We’re Down To 48 In The BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby
And just like that, we are now down to the last 48 greyhounds in the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby, and what a 48 it is.
The race for the €140,000 prize has developed into one of the most open derbies in recent years and plenty of them left have a chance of winning this prestigious prize. The first two weeks of the derby are always hectic as we started off with 156 entries and 26 heats. It’s now into the third round with eight heats this Saturday and I can’t wait.
It was great to see the stadium so busy on Friday and Saturday night and not just with regulars, but with stag and hen parties, tourists and families celebrating birthday parties etc. If you have no plans this Saturday then head on down to Shelbourne Park, book in for a meal upstairs or grab a burger in the café downstairs, enjoy top class racing, have a flutter on your favourite dog, take some selfies and come over and meet some of the stars of the derby at the kennelling area. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Number 1 Moment – All The Single Ladies, But Not For Long
The only way to kick off my top five moments from the second round is to mention the stunning bitch KILLMACDONAGH. Kieran Lynch, whatever you are giving this brilliant tracker for breakfast I want to have it too because it’s obviously working. What a performance again from this little flyer to record her 18th victory and beat the boys yet again. Magical Bale was dealt with a tricky draw as we all know, and he overcame that excellently as he made a dive for the fence and took an early lead.
Magical is my favourite dog in this derby so I was buzzin to see him lead but down the back straight himself and Lenson Bocko were battling it out and that is when Killmacdonagh took advantage, the clever thing (it’s a woman thing!). She cruised into the lead and went on to win by four lengths, making light work of Magical and Lenson in 29.45, as the 7/4 favourite.
Truth be told, Magical looked like he wasn’t going to qualify at one point, but he didn’t disappoint and now races from trap one in the third round which is the best news.
Killmacdonagh might be single now but when she retires to the breeding paddocks, she will have a queue of hot stud dogs waiting to create future stars. This Oaks and Dundalk International winner is our new favourite at 7/1 from 10/1. A bitch to win the derby is now 9/2 and with four bitches left, Killmacdonagh to become the top bitch is just 4/6.
Number 2 Moment – Slippy Cian Is Back, Not That He Ever Went Away
What a greyhound Slippy Cian is. He won on Friday night coming from behind to catch the 2018 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby winner Ballyanne Sim. Slippy knew exactly where the line was to win by a length in 29.48 at short odds of 4/6 but I was thrilled to see him get his 2019 derby campaign on track as he was of course beaten in the final last year by the previously mentioned Sim.
Slippy has a serious CV, nineteen wins, a derby finalist, Con & Annie Kirby Memorial finalist and champion of the race of Champions at Tralee in June. To be honest Slippy made the derby final last year having very little experience of racing against top class dogs at HQ. He finished third in the Con & Annie at Limerick, taking on the English Greyhound Derby in May, having a small break, finishing fourth in the Champion 550 behind his full brother Lenson Blinder and then BOOM. Won the derby trial stake and the first two rounds of the derby. He has a huge engine and can never be dismissed in any race. Slippy gets my star performer award for the week.
Number 3 Moment
Droopys Pension is fast becoming a dog I really like as he secured another victory on Friday in the opening heat of the second round beating Ballymac Arminta, the 4/7 favourite. This John A. Linehan trained son of Quietly – Droopys Maid really impressed racegoers as he clocked 29.44 to win by two lengths to Cash Is King, the 2018 Produce Stakes champion. Pension improved on his first-round effort of 29.66 to land a sixth career victory. He is an inside runner but used to be a wide seed until June when he was changed to an inside. On his second Shelbourne Park start back in April he won from trap six in a flashy 28.35 so I wouldn’t be too concerned over his trap draw this Saturday as he wears the stripes in heat three to try and overcome Deadly Dynamite in trap one and early starter Great Eastern in trap four. We have trimmed Droopys Pension into 20/1 from 25/1.
In the winning prefix market, we have the Droopys at 10/1 with Ballymac the 6/1 favourite.
Number 4 Moment – A Dark Horse Toolmaker Me Dad
Robert Gleeson he is a trainer that is going places and not many people will know this, but he was my first ever boyfriend when I was around 14 years of age. Ah to be that young again. I would hate to be that age again actually, but I always knew Rob had talent and was going to be a great trainer.
He proved that when winning the derby in the first year we sponsored it in 2014 with Slippery Robert. Now, five years on, Rob has Toolmaker Me Dad as a key player to land him another derby title.
You will remember last week I wrote that Toolmaker Me Dad won in the worst time of the first-round in a messy race recording 30.37.
He then came out on Friday and won in 29.46 beating the fastest dog in this derby, WOLFE.
There was no howling from the crowd for Graham Holland’s star as he couldn’t pass Toolmaker, but the bookies were thrilled to get a 1/3 shot beaten. Wolfe is now 8/1, pushed from 7/1 favourite. Toolmaker Me Dad was knocked out at the semi-final stage of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial, a tremendous race for young greyhounds that has cemented itself into the greyhound calendar with huge success. He is lightly raced, progressive and 25/1 to win this year’s derby.
Number 5 Moment
Droopys Hunch is another female that is making waves at HQ as she completed another derby heat win on Saturday in 29.43. Hunch turns two years of age next month but already has eight wins from twenty starts. She recorded a 17.09 sectional to the third bend, faster than her first-round effort of 17.34. She also recorded a 3.36 split which is up there with the best in this competition. Trained by Murt ‘Sexy’ Leahy, this bitch is going places and with a wide seeding she is sure to get through to the quarter finals this weekend from trap five. All she has to do is keep showing that lovely early pace she has.
There are my top 5 moments which were hard to dwindle down as there were so many stunning, classy and magical moments last weekend. We are out this Saturday to do it all over again so see you all at HQ this weekend.
*Prices correct at time of publication