but there was no chance they were going to match Killmacdonagh for power.

Lenson Bocko did show big pace to sit on her heels at the third turn, but that was as close as he was to get. Killmacdonagh started to turn the screw as they hit the final turn and she raced right away for a brilliant four length verdict in 29.45. 

Lenson Bocko had put everything in but just ran out of steam and Magical Bale, who had looked in trouble between the last two bends, when lying third, rallied to take second half a length ahead of Bocko. 

Heat 12 – ANOTHER TEN OUT OF TEN DISPLAY

Produce Stakes Champion Grangeview Ten is a greyhound with devastating early speed. That is, most certainly, not in doubt but he took his opportunity in a three-dog Heat 12 to confirm it to those that were paying attention.

This was little more than a solo trial for the Pat Guilfoyle trained speedster. Breaking fast from four, he soon mastered Monbeg Bakayoko and Scooby Doo It. By halfway he was clear and staying on a little better than last week he beat Monbeg Bakayoko and Scooby Doo It by four and a half lengths and a head in 29.41. After clocking a fastest of the opening round 17.04 to the third turn, it’s worth noting he went even faster this week when posting 16.94.

Heat 13 – TORNADO WINS BUT DOESN’T PROGRESS

There was real drama in Heat 13 with the Paul Hennessy trained Jaytee Tornado coming from out of the clouds to collar the long-time leader Run Happy in the closing yards but the winner was suspended after the race for fighting.

Run Happy displayed awesome early dash once again to race into a clear advantage by the second turn but even at this early point Jaytee Tornado was an obvious threat. John Turner’s big finisher moved second at halfway and for supporters of Run Happy it was a painful watch despite holding a six length advantage.

Jaytee Tornado started to make up eye-catching ground around the last two bends and flew up the straight to join the leader. Glancing inwards and making brief contact with Run Happy it was clear the stewards were going to be called into action.

Jaytee Tornado took the verdict by a head from Run Happy in 29.59. Sign On Aki was four lengths back in third, while Ripley Lad who finished another four and a half lengths adrift in fourth will progress to the third round.

Heat 14 – ANTON IMPRESSES AGAIN

Ballymac Anton is back and is a big player in this year’s Derby. Liam Dowling’s hugely talented son of Ballymac Best and Coolavanny Angie was a warm favourite for Heat 14 after a fine opening round success and he duly obliged in professional fashion. 

Making a fast start from the inside box, Ballymac Anton made every inch. Laughil Josh showed fine early dash to slip around second and ran well to the third turn, although he was never threatening the leader.

Jaytee Taylor overcame an early bump to go third early in the back straight and he ran on well to grab second but Ballymac Anton was too good on this occasion as he ran out an impressive three length winner in 29.57. Laughil Josh was another length and a half back in third.     

 Heat 15 – COOPER FORCED TO DIG DEEP BY MUSIC

Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Cooper confirmed odds-on favouritism in Heat 15 to complete a double for the owner but he was made to work extremely hard by the Gold Cup winner Music Toour Ears.

The latter was at his sharpest to set a strong pace from the start but Ballymac Cooper always had the leader in his sights once going second on the turn.

Entering the back straight on the tail of Music Toour Ears, Ballymac Cooper looked likely to fly past the leader to the third turn but he had to dig really deep. He eventually got upsides at the third turn and shot into a near three length lead between the last two bends.

That looked certain to be a decisive move, although Music Toour Ears started to close again as they straightened up. As Ballymac Cooper drifted across the track, the gap began to close. The line came in time for the tiring Ballymac Cooper, however, and he held on to score by a half length in 29.49. Dromrich Altair took third spot, a further three lengths back.   

Heat 16 – HUNCH A REAL TALENT

It seems John Coleman’s Droopys Hunch isn’t just a bright prospect anymore.

Instead, she is now one of the best in training and she maintained her unbeaten record in the Derby with another brilliant front-running display in the final heat of the round.

The Murt Leahy trained daughter of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Blossom, who won’t be two until next month, is relishing the long run to the turn and she again shot clear in the early stages to dominate. Blue East also broke fast but had no answer to his younger rival.

Ballyhimikin Jet displayed fine pace after a tardy start to go second at the third turn but nothing was getting to Droopys Hunch. Bowling along out front, she raced right to the line to record a superb two and a half length victory over Ballyhimikin Jet in a fast 29.43. Deadly Expert stayed on well to take third spot, a further four lengths adrift.

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ROOSTER THE LATEST OUT OF DERBY HEAT 12

Following the news that Ardfert Rooster will be an absentee from Heat 12 of the Boylesports Derby this evening, the connections of Grangeview Ten, Scooby Doo It and Monbeg Bakayoko can rest easy in the knowledge that their pride and joy will be in the drum for the third round draw.

With Choctaw Fantasy and Catunda Logan already confirmed non-runners, only three greyhounds will go to traps. Given the make up of the race, Produce Stakes champion Grangeview Ten is likely to start a hot favourite after his superb display of early dash in the opening round.

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KILLMACDONAGH, BALE AND BOCKO CAN SERVE UP A DERBY THRILLER

The meeting of Killmacdonagh, Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko in the concluding session of second round heats in the Boylesports Derby at Shelbourne could provide a wonderful spectacle this evening.

The trio are all amongst the top six in the sponsor’s outright betting and the result, whatever it will be, should see a shake-up in the ante-pot market.

Of course, qualification is the main objective, but with the likes of Droopys Neymar, Manuka Man and Vic Vega completing the line-up, that is far from a given.

In fact, both Manuka Man and Vic Vega won their opening round heats so none of the big three can afford any slip ups, however small. On current form Killmacdonagh deserves to head the betting. A flying starter, she has awesome pace and power and can boast a favourable draw in two this evening.

If she hits the lids, as she did seven days ago, her rivals will need to be at their brilliant best to deny her a seventh win on the bounce. Magical Bale would have pleased Pat Guilfoyle last week with a satisfactory blow out, clocking 29.62. He will undoubtedly come on for that run, which was his first since his English Derby final defeat.

He will also be suited by a middle draw and it would be no surprise if he shot from traps to dictate throughout. The exciting Lenson Bocko is the youngest of the three. He has won seven of his eight career starts and remains open to improvement, which is quite scary. He faces his toughest test, however, and will need to rocket from the outside box to add to his tally.

COOPER TO STAKE HIS DERBY CLAIMS

Ballymac Cooper can put his name back in the limelight in Heat 15.

He has been a somewhat forgotten dog over the past week, but he can stake hiss Derby claims tonight in what looks a relatively straightforward assignment.

Liam Dowling’s brilliant youngster has awesome pace and, while still learning his trade, has the ideal opportunity to lay down a marker. The likes of Music Toour Ears and Jirano Classic are talented but will struggle to match Cooper were he to get loose in the opening yards.

ANTON DRAWN TO SCORE

Dowling could earlier initiate a double in Heat 14 with Ballymac Anton a leading hope in one of the best contests of the round.

The son of Ballymac Best has pit a poor spell of form behind him and, after impressing in his last two starts, is entitled to go close again this evening.

He faces a perfect draw on the fence this evening and that can make the difference. Jaytee Taylor is obviously a huge threat in the stripes although he hinted laast week that he may need another run to reach peak fitness. Laughil Josh is also entitled to respect, but he must get to the front in the early yards to threaten.

JET SET FOR TAKEOFF

The final heat of the round looks hugely competitive. Ballyhimikin Jet has real ability and is one of two big players for Graham Holland in this contest.

His kennel companion Blue East looks a big threat. Talented youngster Droopys Hunch races in the stripes, but she will need to be at her very sharpest in the opening yards.

So too will Robert Holt’s Trickys Dumbo, although a trap two draw will certainly aid his cause. Ballyhimikin Jet is very exciting, however, and one suspects he could yet develop into a serious Derby contender. Expect him to put his best foot forward tonight.      

NOTHING MUCKY ABOUT BRAE

Michael O’Donovan, who has two Irish Derby victories to his name, sends out Mucky Brae in the first heat.

The son of Kinloch Brae has some superb 525y form around Shelbourne and looks likely to set a strong gallop. Murts Boher is nominated as the threat, although he has yet to win outside Clonmel.

WORSE TO WEAR IT WELL

Heat 10 is competitive with most of the six holding some sort of chance, although Worseforwear is a deserving favourite following an impressive win last week.

Scottish Derby champ Braveheart Bobby may need at least another run to regain fitness but has an ideal draw on the fence.

Peter Cronin has a second runner in the form of Sophies Man although he needs to get across Braveheart Bobby in the early yards which won’t be easy. Three Graham Holland trained runners, Newinn Hero, Ballydoyle Valor and Totos Park complete the line-up. All three have ability but must be at their sharpest in the opening strides. 

RUN TO BE HAPPY

Pat Buckley’s Run Happy was one of the more impressive opening round scorers and can continue his winning ways in Heat 13.

Ideally housed in red, he can dictate from the early yards to account for the likes of the fast finishing Jaytee Tornado and the speedy Droopys Legend.

TEN TOO SHARP

Grangeview Ten will be a short price to add to his opening round victory in the four-runner Heat 12.

Pat Guilfoyle’s Produce Stakes champion posted the fastest third bend sectional in the opening round and can again dominate. Scooby Doo It is chosen to give chase throughout.

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HOLLAND’S HAT TRICK BUT SURPRISE SETS PACE

The second round of the Boylesports Derby got underway at Shelbourne Park on Friday night and for the second week running there was a mixture of shock results, superb performances and big name eliminations.

Our Surprise set the standard on the clock, but Graham Holland took the headlines with a big-name treble, while Robert Gleeson and Willie Hyslop also had a night to remember, recording a fine double.

Heat 1 – PENSION DELIVERS

Droopys Pension maintained his unbeaten record in the Derby with a superb display in the opening heat for the potent team of Johnny Linehan and Kieran Ryan.

Ballymac Arminta was a hot favourite, but a slow start and a lack lustre display ended her claims.

In contrast Droopys Pension displayed fine early zip after a moderate start to race into the lead at the turn. He quickly opened up a near three length lead over Cash Is King and that was enough to secure a comfortable success.

Both Cash Is King and Lolos Bear stayed on well, but Droopys Pension was never going to be denied and the son of Quietly and Droopys Maid went on to record a two length victory over Cash Is King in 29.44. Lolos Bear was another length adrift in third.

Heat 2 – JUSTICE HOLDS COURT

Following the victory of Droopys Pension there was another Cork victor in the second heat with Court Of Justice emerging a good winner for Edel O’Donoghue and Pat Kiely.

The talented son of Droopys Jet and Young legends was last to the turn behind the pace-setter Jumeriah Buddy but he ran a fine turn to move fourth as they entered the back.

Once turning close he used his trademark back straight pace to great effect. Moving second before the third turn he quickly moved past the long-time leader and then had enough in hand to contain the late challenge of Highview Micro by two lengths in 29.72. Jumeirah Buddy was just a short head back in third.

Heat 3 – CIAN GETS BETTER OF SIM

Slippy Cian and Ballyanne Sim met in the 2018 final with the latter emerging triumphant, but it was former that came out on top in Heat 3.

Both greyhounds ran encouragingly in defeat last weekend and both clearly came on for the run. 

