Big Names Bow Out In Round 3
There was an excellent atmosphere in Shelbourne on Saturday night as for the first time so far in this year’s Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby, we got to see all the greyhounds compete on the one night.
It was a good night for punters as many of the fancied runners went onto oblige to give the punters redemption after a disappointing second round.
It was Laughil Blake and Paradise Makerik who clocked the joint fastest run’s of the night, when they both saw off their competition in comfortable fashion, while posting a rapid 29:43.
The main two disappointments from the night where the elimination of the pre-competition Ante-Post favourite Droopys Nidge and the British raider Holdem Spy.
Paradise Maverik (4/1) remains unbeaten in this year’s Derby and he has also improved with every run so far in the competition, which I’m sure will give connections great confidence.
Maverik who is more renowned for his staying attributes has shown some excellent early pace in his latest runs and if he continues to break smartly, he is sure to be a big player in these latter stages.
He appeared to have a tricky draw out in trap 3 but, having pinged the lids and led to the opening bend there was always going to be only one winner as Maverik went on to defeat Droopys Ward and Homeless Boy. Maverik is still available at 16/1 to win this year’s Derby.
It was in this heat we said farewell to Droopys Nidge who in all honesty was not anywhere near his best during this year’s Derby but, I’m sure trainer Robert Gleeson will get this excellent tracker back to his best in the future and I’m sure we will be talking a lot more about him over the coming months/years.
The following heat saw Laughil Blake (6/4) stamp down a further marker in this year’s Derby as he went on to record 29:43 also and defeat Vulturi by eight lengths and Emers Superstar a further half a length back in third.
Blake was the quickest opening round winner and yet again on the clock he is up there posting the fastest time. He trapped much quicker this time than he had in his previous two rounds and with the early pace he possesses, if he continues to trap like this then I feel he could go all the way.
Blake currently holds a 50% strike rate having had 14 races in which he won 7 and this son of Brett Lee appears to be getting stronger, maturing and hitting form at just the right time. Blake is now joint-favourite at 5/1 to win the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
Kisses For Cloda (4/1) faced a horrible draw in the third round being in trap 5 with Tyrur Sugar Ray drawn outside him, it appeared the Ollie Bray trained runner would struggle however, the dog who continues to defy the odds, flew from traps and made all to post his fastest time so far, 29:51.
It has been well publicised the injury history of this dog and I know most dogs who have faced the injuries that he has had have never come back but, Cloda is not most dogs.
Yet again he flew from traps and showed that burst of early speed which saw him being touted as a English Derby winner in the making in his early career.
He has led around every single bend so far in this year’s Derby and it would appear that he is getting stronger with each run so, if you combine that early with more stamina, the 20/1 outright price may still be seen as good value.
The unbelievable veteran that is Tyrur Sugar Ray did what he does best and he found a way to get through in second with the bitch Kilinan Baby also securing her passage through to the Quarter Finals.
The penultimate heat of the night saw yet another veteran rise to the occasion, this time it was the ever-green Ballymac Vic as he went on to beat Borneo and Green Prince in 29:61. Vic went to traps the 5/4 jolly and after a matter of strides the race was over.
This was the second time in a row Vic got an inside draw and yet again the result was the same. Throughout his career he has raised much debate about where he is best seeded and if memory serves me right he was a middle seed when he ran in the English Derby but, after his last two performances it would appear that the red jacket is where he may be best suited.
This was Vic’s 50th open class race in Ireland and his 28th win in that time, there is nothing to suggest he can’t add a few more wins to his belt before his retirement and who knows at 10/1 he could still finish his illustrious career with the big one!!
Unfortunately there was one disappointment in this heat as one of the most talked about runners of this year’s Derby Holdem Spy bowed out. For me it was a shock as I thought he had all the attributes to make the final and go close. Despite splitting many people’s opinion, I for one feel as though he will be missed from the latter rounds.
The final heat of the night saw the Outright favourite going into the third round and the shortest priced runner of the night (1/2) Mind The Net justify his market dominance in an impressive victory by two and a half lengths over Shopping Basket in 29:54 and Ivy Hill Prince the same distance back in third.
This completed a double on the night for Pat Buckley and Mind the Net is still at the top of the outright market with Laughil Blake at 5/1. Having suffered a surprise defeat in the previous round he went on to gain redemption in the exact fashion his connection and followers would of hoped for.
It has been clear to see that he is showing a lot more early pace than he had in some of his previous starts and if he continues to break smartly, it will be hard too keep him out of the frame.
After suffering defeat in this year’s English Derby final it would appear that Mind the Net is firmly on course to make the Irish Derby final and make a mends for that disappointment.
Just before I wrap up I would like to say a special thanks to everyone who donated towards the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ which went ahead on Saturday night after the Derby heats, between the donations throughout the night and the donation from John Boyle to the volunteer’s, we raised over €1,500 for Motor Neuron which was a brilliant result.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the volunteer’s Pat Curtin, Pat Buckley, Owen McKenna, Paul Hennessy, Shane Dowling, Graham Holland, Declan Carey, Ian Fortune and Phil Meaney who all made it possible. If you fancy a laugh it is well worth a look it is on the Boylesports Irish Gryhound Derby facebook page and it can be seen on my twitter page which is @BoylesportsKhen.
All the revised outrights, specials and heat prices will be available on www.boylesports.com. There are now just 24 greyhounds left as we head to the Quarter’s and the four races all promise to be crackers so I would advise everyone, if it’s possible to get to Shelbourne Park for Quarter finals of the Greatest Greyhound Competition in the World!!