Ballyanne Sim set a searching gallop after a fast start and was three lengths to the good into the turn but the writing was on the wall, as far as his supporters were concerned, once Slippy Cian raced a clear second into the bend.

Ballyanne Sim continued to lead by three lengths to halfway but Slippy Cian started to close rapidly as they approached the third bend. Moving upsides and into a narrow lead between the last two bends. Despite running wide as they turned for home, Slippy Cian held a rallying Ballyanne Sim by a length in 29.48, with Tiger Reef running a fine race in third a further five lengths adrift.

Heat 4 – SURPRISE, SURPRISE

Laurence and Brian Jones sent out Our Surprise to win Heat 4 with a power-packed display.

The race to the turn was between the fast starting Allaghaun River and Great Eastern with the latter asserting into the turn, but Our Surprise always looked dangerous once sitting behind that pair.

In fact, Our Surprise (Tullymurry Act/ Corduff Flame) ran a fine turn to move second and he was always going to be too strong thereafter. Great Eastern continued to lead down the far side, but Our Surprise drew closer with each stride and he made his move as they hit the third turn.

Showing in front between the last two bends, Our Surprise drove clear on the run in for a very impressive three length verdict in 29.42. Allaghaun River stayed on well to claim third, just three parts of a length back.     

Heat 5 – ME DAD DENIES WOLFE

Following a sensational 29.22 return in the opening round, Wolfe was understandably sent to traps the long odds-on favourite for Heat 5 but it was soon evident he had a battle on his hands when Willie Hyslop’s Toolmaker Me Dad flashed from five and cut for the fence.

Showing fine early speed, the Robert Gleeson trained son of Scolari Me Daddy and Droopys Isabella comfortably took the turn from Wolfe and that made the difference. Toolmaker Me Dad stayed close to the fence once going to the front and this denied Wolfe the room he wanted.

In truth Toolmaker Me Dad never looked like giving up his lead. Maintaining a strong gallop throughout he comfortably held Wolfe to the third turn, although he briefly opened the door at the final turn as he swung to the middle of the track. Wolfe couldn’t get to the leader, however, and Toolmaker Me Dad saw off his rival by two lengths in 29.46. There was a further three and a half length gap to Deadly Dynamite in third.   

Heat 6 – LESTER SHOOTS CLEAR

Newinn Lester displayed a brilliant turn of early speed to take control in Heat 6 and despite the best efforts of Sliabh Liag he went on to open his Derby account in style.

Shari-Anne O’Donnell’s son of Tullymurry Act and Market Glory ran a massive race behind Killmacdonagh in the opening round and it didn’t go unnoticed.

Sent to traps an odds-on favourite, the Graham Holland trained star was soon in front. Sliabh Liag actually led from traps, but Newinn Lester flew up the outside to go clear. Sliabh Liag stuck to her task in second, but there was no catching Newinn Lester. Despite tiring up the run in he went on to take the verdict by a length and a half in 29.56 with Knight Rocker another three lengths away in third.

Heat 7 – DADDY COMPLETES A TOOLMAKER DOUBLE

After the success of Toolmaker Me Dad, Willie Hyslop and Robert Gleeson completed a magnificent double in Heat 7 with Toolmaker Daddy (Scolari Me Daddy/ Droopys Isabella) emerging a good winner.

This was a muddling affair with many of the field holding strong claims at various points through the race.

Ballymac Tas led the field in the early yards, but seemed to momentarily lose her action early in the back straight. This allowed the chasing pack to converge. At halfway less than three lengths separated the entire field with Cabra Firmino, Monroe Mike and Toolmaker Daddy battling for the lead.

By the third turn Boylesports King had shown fine pace up the fence to join the battle, but Toolmaker Daddy drove the bend. This forced both Monroe Mike and Boylesports King to check their stride. The race was effectively decided at this point and Toolmaker Daddy raced on to score by a length and a half from the fast finishing Boylesports King in 29.72.    

Heat 8 – BLINDER LEAVES IT LATE

Lenson Blinder justified his odds-on billing in the final heat when coming away racing but he had to work harder than some expected.

Disputing the lead in the early yards, the Graham Holland trained son of Crash and Global Liberty seemed likely to take the turn but Ribchester then arrived with a rush to go clear.

Lenson Blinder was always going to be too strong once turning second, but it took him a long time to get past the leader. Len Ponder’s Lenson Blinder charged into the third turn but was forced to ease as the leader closed the door. Still Lenson Blinder was too close and when Ribchester ran off the final turn, the favourite didn’t need a second invitation.

Flying up the straight, Lenson Blinder took the verdict by an ever-widening four lengths from Jaytee Spirit in 29.72 with a tiring Ribchester holding on for third a head away.

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WOLFE TO SNARL AS DEBRY CONTINUES

Wolfe bared his teeth in the opening round of the Boylesports Derby, posting a sensational 29.22 and as a result he has been promoted to outright favouritism for the classic. Tonight, he looks likely to continue his winning ways in the second round.

Expected to start a red-hot favourite for Heat 5, the Graham Holland trained star has an ideal draw on the fence and should have too much ammunition for his rivals which include the promising Deadly Dynamite. The latter impressed last weekend, but faces a far tougher test this evening.

If Deadly Dynamite is to lower the colours of Wolfe he must fly from trap two and get across Wolfe in the opening yards. Given the incredible speed of Wolfe that is a tough ask.

Of the remainder Seldom Wrong, Toolmaker Me Dad and Fast Fit Act can all run, but they may struggle to match the big two for early speed which would leave them with too much to do from the second turn.

CIAN CAN GIVE SIM THE SLIP

Wolfe aside, Graham Holland has a number of fancied runners in action this evening with Slippy Cian, Newinn Lester and Lenson Blinder all likely to start odds-on for their respective heats.

Slippy Cian races in the stripes in Heat 3 where he must face the defending champion Ballyanne Sim and Ballymacc Trinkle amongst others.

Ballymac Trinkle will go up fast from two but may find it difficult to contain the Ballyanne Sim. The latter is expected to set a strong gallop, although he may need at least another run to reach full fitness. It’s for this reason that Slippy Cian is so short in the betting.

Cian is amongst the fastest in training and he faces a perfect draw. Rank outsider Tiger Reef races from, five, while trap four is vacant. With the likelihood of a clear run to the turn, Slippy Cian could be right up with the pace and his superior strength may then prove decisive.

EXPECT A MASTERCLASS FROM LESTER

After a brilliant run behind Killmacdonagh last weekend, Newinn Lester is set to open his Derby account in Heat 6.

Boylesports made the mistake of installing him an 11-10 chance earlier in the week, but that was quickly snapped up.

He could start as short as 4-7 this evening and if he happens to come away racing that may look a big price. Sliabh Liag and Howth Head looks the potential dangers to the turn, but there is a strong possibility they could come together in the opening strides. In short, Newinn Lester looks the part and could possibly establish himself as a leading Derby contender if producing his best.

A BLINDER FOR HOLLAND

Graham Holland will be hoping to end the evening on a high with Lenson Blinder the one to beat in the last of the eight heats.

An eye-catcher in the opening round, he has been handed a favourable draw in three this evening. With slow starters Redzer Ardfert and Swift Shamrock on his inner, Lenson Blinder should be up with the pace into the turn.

The presence of the rails-seeking veteran Bakery Lane in four is a concern, but Lenson Blinder is a hardened performer and he can shake off his challenge to dispute the pace at the bend. From that point Lenson Blinder would almost certainly have the measure of his rivals.

AUSTIN CAN OPEN ACCOUNT

Incredibly Holland also send out two of the likely favourites for Heat 2 with Lenson Austin and Macaroon Cruz representing his Golden operation.

The latter was favourite for the heat when betting opened, but there has since been support for Jumeriah Buddy on the fence.

It’s Lenson Austin that appeals, however. He has only a handful of races under his belt but has already shown exceptional pace and promise. He was initially priced up at 9-2, although he could be half that price this evening. In a contest where Jumeriah Buddy is the only greyhound with confirmed early speed, Lenson Austin could turn far closer than in previous outings. He is a relatively confident selection.

 ARMINTA TO JUSTIFY THE ODDS

Liam Dowling also has a number of strong claims this evening with a trio of ladies representing his Ballymac outfit.

The aforementioned Ballymac Trinkle may struggle to match Slippy Cian, but Ballymac Arminta and Ballymac Tas have outstanding claims.

Ballymac Arminta looks very likely to return to winning ways in the first heat. She suffered a costly 1-3 defeat last week, but the sponsors make her an 8-13 chance to make amends this evening. The strong running Lolos Bear is unlikely to trouble her in the opening yards from his rails pitch and that could leave the inside of the track open for Arminta.

Newhall Missile and Droopys Pension are likely to go up well, but both will need a career best effort. With the inside line in her favour, Ballymac Arminta can challenge on the turn before racing right away for a convincing victory. Droopys Pension is nominated as the biggest threat, while Newhall Missile and Cash Is King can battle it out for the third qualifying spot.

CAN FIRMINO STRIKE?

Ballymac Tas was reported a doubtful runner earlier in the week, but now looks set to take her place in Heat 7.

A rails draw will certainly suit, but given the circumstances it may be wise to look elsewhere. Cabra Firmino could be the one the punters lock onto and he looks the likeliest leader, but the strong running pair of Ballyhimikinbolt and Boylesports King will also attract support.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE

After lowering the colours of Ballymac Cooper last week, Great Eastern has come in for support to win Heat 4.

There is no doubting his ability and consistency. A fast starter that is always hard to pass, Great Eastern probably deserves his place at the head of the market, but he may not have everything his own way this evening.

Rising Brandy and Allaghaun River both went up strongly last weekend and should do so again, while Harriestown Star may edge inwards from trap five, which could cause Great eastern a headache were he to mistime his start from four.

With all this in mind, Our Surprise could get the run of the race on the outside. A powerful galloper with huge pace from halfway he could find himself closer than normal. For that reason he gets the nod to claim an eighth career victory.

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LOGAN LATEST DERBY WITHDRAWAL

Catunda Logan was withdrawn this morning from Heat 12 of the Boylesports Derby.

It means that only four greyhound will go to traps in this Heat with Choctaw Fantasy already confirmed a non-runner.

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THE BIG DERBY MOVERS

Wolfe 7/1 From 16/1 For BoyleSports Greyhound Derby

Killmacdonagh 10/1 From 20/1 After Emerging as Fastest Bitch

And then there were 96. What an incredible start to the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park last weekend with Wolfe dramatically slashed into 7/1 from 16/1 following his epic 29.22 victory.

Wolfe is now the new ante post favourite to bring the title home to Graham Holland and owner Marian Moloney with 7/4 available at BoyleSports for Holland to become the winning trainer after getting 14 of his 17 entries through to the next round.

The performance Wolfe produced on Saturday night was nothing short of sensational as he cruised around HQ effortlessly to record a time that was faster than last year’s final when Ballyanne Sim made a front-winning display in 29.28.

Ballyanne Sim (40/1) also qualified on Friday night after another consistent early pace lead but was caught in the final stages by last year’s derby finalist Jaytee Taylor in 29.72, who is unchanged at 14/1. Taylor is now the joint third favourite alongside Ballymac Cooper, impressive heat winner Ballymac Anton and likeable pup Lenson Bocko.

The other massive mover in the ante post market is Killmacdonagh who impressed when beating the boys in 29.39 by over five lengths. She burst from the traps and made all with her odds cut into 10/1 from 20/1 to become the first bitch to land the derby since 1999.

For a bitch to win the derby, the price has been trimmed into 4/1 from 5/1. Kieran Lynch has done everything right with this awesome bitch and she has derby written all over her after that terrific first round victory so it’s possible that we could see Killmacdonagh and Lynch added to the roll of honour of derby winners, with 9/1 available on Kieran to become the winning trainer.

Earlier last week we began to see money for a puppy called Deadly Dynamite, trained by Karol Ramsbottom. BoyleSports gradually cut his price into 6/4 from 5/2 and he obliged for punters after a stunning 29.59 win. His outright price has now been cut into 25/1 from 33/1 and should this progressive type keep breaking like he did on Friday, his initial price of 40/1 will prove serious value.

Another loser for the book on Friday was Toolmaker Me Dad for Robert Gleeson in what was a messy affair and unfortunately seen the elimination of the promising Burgess Bucks for Pat Buckley. Gleeson’s Toolmaker made all however and landed heat nine in the worst time of the weekend, 30.37. He was due a run and will come on from that win, but he was 5/2 earlier in the week. He was trimmed into 15/8 and then 7/4 resulting in another win for the punters.

It was great to see Pat Buckley win heat eleven with the young Run Happy in 29.50 which was somewhat of a consolation prize after his previous bad news. Run Happy lived up to his name and redeemed himself after his BoyleSports Champion Stakes defeat to Ballymac Arminta last month, where he led all the way bar the line. He won at a short price of 4/6 after showing serious early boot and is now 16/1 from 20/1 to give Buckley a second derby title.

A standout performance on Saturday night along with Wolfe, Killmacdonagh, Lenson Bocko and Magical Bale, came from Produce Stakes winner Grangeview Ten. He landed heat 21 in 29.59 at a nice price of 5/1 with the awesome Lenson Blinder in second. Grangeview is another star for the Patrick Guilfoyle kennel with his odds now into 20/1 from 25/1. His sectional to the third bend was the fastest of the first round as he recorded 17.04, faster than Wolfe’s who done 17.07

Sarah Kinsella, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “Friday night’s first round heats were not as bad for us as anticipated after odds-on shots Ballymac Cooper and Ballymac Arminta failed to win. Saturday night however saw seven favourites oblige including the popular Wolfe, Killmacdonagh, Magical Bale and Lenson Bocko. We had to cut Wolfe into 7/1 from 16/1 following his 29.22 win, making him the new ante post favourite in what has proved to be an incredibly hot and exciting derby”.

Link to markets:

https://mobile.boylesports.com/sports/greyhounds/future-dogs

BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY

7          Wolfe

10        Killmacdonagh

14        Jaytee Taylor

14        Ballymac Anton

14        Ballymac Cooper

14        Lenson Bocko

16        Ballymac Arminta

16        Run Happy

16        Magical Bale

16        Lenson Blinder

20        Grangeview Ten

25        Deadly Dynamite

25        Slippy Cian

25        Droopys Hunch

25        Ballyhimikin Jet

25        Mucky Brae

33        Cabra Firmino

33        Ballymac Tas

33        Boylesports King

40        Trickys Dumbo

40        Ballyanne Sim

40        Toolmaker Me Dad

40        Jaytee Tornado

40        Sophies Man

40        Deadly Expert

40        Laughil Josh

50        Newinn Lester

50        Jirano Classic

50        Droopys Pension

50        Worseforwear

50        Fainne Chiarrai

66        Rising Brandy

66        Lebudgiesmuggler

66        Braveheart Bobby

66        Blue East

66        Doona Buck

66        Jumeirah Buddy

66        Totos Park

66        Scooby Doo It

66        Allaghaun River

66        Ripley Lad

66        Great Eastern

66        Redzer Ardfert

66        Our Surprise

66        Sliabh Liag

66        Ballydoyle Valor

66        Murts Boher

66        Manuka Man

66        Toolmaker Daddy

66        Jaytee Storm

66        Monbeg Bakayoko

100      Music Toour Ears

100      Seldom Wrong

100      Ribchester

100      Newinn Hero

100      Lenson Austin

100      Droopys Legend

100      Courthouse King

100      Ballymac Trinkle

100      Cash Is King

100      Newhall Missile

100      Fast Fit Act

100      Macaroon Cruz

100      Catunda Logan

100      Swift Shamrock

100      Jumeirah Sprite

100      Droopys Neymar

100      Bakery Lane

100      Winetavern Don

100      Vic Vega

150      Court Of Justice

150      Sign On Aki

150      Knight Rocker

150      Jirano Max

150      Lolos Bear

150      Jaytee Spirit

150      Ballyhimikinbolt

150      Highview Micro

150      Vaguely Noble

150      Pennylane Fionn

200      Howth Head

200      Pudgie Budgie

200      Swanley Flight

250      Ardfert Rooster

300      Beatbytheboro

300      Tiger Reef

300      Harriestown Star

300      Dromrich Antares

300      Razldazl Peaky

300      Monroe Mike

300      Dromrich Altair

500      Manaslu Camolin

500      Deer Hunter

BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Specials  ~ Winning Trainer?

7-4       Graham Holland

4          Liam Dowling

6          Pat Guilfoyle

7          Paul Hennessy

9          Kieran Lynch

10        Pat Buckley

12        Karol Ramsbottom

20        Peter Cronin

33        Robert Gleeson

33        Gerry Holian

40        John Linehan

50        Brendan Maunsell

66        Ollie Bray

66        Martin Lanney

100      Liam O'Rourke

200      John Durrigan

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THREE WITHDRAWALS FROM DERBY 

Three greyhounds were yesterday withdrawn from the second round of the Boylesports Derby.

In Heat 3 Ballymac Syd will be a non-runner from trap four, trap one in Heat 12 will be vacant following the withdrawal of Choctaw Fantasy, while Ravenswood Hugo will be absent from trap three in Heat 15.  

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WOLFE NOW 7-1 FAVOURITE FOR BOYLESPORTS DERBY

Wolfe is the new ante-post favourite for the Boylesports Derby after a stunning best of the round 29.22 on Saturday night.

There is no doubt the brilliant son of Tyrur Big Mike was hugely impressive, but is the sponsor’s 7-1 quote about the Graham Holland trained star an over-reaction? 

Perhaps, but perhaps not. There is no doubt Wolfe is reaching the peak of his powers and he certainly has the right profile of a potential Derby champion. Blessed with tremendous early speed and confirmed rails runner he will be a big player in the coming weeks.

But so too will many with a similar profile. This Derby more than most in recent memory is packed with greyhounds with huge early speed and a liking for the inside. One suspects there are a couple at big prices still that will be there with a huge chance come September 21st.

THE SPONSORS BET:

7 Wolfe; 10 Killmacdonagh; 12 Jaytee Taylor; 14 Ballymac Cooper, Ballymac Anton, Magical Bale, Lenson Bocko; 16 Ballymac Arminta, Run Happy, Lenson Blinder; 20 Grangeview Ten; 25 Ballyhimikin Jet, Slippy Cian, Mucky Brae, Deadly Dynamite, Droopys Hunch; 33 bar.    

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SEEDING CHANGES IN DERBY

Prior to Saturday’s second round draw, there were a number of seeding changes in the Boylesports Derby. Four greyhounds have been changed to carry a wide seed.

These are Seldom Wrong, Worseforwear, Ballymac Cooper and Droopys Hunch. 

Scooby Doo It, despite winning well from trap four on Saturday, will now race as an inside seed, while both Our Surprise and Toolmaker Daddy will now race as middle seeds.

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BOYLESPORTS DERBY 2ND ROUND DRAW

We’re down to the final 96.

There will be eight heats Friday and the concluding eight heats will take place on Saturday.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23RD

Heat 1

1 Lolos Bear

2 Ballymac Arminta

3 Newhall Missile

4 Doona Buck

5 Droopys Pension

6 Cash Is King (w)

Heat 2

1 Jumeirah Buddy

2 Macaroon Cruz

3 Razldazl Peaky

4 Lenson Austin (m)

5 Court Of Justice (w)

6 Highview Micro (w)

Heat 3

1 Pennylane Fionn

2 Ballymac Trinkle

3 Ballyanne Sim

4 Ballymac Syd

5 Tiger Reef (w)

6 Slippy Cian (w)

Heat 4

1 Rising Brandy

2 Jumeriah Sprite

3 Allaghaun River

4 Great Eastern

5 Harriestown Star

6 Our Surprise (m)

Heat 5

1 Wolfe

2 Deadly Dynamite

3 Fast Fit Act

4 Beatbytheboro

5 Toolmaker Me Dad

6 Seldom Wrong (w)

Heat 6

1 Deer Hunter

2 Howth Head

3 Sliabh Liag

4 Knight Rocker

5 Dromrich Antares (w)

6 Newinn Lester (w)

Heat 7

1 Ballymac Tas

2 Ballyhimikin Bolt

3 Cabra Firmino

4 Monroe Mike

5 Toolmaker Daddy (m)

6 Boylesports King (w)

Heat 8

1 Redzer Ardfert

2 Swift Shamrock

3 Lenson Blinder

4 Bakery Lane

5 Jaytee Spirit (w)

6 Ribchester (w)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24TH

Heat 9

1 Jirano Max

2 Jaytee Storm

3 Mucky Brae

4 Murts Boher

5 Winetavern Don

6 Vaguely Noble (m)

Heat 10

1 Braveheart Bobby

2 Sophies Man

3 Newinn Hero

4 Ballydoyle Valor

5 Totos Park (m)

6 Worseforwear (w)

Heat 11

1 Droopys Neymar

2 Killmacdonagh

3 Manuka Man

4 Magical Bale

5 Vic Vega

6 Lenson Bocko (w)

Heat 12

1 Choctaw Fantasy

2 Monbeg Bakayoko

3 Catunda Logan

4 Grangeview Ten

5 Scooby Doo It

6 Ardfert Rooster (w)

Heat 13

1 Run Happy

2 Lebudgiesmuggler

3 Sign On Aki (m)

4 Jaytee Tornado (w)

5 Ripley Lad (w)

6 Droopys Legend (w)

Heat 14

1 Ballymac Anton

2 Courthouse King

3 Laughil Josh

4 Pudgie Budgie (m)

5 Fainne Chiarrai (w)

6 Jaytee Taylor (w)

Heat 15

1 Music Toour Ears

2 Jirano Classic

3 Ravenswood Hugo

4 Swanley Flight (w)

5 Ballymac Cooper (w)

6 Dromrich Altair (w)

Heat 16

1 Manaslu Camolin

2 Trickys Dumbo

3 Blue East

4 Deadly Expert

5 Ballyhimikin Jet (m)

6 Droopys Hunch (w)

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A NIGHT OF INCREDIBLE DERBY ACTION

There were some brilliant performances at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night as the opening round of the Boylesports Derby came to a conclusion.

Killmacdonagh, Ballymac Anton, Lenson Bocko, Grangeview Ten and last year’s runner-up Magical Bale all won in fine style, but none could match Wolfe as he posted a brilliant fastest of the round 29.22 in the opening heat of the night.

Heat 14 – WOLFE DEVOURS RIVALS

Marian Maloney’s Wolfe has been touted as a possible Derby winner in recent weeks and his display in the first heat of the evening did little to dampen that view.

In fact, such was the impressive nature of the performance that few will be opposing the brilliant Graham Holland trained son of Tyrur Big Mike and Jalingo in the future rounds.

Sent to traps an unbackable favourite, it was soon evident that Wolfe was on his way to a comfortable victory. After clearing Rising Brandy on the run to the turn he seemed to increase his advantage with each and every stride. By the winning line he had twelve lengths in hand in a sensational 29.22. Rising Brandy, after a protracted battle with Ribchester, came home in second, while Deer Hunter stayed on for third a further length and a quarter adrift.  

Heat 15 – ANOTHER MASTERCLASS FROM KILLMACDONAGH

William Hennessy’s Oaks and Dundalk International winner Killmacdonagh was again at her professional and brilliant best in Heat 15 as she saw off an eye-catching effort from Newinn Lester. The Kieren Lynch trained Killmacdonagh was understandably sent to traps and odds-on favourite and she would have been trading considerably shorter after two strides.

Flying from the inside box, Killmacdonagh never looked likely to let her lead slip. Newinn Lester did keep her honest, however. He charged up behind her to push her down the far side, but once getting to the third turn in the driving seat Killmacdonagh turned on the afterburners. Powering up the straight she went on to beat her rival by an ever-increasing five and three quarter lengths in 29.39. Ballymac Syd recovered after early traffic to finish the same distance away in third.

Heat 16 – ANTON RETURNS TO HIS VERY BEST

Ballymac Anton had the world at his paws at the back end of 2018, but for whatever reason things haven’t gone to plan this year.

He could be about to put that right, however. After a superb victory over 525yds last weekend he was at his brilliant best in Heat 16 as he raced right away from some useful rivals.

Lebudgiesmuggler came away racing from the inside box, but Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Anton was soon on his shoulder and he forced his way beyond the early leader as they hit the second turn. From there the son of Ballymac Best and Coolavanny Angie drew right away to eventually emerge a most impressive scorer in 29.37. Toolmaker Daddy ran on best for second, five and a quarter lengths behind the winner with Fainne Chiarrai another length away in third. Lebudgiesmuggler will also qualify as a fastest fourth.  

Heat 17 – A SMOOTH DISPLAY FROM MANUKA

Manuka Man came in for strong support in Heat 18, eventually going to traps the 6-4 favourite, before running out a good winner for Peter Comerford and Tony Moore.

Despite stepping back from 750yds, Manuka Man was too sharp for his rivals in the early exchanges and that made the difference.

Droopys Neymar, who was a big drifter in the betting, disputed second spot into the bend with Boylesports King, but both here headed by Vaguely Noble down the far side and the latter looked a serious threat to the leader when closing right up on him to the third turn.

At this point the result was confirmed. Vaguely Noble ran into the back of the leader and was forced to check, hampering Boylesports King in the process. The strong running Manuka Man (Kinloch Brae/ Ballydoyle Honey) could then afford to cruise home before eventually seeing off the fast finishing and slightly unlucky Boylesports King by a length and a half in 29.85. Droopys Neymar was a half length away in third, while Vaguely Noble was fourth. 

Heat 18 – TRINKLE COMPLETES A BALLYMAC DOUBLE

Ballymac Trinkle, owned by the Metinthehalfway Syndicate, may not have been the most fancied “Ballymac” runner in Heat 18, but she displayed her trademark early speed to make every inch for Liam Dowling.

From the very outset it was obvious she meant business.

Making a lightning fast start from her favourite inside draw, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Ballymac Scarlet was clear into the turn. Mucky Brae won a tight race for second to give chase, but he was never going to get to the leader.

Maintaining a fine gallop to the line, Ballymac Trinkle went on to win by three and a quarter lengths in 29.75. Behind the leader there was a desperately tight finish for second with Mucky Brae just getting the better of both Dromrich Antares and Ballymac Tas. The trio were separated by a short head and a length.

Heat 19 – BOCKO A DERBY CONTENDER

Lenson Bocko brought his career tally to seven wins from eight starts in wonderful fashion in Heat 19, once again confirming his standing as one of the best and most exciting young trackers in training.

The Graham Holland trained son of Droopys Jet and Melodys Diamond was headed at traps by Pudgie Budgie, but Bocko soon moved through the gears and opened up into the turn to hold a clear advantage. He ran a fine bend to increase his lead further and by halfway the result was beyond doubt. His kennel companion Ballyhimikin Jet overcame a tardy start and some early traffic to go second down the back straight, but he had no answer to the leader. Instead, Lenson Bocko kept finding out front to win in five and a quarter lengths in a fast 29.47. Pudgie Budgie was three lengths adrift in third with Courthouse King in fourth. It was a wonderful effort by the winner and one that will have impressed many including his owners, the Lochead, Ponder, Whelan Syndicate.

Heat 20 – BALE IS BACK

Last year’s runner-up Magical Bale made a most satisfactory start to his Derby campaign in Heat 20.

The Pat Guilfoyle trained star was a hot favourite to come home in front from the inside box and he duly obliged in typically professional fashion.

Hitting the ground running the Westwell Racing Club Syndicate owned Magical Bale was in charge from the outset. His kennel companion Laughil Josh also displayed fine early speed and he ran an incredible race to the third turn to push the favourite hard, but Magical Bale was always in control and he went on to record a comfortable three and three quarter length success in 29.62. Cash Is King was another half length away in third, while Deadly Expert was fourth.    

Heat 21 – TEN OUT OF TEN FOR TEN

Produce Stakes champion Grangeview Ten completed a quick double for Pat Guilfoyle as he produced one of the most eye-catching displays of the entire round in Heat 21.

 Michael Hogan’s son of Zero Ten and Portumna West had failed to figure in two previous starts at HQ, but he put that right in some fashion.

His talented kennel companion Cabra Firmino hit the ground running from trap four, but he was made look pedestrian by Grangeview Ten who displayed awesome early dash to lead a talented field into the back straight. Behind the front two, Lenson Blinder and Blue East started to close into the third turn, but they had plenty of work to do.

Lenson Blinder ran very wide off the final turn, seemingly throwing away his chance, but he then started to close rapidly. Grangeview Ten did tire on the run in, but he held on for a wonderful victory in 29.59, while Lenson Blinder flew up the straight to, remarkably, fail by only three parts of a length.

Third spot went to Cabra Firmino who was a further half length adrift, while Blue East also qualified as a fastest fourth.  

Heat 22 – BAKAYOKO SCORES

Monbeg Bakayoko displayed fine early dash to take Heat 22 for Eamon Doyle.

 Coming away racing from trap three, the son of Scolari Me Daddy and Na Dubh Tire importantly cleared newline darn Hot to the turn and that proved pivotal.

The latter ran off the turn, leaving Monbeg Bakayoko clear of the now second Lolos Bear. The race was now a two-dog affair. Lolos bear closed on the leader into the third turn and looked a serious threat, but credit must go to the leader as he stayed on well to repel the challenge by a length and a half in 29.92. There was a further five length gap to the luckless Droopys Legend in third. 

Heat 23 – SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU? - OUT FRONT

Scooby Doo It followed up some encouraging trial form at Shelbourne Park top win Heat 23 in professional manner.

The Jennifer O’Donnell trained son of Scolari Me Daddy and Mountaylor Queen made the fastest start from trap four and that proved decisive.

Jaytee Spirit, who came in as a reserve, pressed him hard in the early yards and down the back straight, but she could never seem to get back on terms. Instead Court Of Justice got up late to take second but Scooby Doo It, owned by the Scooby Trio Syndicate, was never going to be caught and he took the verdict by two lengths in 29.69. Jaytee Spirit was a half lengths away in third.

Heat 24 – MIKE A BIG PRICE WINNER

Monroe Mike may have been a big price to land the spoils in Heat 24, but there was nothing lucky about his victory.

James Kerr’s son of Tyrur Big Mike and Monroe Miss shot from trap three to lead into the turn.

Howth Head was soon in chase and tried as best he could to move upsides down the back straight, but Monroe Mike kept him at bay to the third turn and thereafter there was only going to be one winner. Monroe Mike, who has winning form over 575yds, stuck on gamely to contain the late charge of Winetavern Don by three lengths in 29.94. Howth Head went into the draw for the next round after finishing a head back in third.

Heat 25 – FAST FIT GETS IN ON THE ACT

The strong running Fast Fit Act was always in the right position to strike in Heat 25.

Ghost Dancer went up strongly, but Fast Fit Act went up fractionally faster to lead around the turn and once doing so he was always going to be a tough nut to crack.

Dromrich Altair moved second at the second turn and sat on the shoulder of the leader down the far side and looks a big danger at the third turn, but as stated Fast Fit Act is a strong runner andhe had the inside line in his favour. Increasing his advantage to the final bend, John Quinn’s son of Tullymurry Act and Galloping Maeve raced on to beat Dromrich Altair by two lengths in 29.81. Tiger Reef was ten lengths away in third.

Heat 26 – A CLASSIC EFFORT FROM JIRANO    

Punters went out happy with Pat Norton’s Jirano Classic justifying restrictive odds in the last of the twenty six opening round heats.

2018 Consolation Derby winner Newhall Missile flashed from trap five to hold a narrow lead into the turn, but Jirano Classic was never going to give up his inside line and he forced his way through on the fence to take charge.

Newhall Missile continued to chase the new leader down the far side, but the Johnny O’Sullivan trained Jirano Classic is a powerful galloper and he stayed on stoutly to record a length and three quarter success in 29.88. Razldazl Peaky finished well to grab third, just a neck behind Newhall Missile.     

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MORE DERBY DELIGHTS ON OFFER AT HQ  

Friday’s opening round action in Boylesports Derby provided the usual amount of shocks, superb performances and big-name casualties. Expect a very similar plot this evening.

The big question is where will the shocks come and what big names are under threat.  

BALE TO DISPLAY HIS BRILLIANCE

Perhaps the biggest name of all is Magical Bale. The 2018 Derby runner-up looks set to get his campaign off to a winning start in Heat 20.

It’s well documented that the brilliant tracker is better from a middle draw, but he should have too ammunition for his rivals this evening.

Incredibly in a career where he has always run as an inside seed, the Pat Guilfoyle trained star has only once won from the box and that win came in May 2018. He will be odds-on to put that stat to bed this evening and he gets the nod to lead home his kennel companion Laughil Josh, Deadly Expert and former Produce Stakes winner Cash Is King.

WOLFE CAN HOWL

Graham Holland will be hoping Wolfe can give him the perfect start this evening.

The brilliant son of Tyrur Big Mike is amongst the fastest greyhounds in training and is understandably one of the main fancies for outright success.

He will be a very short price to win the opening heat and barring accident he should come home clear of his rivals which include the Peter Cronin trained pair of Rising Brandy and Da Head Hunter. Wolfe has exceptional pace to the third turn and he can burn off the opposition before halfway. Ribchester, from an ideal draw in six, may emerge as his nearest challenger, but anything short of a comfortable win for Wolfe would be seen as a shock.  

BOCKO CAN DOMINATE

Holland also has a massive hand in Heat 19 where Lenson Bocko is chosen to get the better of his strong running kennel companion Ballyhimikin Jet.

Lenson Bocko has quickly established himself as one of Ireland’s moist exciting young trackers and he can confirm his Derby prospects with a trap to line success.

The feature of his racing style is his massive early speed and pace down the back straight. Despite being likely to edge inwards from the outside box, Bocko should hit the front before the turn and he can then hold the late challenge of Ballyhimikin Jet.

LENSON A BLINDER

Lenson Blinder and Blue East represent Holland in Heat 21.

Both greyhounds have massive ability and should they avoid each other in the opening yards you would expect both to be involved in the shake-up. Lenson Blinder probably has the best of the draw in one, but he will neeed to hold Blue East, racing in two, to the bend. 

This is far from a two-dog affair, however, as the likes of Cabra Firmino, Grangeview Ten and Jaytee Yankee have the talent to capitalise if things go their way. Much will depend on the opening exchanges, but Lenson Blinder gets the nod.    

SYD AND LESTER TO TEST KILLMACDONAGH

Killmacdonagh is amongst the fastest bitches to ever race in Ireland and she will be warm favourite for Heat 15, although Ballymac Syd and Newinn Lester won’t make things too easy for her.

Killmacdonagh has already captured the Oaks and Dundalk International and from an ideal draw on the fence looks the one to beat.

Ballymac Syd looked a potential superstar earlier this year but hasn’t raced since being withdrawn from the final of the Kirby Memorial. He did beat his kennel companion Ballymac Cooper in a recent trial which would suggest he is ready to go and looks a worthy adversary for Killmacdonagh. Newinn Lester is blessed with brilliant early dash and can also play a part in a contest that should make for fascinating viewing.  

RESURGENT ANTON TO STRIKE

Liam Dowling will be hoping Ballymac Anton can provide him with a winner in Heat 16.

One of Ireland’s most promising young trackers last year, the son of Ballymac Best has yet to produce his best in 2019 but his latest victory was far more promising. Lebudgiesmuggler and Fainne Chiarrai can set a searching gallop but Ballymac Anton may be too strong from halfway. 

Dowling is represented by talented females Ballymac Trinkle and Ballymac Tas in Heat 18, but they will need to be on their toes in the opening exchanges with Mucky Brae expected to fly into the opening turn. If the Michael O’Donovan trained Mucky Brae can turn in front he would prove a tough nut to crack. If Shelbourne is running faster than on Friday, he may have enough in hand to contain Ballymac Tas. 

Droopys Neymar has ideal opportunity to begin his Derby challenge with a win in Heat 17. This is a contest packed with greyhounds that may prefer a little further than the 550yd trip. In contrast Droopys Neymar is probably at his best over the Derby trip and he may be too sharp for his rivals to halfway.

Derby sponsor John Boyle has a significant runner in the form of Boylesport King. He looks a potential superstar, although he may need further to be fulfil his potential. Boylesports King is certain to finish at speed, but Droopys Neymar can give his rivals the slip before racing home clear of Boylesports King.

Johnny Linehan recorded a wonderful double on Friday and he will be hoping Droopys Legend can provide him with another winner in Heat 22. Droopys Legend has been handed an ideal draw in the stripes and can assert before the turn. The lightly raced Glory Gold is clearly hugely talented, but faces a tough draw in four.

Fifteen minutes later Pat Kiely can provide Cork with another winner with Court Of Justice chosen to win Heat 23. The son off Droopys Jet has been crying out for a step up to 550yds and on current form he looks a big player. If turning close from an ideal draw in six, Court Of Justice can use his superb back straight pace to great effect. Scooby Do It and Great Blue Shark can emerge as the main dangers. 

The final three heats look tricky. Cabra Salah gets the vote in Heat 24 on the strength of his previous 550yd form at HQ. the Pat Guilfoyle trained tracker can shoot into the turn and if he were to turn in front he would be hard to pick up. Local runner Howth Head stands out as the obvious threat.

Tipperary Cup winner Ghost Dancer will be difficult to beat in the next heat if can continue his fine run of form. The Owen McKenna trained star is a good starter and from a favourable draw in two he can get first run on his rivals. Fast Fit Act can finish strongly for second.    

Jirano Classic looks a real Shelbourne Park dog and he can follow up an extremely impressive trial stake success at Cork. A natural starter with fine pace and power, he is chosen to make every inch. 2018 Derby consolation winner Newhall Missile is clearly entitled to respect, but he doesn’t seem to be in the same sort of form as this time last year.

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8 WITHDRAWALS FROM TONIGHT’S DERBY ACTION

There are eight confirmed withdrawals from tonight’s Derby action at Shelbourne Park.

A number of reserves are available, but they can’t be fully confirmed until weigh in. The following have been withdrawn:

Mags Angel, Wishful Gold, Lemon Shane, Shady Man, Iveshead Gary, Sports Ground, Cracked Lady and Milestone Gem.

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RIVER SETS PACE AS DERBY GETS UNDERWAY

The Boylesports Derby kicked off with a marathon session of opening round heats at a busy Shelbourne Park on Friday night and as expected there were plenty of shocks, a number of fine performances and one or two surprise names to emerge from the field.

Certainly, few would have expected Allaghaun River to go fastest of the night but that’s exactly what he did as he got proceedings off to a flying start on a track that perhaps got a little slower as the evening went on. Incidentally, the racing office chose to rate the track. 10 slow.

Heat 1 – RIVER IN FULL FLOW

The Derby kicked off with a real bang as the Johnny Lenihan trained Allaghaun River produced a brilliant performance to emerge a superb winner.

He may have been a 10-1 chance with thelayers, but there was nothing lucky about his victory.

In fact the son of Tullymurry Act and Knocksouna Lady displayed all the qualities needed from a greyhound to compete at this level. He went up fast along the fence, displayed fine pace down the back straight and dug deep to contain the big finish of Jaytee Tornado.

Allaghaun River came away racing from the inside box, but was immediately pressed by the hot favourite Clona Blaze, while Newinn Hero challenged between the pair. Still, Allaghaun matched the pair for early speed to hold a narrow advantage on the turn and he stayed tight to the fence to enter the back straight in front.

Once doing so he had the pace to ease into a lead of a length by halfway. Newinn Hero remained a close second into the third turn, but he checked his stride at this point, in turn holding up his advancing kennel companion Macaroon Cruz.

By this point Jaytee Tornado was flying and he moved second as they turned for home. Allaghaun River was not going to be denied, however, and he held on to score by a head in 29.56. Newinn Hero was another two and a quarter lengths adrift in third, while fourth went to Macaroon Cruz. 

Heat 2 – STRAIGHTFORWARD FOR SOPHIES MAN

After opening his career account at the seventh time of asking last time out, Sophies Man quickly made it two on the spin in Heat 2.

Elite Black held a narrow lead into the turn from trap two, but Sophies Man forced his way through on the fence to lead from the turn.

Once going to the front there was no stopping the Peter Cronin trained son of Droopys Jet and Badminton Maid. Albert Putnam’s June ’17 whelp raced clear of his rivals right to the finish to eventually see off the staying on Ripley Lad by three and a half lengths in 29.65. Catunda Logan was collared on the line for silver, a neck away in third while there was the same gap to Sign On Aki in fourth. 

Heat 3 – MICRO DOES ENOUGH

The consistent Highview Micro was in the right place at the right time to take advantage in the third heat.

Dermot Kilmurray’s son of Strom Control and Highview Horizon was prominent into the turn behind Ballybeg Moss and when the latter seemed to lose his action off the second turn, Highview Micro was left clear.    

It should have been easy from there, but Harriestown Star had other ideas. Closing right to the line, he forced the judge into action before the Gerry Merriman trained Highview Micro was declared the winner by a head in 29.89. Seldom wrong was a length and three quarters back in third.

Heat 4 – REDZER ARRIVES LATE AND FAST

There was an incredible finish to the fourth heat with the Shelbourne 750y record holder, Redzer Ardfert arriving from out of the clouds to deny Jumeriah Buddy in a desperately tight finish.

The latter seemed certain score when getting the better of his rivals into the turn.

Murts Boher turned second and Lenson Austin Austin third, but neither could bridge the gap. Instead Redzer Ardfert, owned by Pat Reddan and Kathleen Clifford, arrived into the picture at the third turn and sprouted wings as they entered the home straight.

Finishing with a wet sail, the Brendan Maunsell trained son of Paradise Madison and Have You One shot up the inside of his rivals to hit the front in the very last stride to deny the long-time leader by the narrowest of margins in 29.80. Murts Boher was three parts of a length away in third and Lenson Austin a neck back in fourth.

Heat 5 – GREAT EFFORT BY EASTERN

The Martin Lanney trained Great Eastern (Makeshift/ Oghill Lucy) was at his professional best in Heat 5 as he lowered the colours of the hot favourite Ballymac Cooper.

The latter missed the start and displayed fine pace to the turn to even get into contention.

In contrast, Great Eastern flashed from trap two and soon bettered the UK raider Trickys Dumbo to lead around the turn. Great Eastern increased his advantage as Ballymac Cooper gave Trickys Dumbo a bump to go second. 

As expected Ballymac Cooper began to close down the far side, but Great Eastern is difficult to pass and he kept finding out front to contain Ballymac Cooper, who nearly tripped over the leader’s heels in the dying yards. At the line Stephen Townsley and Seamus Lanney’s Great Eastern had two lengths to spare in 29.72. Trickys Dumbo was another six lengths adrift in third.   

Heat 6 – A DYNAMITE DISPLAY

Garry Hannon’s Deadly Dynamite is a young greyhound with a most progressive profile and he produced a foot-perfect display to win Heat 6 in comfortable fashion.

 The Karol Ramsbottom trained son of Ballymac Vic and Doodle Doo hit the ground running from the inside box and never saw another rival.

His task was made somewhat easier at the turn, as a number of his rivals found bad traffic, but there was no way Deadly Dynamite was going to surrender his lead once going to the front. He stayed on well to eventually see off Knight Rocker by six lengths in 29.69. Music Toour Ears was another three and a quarter lengths away in third.

Heat 7 – VEGA SWOOPS LATE

Vic Vega produced a superb performance to capture Heat 7 for Declan Beary.

An 8-1 chance in the ring before the off, the son of Tullymurry Act and Mohane Patient was well off the pace in the early yards.

Instead, Sliabh Liag won the battle for early supremacy, but she was closely pursued by Bakery Lane. The pair had a great battle into the third turn with Sliabh Liag maintaining a narrow lead, but the complexion of the race began to change into the third turn.

As the front pair bumped, Vic Vega was now in full stride in third. Vic Vega, who had entered the back straight in fourth, was now too close for comfort and while Sliabh Liag did shake off the attentions of Bakery Lane she was a sitting duck. Vic Vega finished fast to take charge in the closing yards for a length and a half verdict in 29.91. Jirano Max was four lengths away in third.

Heat 8 – TAYLOR AND SIM SERVE UP A THRILLER

Jaytee Taylor and Ballyanne Sim last met in the 2018 Derby final when the latter famously emerged triumphant.

Eleven months on, John Turner’s Jaytee Taylor (Laughil Blake/ Toms Delight) exacted some revenge in Heat 8 although connections of Ballyanne Sim won’t be too disappointed as the defending champion ran a fine race in defeat.

This contest provided yet another tremendous buckle. Ballyanne Sim, who would have needed the outing, displayed his trademark early burst to dictate the pace into the turn. Jaytee Taylor raced on the shoulder of Pennylane Fionn in third and his supporters would have been hoping the pair didn’t clash.

They needn’t have worried. Jaytee Taylor moved second, passing Pennylane Fionn as they entered the back before quickly setting his sights on the leader. The leader didn’t come back to the favourite as quickly as many were expecting, however.

Displaying his fighting spirit, Ballyanne Sim kept racing right to the line, but in the end Jaytee Taylor was just a little too strong. He too would have needed the outing, but the Paul Hennessy trained star was almost on terms turning for home and despite running wide he hit the front under the shadow of the post to win by a head in 29.82. Pennylane Fionn was a further three adrift in third.

Heat 9 – ME DADDY EMERGES IN MESSY CONTEST

Heat 9 was without question the messiest and least satisfactory contest of the night.

Willie Hyslop’s Toolmaker Me Dad emerged a good winner, but few greyhounds had a clear run while Burgess Bucks suffered an injury when challenging down the far side.

Toolmaker Me Dad was slowly into stride and was only fifth into the turn, but luck landed on his lap as he found himself close to the pace entering the back straight after opening bend traffic, while he was left in front after Burgess Bucks lost his stride down the far side. Thereafter, Toolmaker Me Dad was never going to be caught and the Robert Gleeson trained son of Scolari Me Daddy and Noelles Chiquito ran out a two and a half length winner over Ballydoyle Valor in 30.47. Ardfert Rooster was another length and a half back in third.    

Heat 10 – HUNCH TURNS OVER ARMINTA

John Coleman’s hugely progressive Droopys Hunch produced a brilliant effort to see off the red-hot favourite Ballymac Arminta in Heat 10.

The Murt Leahy trained Droopys Hunch displayed fine early speed to challenge and head Ravenswood Hugo into the bend, while Ballymac Arminta sat in third.

At this point Jacks Tornado shot up the inside of Ballymac Arminta and that cost the favourite valuable ground. Meanwhile, Ravenswood Hugo used his inside line to head Droopys Hunch around the opening two bends.

Droopys Hunch (Droopys Sydney/ Droopys Blossom) carried momentum into the back straight, however and she shot to the front before halfway before easing away to the third turn. Ballymac Arminta did stay on strongly to take second, but on this occasion Droopys Hunch was too good as she raced to a most impressive five length victory in 29.61. Ravenswood Hugo was a further length and a half behind Ballymac Arminta.      

Heat 11 – A HAPPY RUN

Run Happy ran like a greyhound that could develop into a serious Derby contender when racing clear of his rivals in Heat 11.

The Champion Stakes runner-up wasn’t the fastest into stride from the inside box, but he flew into the turn to take command from Jumeriah Sprite and Jaytee Storm.

From that point it was a procession. The Pat Buckley trained star shot clear of his rivals to the third turn and could coast home a facile winner. The Tom Quinn and Ned Morrissey owned son of Tullymurry Act and Marlfield Taylor was simply too good as he raced on to a five and a quarter length success in 29.60. Jumeirah Sprite clung on to take second, containing the big finish of Our Surprise by a neck.      

Heat 12 – WEAR RUNS OUT A GOOD WINNER

Paul James’ Worseforwear came in for heavy support in the ring prior to the penultimate heat of the night and the money was inspired.

The Peter Cronin trained son of Jacksaiem and Kilara Missy duly obliged, hitting the front early and going on to dominate as he completed a superb double for his handler.

Scottish Derby champ Braveheart Bobby gave chase for much of the way, but on his comeback after a layoff he ran out of steam before eventually finished fourth. Instead Wwioft Shamrock finished well to grab second, but Worseforwear was too good and he ran out a five and a half length winner in 29.69. Doona Buck finished third, a further length adrift.

Heat 13 – JOHNNY DELIGHTED WITH HIS PENSION

Johnny Linehan ended the night in style, when Droopys Pension (Quietly/ Droopys Maid) saw off a fleet of fancied Graham Holland trained runners.

Droopys Pension really appreciated the longer run to the turn, going clear of his rivals.

Slippy Cian was soon in chase, however, and looks a serious threat but in his first run in a while he probably needed the outing. This allowed Kieran Ryan’s Droopys Pension to remain ahead of his rival and he went on to cross the line with three parts of a length to spare in 29.76. Totos Park was another length and a half away in third.

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DERBY GETS UNDERWAY

Just over five weeks from now the 2019 Boylesports Derby champion will be crowed on Saturday, September 21st.

In all there will be less than half an hour of actual Derby action, but those 57 races will provide drama, heartbreak, plot twists and elation.

TAYLOR TO HOLD SIM

It all kicks off this evening with the first thirteen opening round heats expected to provide some stunning racing.

Four of last year’s finalists return to Derby action this evening including the reigning champion Ballyanne Sim.

After a small injury scare, Eamon Cleary’s brilliant tracker begins the defence of his title in Heat 8, although the betting would suggest he may have to play second fiddle to another of last year’s finalists Jaytee Taylor.

The Paul Hennessy trained star has been promoted to Derby favouritism in recent days and he certainly has the profile of a potential Derby champion. He was a raw novice last year when reaching the final and all evidence would suggest he is ready to reach the peak of his powers.

He may be a wide seed, but a trap four draw will pose no problems to Jaytee Taylor and it would be no surprise if he were to produce a massive run this evening. Ballyanne Sim is obviously entitled to plenty of respect, but after a hold up in his preparation he may struggle to contain Jaytee Taylor.

Jaytee Taylor won’t be the only odds-on favourite in action tonight. Clona Blaze, Ballymac Cooper, Burgess Bucks and Ballymac Arminta are all expected to start shorten than evens

A BALLYMAC DOUBLE?

Two of those named are trained by Liam Dowling and both are high profile runners.

Ballymac Cooper has quickly established himself as one of Ireland’s best and after just nine career starts is disputing outright favouritism.

He will line out in Heat 5 where the sole UK raider Trickys Dumbo and Great Eastern stand out as the main dangers. Both are clearly talented, with the Select Stakes winner Trickys Dumbo potentially exceptional, but Ballymac Cooper is a bit special and he can lay down a marker.

Ballymac Arminta will be long odds-on to win the Heat 10. The Champion Stakes winner is the fastest female ever to race over both 525 and 550yds at the Ringsend venue and she should have too much in her locker for the likes of Ravenswood Hugo and Droopys Hunch. The latter has a good draw in six and can emerge as the nearest rival to Arminta.

BLAZE TO SET UP A HOLLAND DOUBLE

As you would expect, Graham Holland has a number with strong claims and it would be a shock if he didn’t win the first and last of tonight’s heats.

Clona Blaze is expected to dominate in the opening heat, while Holland has four of the six runners in the final heat.

Easter Cup champion Clona Blaze has always saved his best for Shelbourne and should set a searching gallop. He can rocket from traps and really flies to the third turn. That could be enough to build a clear advantage before holding the late charge of Jaytee Tornado.

Clonbrien Prince gets the nod for Holland in the final heat where Slippy Cian is the obvious threat. The pair are amongst the best in training, but Clonbrien Prince has been given a kind draw in red and that may make the difference. He can take charge in the opening yards.

DYNAMITE LOOKS THE PART

Karol Ramsbottom is having a year like no other and if his team can carry their form into the Derby he can expect further success.

Ramsbottom has strong claims with both Sliabh Liag and Deadly Dynamite this evening.

Deadly Dynamite looks particularly well housed in red in Heat 6. The young son of Ballymac Vic has a progressive profile and after impressing in his latest outing over the 550yuds trip he is nominated as one of the bets of the evening. The fast starting Gold Cup champion Music Toour Ears should race prominently, but he faces a tough draw in four, while Cushie Jet is also nominated as a threat although his recent exertions over 750yds won’t aid his cause.  

Sliabh Liag can also go close for Ramsbottom. A brilliant 28.11 winner in late July, she will be hard to stop if hitting the ground running. The evergreen Bakery Lane is the biggest danger, but he would far prefer a rails pitch. Expect him to cut inwards from five.

BUCKS TO STAR FOR BUCKLEY

Pat Buckley has the strongest hand this evening of any handler. In all, Buckley is responsible for the favourite in four heats.

Mark Lowther’s Seldom Wrong is first out in Heat 3. The strong running tracker has been expensive to follow but he has been handed an easier assignment than many.

If he can improve his starting, turning closer to the pace, the youngster would have too much pace from the second turn for his rivals.

Burgess Bucks lines out for Buckley in Heat 9 and will start a hot favourite. The penny seems to be dropping with the hugely talented black and after a superb victory last week he is difficult to oppose. Ballydoyle Valor and Toolmaker Me Dad are the main dangers to Bucks, but neither can afford to give the favourite a lead.

Champion Stakes runner up Run Happy is perhaps the best drawn greyhound in the entire opening round. With Our Surprise certain to move right at the start, Run Happy will have the fence to himself and that could make the difference. Our Surprise is very strong and looks a threat, as does Buckley’s second runner Jumeriah Sprite.

Pat Buckley’s Scottish Derby champion Braveheart Bobby makes his return in Heat 12. In what isn’t the strongest heat he is entitled to start favourite, but be wary he may need the outing. If you’re seeking value Worseforwear may be the answer.       

A COUPLE OF TOUGH ONES

Heats 2 and 4 look particularly open. Sophies Man, Catunda Logan and Ripley Lad head the betting in Heat 2 and all three have strong claims, while Sign On Aki and Elite Black can’t be discounted either. Ripley Lad is strong and that may make the difference.

Picking a winner in Heat 4 is no easy task. In truth every runner has a strong chance. Certainly, if I was having a bet, I’d want a minimum of 3-1 about any of the six runners. Murts Boher gets the nod, but this is, perhaps, a race to watch.   

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BRAYDEN A NON-RUNNER

Ballymac Brayden was yesterday confirmed a non-runner from Heat 7 of the Derby this evening.

A reserve should run, but can’t be confirmed until weigh in.

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BOYLESPORTS IRISH GREYHOUND DERBY SPECIALS

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DERBY HEATS PRICED UP

Sponsors Boylesports have priced up the opening round heats of the Derby and in total there are eight odds-on favourites with Ballymac Arminta the shortest favourite of the round in Heat 10.

The Champion Stakes winner has been installed a 4-11 chance.

Others that are particularly short include Jaytee Taylor (1-2), Ballymac Cooper (4-7) and Wolfe (8-13). For the record the biggest priced favourite of the round is Murts Boher at 11-4 in Heat 4. There was one market mover before Wednesday lunchtime with Toolmaker Me Dad backed in from 11-4 to 9-4 for Heat 9 where Burgess Bucks is the 4-5 favourite.

For obvious reasons Boylesports haven’t priced up the heats where there are non-runners. Reserves may come into those contests, but it can’t be confirmed until weigh-in which greyhounds come in.   

Friday’s heats with Boylesports Prices:

Heat 1: 4-5 Clona Blaze, 7-2 Jaytee Tornado, 9-2 Macaroon Cruz, 7 Newinn Hero, 8 Allaghaun River, 16 Tullymurry Icon.

Heat 2: 11-8 Sophies Man, 2 Ripley Lad, 4 Catunda Logan, 6 Elite Black, 7 Sign On Aki, 33 Black Jenny.

Heat 3: 6-4 Seldom Wrong, 9-4 Highview Micro, 7-2 Ballybeg Moss, 6 Manaslu Camolin, 8 Harriestown Star, 14 Bankers Wink.

Heat 4: 11-4 Murts Boher, 3 Jumeirah Buddy, 7-2 Droopys Davy, 4 Redzer Ardfert, 4 Lenson Austin, 8 Boynepark Woods.

Heat 5: 4-7 Ballymac Cooper, 9-2 Trickys Dumbo, 11-2 Great Eastern, 11-2 Blastoff Jet, 9 Cuil Legend, 33 Mean Beauty.

Heat 6: 5-2 Deadly Dynamite, 5-2 Sweep The Yard, 5-2 Cushie Jet, 9-2 Music Toour Ears, 8 Knight Rocker, 9 Enable.

Heat 7: 2 Sliabh Liag, 3 Bakery Lane, 10-3 Pennys Ponyo, 7-2 Ballymac Brayden, 7 Jirano Max, 10 Vic Vega.

Heat 8: 1-2 Jaytee Taylor, 3 Ballyanne Sim, 13-2 Swanley Flight, 8 Pennylane Fionn, 20 Ravenswood Lotti, 20 Double Busy.

Heat 9: 4-5 Burgess Bucks, 9-4 Toolmaker Me Dad, 4 Ballydoyle Valor, 12 Combo Corofin, 14 Eager Ember, 14 Ardfert Rooster.

Heat 10: 4-11 Ballymac Arminta, 4 Droopys Hunch, 7 Ravenswood Hugo, 7 Jacks Tornado, 20 Hour Glass Kodi, 33 Old Fort Pio.

Heat 11: 5-4 Run Happy, 4 Jumeirah Sprite, 9-2 Jaytee Storm, 5 Our Surprise, 6 Panther, 7 El Commendo.

Heat 12: 6-4 Braveheart Bobby, 15-8 Worseforwear, 7-2 Doona Buck, 5 Swift Shamrock, 12 Abington Hero, 25 Press Paws.

Heat 13: 11-8 Clonbrien Prince, 11-8 Slippy Cian, 6 Totos Park, 8 Droopys Pension, 9 Ballyhimikinbolt, 16 Boleys Fella.

Saturday’s heats with Boylesports Prices

Heat 14: 8-13 Wolfe, 5 Rising Brandy, 11-2 Da Head Hunter, 11-2 Ribchester, 8 Mags Angel, 20 Proven Loyalty.

Heat 16: 6-4 Ballymac Anton, 10-3 Fainne Chiarrai, 4 Colemans Flyer, 9-2 Lebudgiesmuggler, 5 Toolmaker Daddy, 12 Tiger Jack.

Heat 17: 5-2 Droopys Neymar, 5-2 Manuka Man, 5-2 Boylesports King, 5 Vaguely Noble, 6 Jays Apache, 10 Ninja Nagato.

Heat 18:  6-4 Ballymac Tas, 7-4 Mucky Brae, 4 Boynepark King, 5 Ballymac Trinkle, 14 Caleta Robin, 16 Dromrich Antares.

Heat 19: 10-11 Lenson Bocko, 9-4 Ballyhimikin Jet, 5 Lemon Shane, 8 Courthouse King, 8 Pudgie Budgie, 25 Nametab Anubis.

Heat 22: 2 Droopys Legend, 3 Glory Gold, 4 Newline Darn Hot, 4 Monbeg Bakayoko, 5 Lolos Bear, 8 Kilgraney Bert.

Heat 26: 4-5 Jirano Classic, 9-4 Newhall Missile, 8 Crackling Blitz, 9 Choctaw Fantasy, 10 Razldazl Peaky, 10 Millridge Blitz

DERBY SPECIALS ON OFFER WITH SPONSORS

As you’d expect, Boylesports have offered a number of special markets on the Derby giving plenty of choice to those wishing to get involved.

In recent years the winning trainer and winning prefix markets have proven popular and Graham Holland is favourite for the former at 7-4.

Three prefix are trading at single figures for Derby glory. Liam Dowling’s “Ballymac” prefix is favourite at 4-1 ahead of “Lenson” at 8’s and Jaytee at 9’s.

It’s no surprise to see Killmacdonagh and Ballymac Arminta heading the “Top Bitch” market with both trading at 11-4, ahead of Ballymac Tas at 5-1. Droopyss Hunch and SliabhLiag are the best of the rest at 7-1. Incidentally, a bitch to win the Derby is just 5-1 highlighting the quality of the female entry for the classic. 

With Shelbourne running so sprightly at present there may also be interest in the track record to be broken at evens. One price that stands out as a bit of value is in the “A Greyhound to Win The Derby Without Winning A Heat” market.

Ballymac Tas was just half a length away from doing just that in the English Derby and the likelihood is there will be at least one greyhound in the decider that won’t have won a round. At 33-1 it could be worth a nibble.  

Winning Trainer:

7-4          Graham Holland

4              Liam Dowling

6              Pat Guilfoyle

13-2       Paul Hennessy

13-2       Pat Buckley

10           Peter Cronin

12           Karol Ramsbottom

16           Kieran Lynch

16           Gerry Holian

20           Robert Gleeson

33           Murt Leahy

33           Owen McKenna

40           Francie Murray

40           John Linehan

50           Brendan Maunsell

50           Gerard Barber

50           Pat Norris

66           Ollie Bray

100         Liam O'Rourke

100         Martin Lanney

125         Damian Maginn

150         John Durrigan

 Winning Prefix:

4              Ballymac

8              Lenson

9              Jaytee

16           Droopys

20           Burgess

25           Cabra

25           Deadly

33           Ballyhimikin

33           Lemon

33           Toolmaker

40           Jumeirah

50           Ravenswood

50           Newinn

50           Jirano

50           Boynepark

100         Tiger

100         Highview

150         Dromrich

Winning Seed:

1-2          Rails

6              Middle

11-4       Wide

 Top Bitch:

11-4       Killmacdonagh

11-4       Ballymac Arminta

5              Ballymac Tas

7              Droopys Hunch

7              Sliabh Liag

9              Te Amo

12           Pennys Ponyo

14           Mags Angel

25           Ballymac Trinkle

33           Enable

40           Eager Ember

40           Ravenswood Lotti

40           Bankers Wink

40           Mean Beauty

66           Black Jenny

Top Pat Buckley Trained Runner:

5-2          Burgess Bucks

11-4       Run Happy

4             Braveheart Bobby

11-2       Droopys Davy

10           Jumeirah Sprite

10           Seldom Wrong

12           Knockboy Jet

16           Pennylane Fionn

Top Peter Cronin Trained Runner:

3              Sophies Man

4              Worseforwear

5              Jacks Tornado

6              Rising Brandy

8              El Commendo

9              Da Head Hunter

12           Zeno

12           Tiger Jack

12           Crossfield Will

16           Enable

Top Liam Dowling Trained Runner:

5-2          Ballymac Cooper

5-2          Ballymac Arminta

4              Ballymac Syd

5              Ballymac Tas

6              Ballymac Anton

10            Ballymac Brayden

33            Ballymac Trinkle

Top Paul Hennessy Trained Runner:  

5-4         Jaytee Taylor

5             Jaytee Storm

6             Jaytee Tornado

13-2       Lebudgiesmuggler

7             Panther

7             Jaytee Yankee

14           Pudgie Budgie

Top Graham Holland Trained Runner:

5             Lenson Bocko

5             Wolfe

11-2       Slippy Cian

13-2       Lenson Blinder

13-2       Clonbrien Prince

15-2       Clona Blaze

10           Ballyhimikin Jet

14           Murts Boher

16           Blue East

20           Sweep The Yard

20           Lenson Austin

20           Newinn Lester

25           Totos Park

25           Macaroon Cruz

25           Ballydoyle Valor

33           Newinn Hero

40           Ballyhimikinbolt

Derby Winner To Be Unbeaten In Every Round:

8              Yes

A Greyhound To Win The Derby Without Winning A Heat:

33           Yes

Track Record To Be Broken During The Derby:

1/1         Yes

A Bitch To Win The Derby:

5              Yes

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6 WITHDRAWN FROM DERBY

There are six reported non-runners ahead of the opening round of the Boylesports Derby and, remarkably, all six are from Saturday night’s heats.

Reserves may run in their place, but it can’t be confirmed which reserve will run where before weight in.

The six reported non-runners are:

HEAT 15: WISHFUL GOLD

HEAT 20: SHADY MAN

HEAT 21: IVESHEAD GARY

HEAT 23: SPORTS GROUND

HEAT 24: CRACKED LADY

HEAT 25: MILESTONE GEM

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THE START OF A WONDERFUL DERBY JOURNEY

156 names - 114 inside seeds, 15 middle seeds and 27 wide seeds - went into the draw drum at Shelbourne Park on Monday morning and one by one Leon Blanche of the sponsors drew out each and every potential winner of the Boylesports Derby.

As you’d expect the draw has thrown up one or two mediocre contests, but also a number of mouthwatering clashes. In all sixty greyhounds will be eliminated between Friday and Saturday’s opening round sessions leaving the nice round figure of 96 for the second round.

It all comes to a conclusion on September 21st, but before then there will be more plot twists than a Stephen King novel. Five of last year’s six finalists will again take their chance and once suspects that at least one of that handful will make another final.

Defending champ Ballyanne Sim has been given the all clear to begin the defence of his title and he lines out in Heat 8 on Friday. He will be joined by one of the sponsor’s joint favourites, Jaytee Taylor. Of course, Taylor was one of the co-favourites in last year’s decider but was out of luck before finishing last. He also made the semi finals of English Derby this year and his handler Paul Hennessy reports him in good shape. He will wear the black jacket of four on Friday and will most likely start a hot favourite to see off Ballyanne Sim and others. 

Graham Holland will be disappointed to have drawn four dogs in Heat 13, but he can be hopeful of at least three making it through from Clonbrien Prince, Slippy Cian, Totos Park and Ballyhimikin Bolt. Droopys Pension is the one potential fly in the ointment, but Clonbrien Prince and Slippy Cian will head the market.

2018 runner-up Magical Bale would prefer a middle draw in Heat 20, but should he come away on terms from the inside box he can account for his kennel companion Laughil Josh and the improving Deadly Expert, who represents the in-form outfit of Karol Ramsbottom.

Killmacdonagh has done no wrong this year and Kieran Lynch’s brilliant bitch will kick her Derby campaign off in Heat 15 on Saturday. Of her rivals Ballymac Syd and Newinn Lester stand out as the main dangers, but one suspects Killmacdonagh will be very difficult to beat in the red jacket.

Sole UK runner Trickys Dumbo faces a tough test in Heat 5. He must take on Ballymac Cooper, Blastoff Jet and Great Eastern. With that in mind, progression is perhaps the most Trickys Dumbo can hope for with Ballymac Cooper likely to start a hot favourite.

The latter’s kennel companion and Champion Stakes winner Ballymac Arminta will be one of the shortest priced favourites of the round from a favourable draw in three in Heat 10. The greatest threat to Arminta may come in the form of another female with the in-form Droopys Hunch well housed in six.

There will be thirteen heats on both Friday and Saturday. Three will qualify from each heat with the 18 fastest fourth place finishers progressing also.

DRAW FOR THE 2019 BOYLESPORTS IRISH DERBY

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16TH (Three to qualify + 18 fastest fourths)

Heat 1

1 ALLAGHAUN RIVER

2 MACAROON CRUZ

3 NEWINN HERO

4 TULLYMURRY ICON

5 CLONA BLAZE (W)

6 JAYTEE TORNADO (W)

Heat 2

1 SOPHIES MAN

2 ELITE BLACK

3 BLACK JENNY

4 CATUNDA LOGAN

5 RIPLEY LAD (W)

6 SIGN ON AKI (W)

Heat 3

1 MANASLU CAMOLIN

2 SELDOM WRONG

3 BALLYBEG MOSS

4 HARRIESTOWN STAR

5 BANKERS WINK (M)

6 HIGHVIEW MICRO (W)

Heat 4

1 JUMEIRAH BUDDY

2 REDZER ARDFERT

3 BOYENPARK WOODS

4 MURTS BOHER

5 LENSON AUSTIN (M)

6 DROOPYS DAVY (W)

Heat 5

1 MEAN BEAUTY

2 GREAT EASTERN

3 CUIL LEGEND

4 TRICKYS DUMBO

5 BALLYMAC COOPER (M)

6 BLASTOFF JET (W)

Heat 6

1 DEADLY DYNAMITE

2 KNIGHT ROCKER

3 SWEEP THE YARD

4 MUSIC TOOUR EARS

5 CUSHIE JET

6 ENABLE (M)

Heat 7

1 PENNYS PONYO

2 SLIABH LIAG

3 BALLYMAC BRAYDEN

4 JIRANO MAX

5 BAKERY LANE

6 VIC VEGA (W)

Heat 8

1 PENNYLANE FIONN

2 BALLYANNE SIM

3 RAVENSWOOD LOTTI

4 JAYTEE TAYLOR (W)

5 SWANLEY FLIGHT (W)

6 DOUBLE BUSY (W)

Heat 9

1 COMBO CORAFIN

2 TOOLMAKER ME DAD

3 EAGER EMBER

4 BURGESS BUCKS

5 BALLYDOYLE VALOR

6 ARDFERT ROOSTER (W)

Heat 10

1 RAVENSWOOD HUGO

2 HOUR GLASS KODI

3 BALLYMAC ARMINTA

4 OLD FORT PIO

5 JACKS TORNADO

6 DROOPYS HUNCH (M)

Heat 11

1 RUN HAPPY

2 OUR SURPRISE

3 JAYTEE STORM

4 JUMEIRAH SPRITE

5 PANTHER

6 EL COMMENDO (W)

Heat 12

1 PRESS PAWS

2 BRAVEHEART BOBBY

3 DOONA BUCK

4 SWIFT SHAMROCK

5 WORSEFORWEAR (M)

6 ABINGTON HERO (W)

Heat 13

1 CLONBRIEN PRINCE

2 BALLYHIMIKINBOLT

3 DROOPYS PENSION

4 BOLEYS FELLA

5 TOTOS PARK (M)

6 SLIPPY CIAN (W)

***************

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17TH 

Heat 14

1 RISING BRANDY

2 WOLFE

3 MAGS ANGEL

4 DE HEAD HUNTER

5 PROVEN LOYALTY

6 RIBCHESTER (W)

Heat 15

1 KILLMACDONAGH

2 WISHFUL GOLD

3 BALLYMAC SYD

4 TE AMO

5 HIGHVIEW RIZON

6 NEWINN LESTER (W)

Heat 16

1 LEBUDGIESMUGGLER

2 BALLYMAC ANTON

3 COLEMANS FLYER

4 TOOLMAKER DADY

5 TIGER JACK

6 FAINNE CHIARRAI (W)

Heat 17

1 DROOPYS NEYMAR

2 MANUKA MAN

3 NINJA NAGATO

4 JAYS APACHE

5 VAGUELY NOBLE (M)

6 BOYLESPORTS KING (W)

Heat 18

1 BALLYMAC TRINKLE

2 CALETTA ROBYN

3 MUCKY BRAE

4 BALLYMAC TAS

5 BOYLEPARK KING

6 DROMRICH ANTARES (W)

Heat 19

1 COURTHOUSE KING

2 NAMETAB ANUMBIS

3 LEMON SHANE

4 PUDGIE BUDGIE (M)

5 BALLYHIMIKIN JET (M)

6 LENSON BOCKO (W)

Heat 20

1 MAGICAL BALE

2 DEADLY EXPERT

3 LAUGHIL JOSH

4 CROSSFIELD WILL

5 SHADY MAN

6 CASH IS KING (W)

Heat 21

1 LENSON BLINDER

2 BLUE EAST

3 CABRA FIRMINO

4 GRANEGVIEW TEN

5 IVESHEAD GARY

6 JAYTEE YANKEE

Heat 22

1 KILGRANEY BERT

2 NEWLINE DARN HOT

3 MONBEG BAKAYOKO

4 GLORY GOLD

5 LOLOS BEAR

6 DROOPYS LEGEND (W)

Heat 23

1 BEATTHEBORO

2 GREAT BLUE SHARK

3 BURGESS PADDY

4 SCOOBY DO IT (M)

5 SPORTS GROUND (W)

6 COURT OF JUSTICE (W)

Heat 24

1 HOWTH HEAD

2 WINETAVERN DON

3 MONROE MIKE

4 CLONCUNNY BOSS

5 CABRA SALAH

6 CRACKED LADY (W)

Heat 25

1 MILESTONE GEM

2 GHOST DANCER

3 FAST FIT ACT

4 TIGER REEF (W)

5 LEMON OZZY (W)

6 DROMRICH ANTARES (W)

Heat 26

1 CHOCTAW FANTASY

2 CRACKING BLITZ

3 JIRANO CLASSIC

4 RAZLDAZL PEAKY

5 NEWHALL MISSILE

6 MILLRIDGE BLITZ

Making the Draw for the 2019 BoyleSports Derby (L to R) Derek Frehill Racing Manager Shelbourne Park, Leon Blanche, Head of Communications BoyleSports (sponsors) and  James Murray Racing Co-Ordinator Shelbourne Park.   Pic: Imelda Grauer

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DERBY DRAW TO BE LIVE STREAMED

We’re less than a week from the start of the Boylesports Derby, but before the racing action starts the big talking point will be the opening round draw which will take place on Monday morning.

The draw is due to commence at 10.30am and if you can’t wait for the draw to go up on-line why not view it live.

There will be a live stream on the Shelbourne Park Facebook page or follow the link that will be embedded on Talking Dogs. 

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BALE FASTEST IN DERBY TRIALS

2018 Boylesports Derby runner-up Magical Bale moved with real fluency in a solo trial at Shelbourne on Friday evening ahead of his Derby challenge.

Pat Guilfoyle suggested his brilliant tracker would need the spin, but it was scarcely evident as he posted a wonderful 15.93 to the third turn sectional after a 2.01 opening split. Despite tying up a little, Magical Bale stopped the clock in 28.19.

Liam Dowling trialled two if his team with Ballymac Syd beating Ballymac Cooper by a short head in 28.22. Syd flashed from traps and made every inch. In contrast Cooper missed the kick, lost a stride on the turn before finishing well to get so close.

The Michael O’Donovan trained Mucky Brae was fastest of the remaining 525yd trials as he stopped the clock in 28.52. Most notable of the sprint trials was that of Ballyanne Sim. The defending Derby champ went around in 18.70. It’s worth noting that he was in action in the earlier trial session when the weather was still pretty miserable. 

FULL LIST OF TRIALS:

5.30 session:

350yds

Ballyanne Sim – 18.70

Uncle Wexford – 19.10

Trewmount Tom – 18.75

525yds

Great Blue Shark - 28.88

Crackling Blitz – 28.78

7.00pm session:

550yds

Great Eastern beat Manaslu Camolin by 7 lengths in 29.65.

525yds

Mucky Brae – 28.52

Magical Bale – 28.19

Ballymac Syd beat Ballymac Cooper by a short head in 28.22  

*************

TAYLOR AND COOPER HEAD DERBY MARKET

With little over a week to the start of the Boylesports Derby, Jaytee Taylor and Ballymac Cooper head the sponsors betting for the blue riband with both available at 14-1.

Last year’s runner up Magical Bale and the hugely exciting Melodys Bocko are available at 16-1. 

There are a whole host of greyhounds on the 20-1 mark including Ireland’s two fastest bitches, Killmacdonagh and Ballymac Arminta. Graham Holland has a quartet of runners on the same mark, Lenson Blinder, Slippy Cian, Wolfe and Clonbrien Prince. Skywalker Logan and Grangeview Ten are also on the 20-1 mark.

Kilbride Warrior, Burgess Bucks, Cabra Firmino, Ballymac Syd, Run Happy, Braveheart Bobby and Clona Blaze are 25-1 in the market. There are some talented types available at 33-1 including English Derby champ Priceless Blake, Ballyhimikin Jet, Mucky Brae, Boylesports King, Droopys Verve, Manuka Man, Ballymac Tas and Ballymac Anton. For the record, defending champion Ballyanne Sim is one of many available at 40-1.

Of course the market will change considerably in the coming days when the final entry is known. The draw is due to take place on Monday morning.  

*************

BALE READY FOR DERBY

Pat Guilfoyle confirmed yesterday that last year’s Boylesports Derby runner up and beaten English Derby favourite Magical Bale should be spot on ahead of his Derby campaign.

He also confirmed that he plans to run a team of six in the blue riband.  

Said Guilfoyle on Magical Bale, “We gave him a sprint trial the other night and he would have badly needed the run. He always takes a run or two to get going again. He’s back with us a month and settled in straight away, but he’s that type of dog, a real happy go lucky sort.

“We’re going to give him a 525yd trial on Friday [today] and that should set him up lovely for the Derby. We’re very happy with him.”

Guilfoyle went on to confirm his Derby team: “I’ve entered six and they’re all similar types, early paced railers. On top of Magical Bale, we’ll have Cabra Firmino, Cabra Salah, Music Toour Ears, Laughil Josh and Granegview Ten.

“Most of them are young so it will be interesting to see how they go. To be honest most of them would want to be in front, but Shelbourne is running so fast at the moment that 525yd dogs might just get home over 550yds.”   

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SIM STILL A DERBY POSSIBLE

Eamon Cleary reported after the Dundalk International that his 2018 Boylesports Derby champ Ballyanne Sim would likely miss this year’s competition after picking up a small injury.

Thankfully, it seems the problem was even smaller than first thought and the brilliant black returned to action at the weekend, trialing at Shelbourne Park over 350yds.

The son of Confident Rankin clocked 18.72 for the sprint trip and Mark Robinson was happy with the spin. Said Robinson: “He made a quicker recovery than we thought and after a couple of hand gallops we decided to give him a sprint trial. He came out of it fine and we’re planning to give him a 525 trial on Friday.

“At this stage he’ll be entered for the Derby with a view to everything going well on Friday. If he’s right, he’s right. The dog seems well in himself at the moment and the Derby only comes around once a year. We’ll also give Uncle Wexford a trial on Friday. He’s also coming back after a problem but seems okay now” 

Incidentally, Ballyanne Sim is currently a 40-1 chance with the sponsors to defend his crown.