BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Final 2016 Preview
BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby
With the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby final just days away, we take a look at the runners ahead of the action at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night!
1. Holycross Leah (6/1)
This lady would be the result of all results in the ante-post book! We are all on team Jerry Melia. She has finished second in every round so far but has been heavily supported on each occasion. She’s getting ready for her second classic of the year (already contested the Sporting Press Irish Oaks final back in June finishing 4th).
She has her draw here in the final. I really fancied her last weekend and thought it was race over when she flashed out. The extra twenty five yards to the bend from the 550 boxes is catching her a small bit. She’s a big price runner but we can afford to lay her. No doubt she will have plenty of support on the night. Her trainer Jerry Melia is dynamite when it comes to getting his charges out of the boxes on the big occasion.
2. Sidarian Pearl (7/2)
This would be another pleasing result for the firm! She has won three of her five heats in the Derby thus far. Overcame a horrid draw to make the final from five but is perfectly housed in the decider. Has broken the 3.35 sectional time in three of her last six races so is the possible leader in my book. Already a winner of the Puppy Oaks back in April (beating Holycross Leah in the final).
She also went to traps red hot 1/2 favourite for the Oaks. Her chances were lost at trap rise and she eventually finished 3rd.
If she does happen to get out on the bunny she is well capable of doing a sub 29.60 which will win this Derby.
The first of Graham Holland’s three finalists.
3. Ballymac Matt (9/1)
The reigning champion Ballymac Matt will race from trap three for the second year in a row. What a fairytale this result would be for the Dowling family and of course Kelly and the lads. Kelly Macari is enjoying a good run over in the UK at the moment. She recently won the Steel City Cup over at Sheffield with the ex-Irish runner Pinpoint Den (late Swords Fern).
I’m not sure about the draw for Matt. The two early paced runners inside him won’t help him. Was biggest price 25/1 with us after his win last year win but remains a slight winner. Some difference from last year! Matt doesn’t seem to be the force of old over the first 50 yards which has cost him greatly in the competition so far. Staying on as good as ever but might just be leaving himself with too much to do when it comes to the business end of the race.
4. Sonic (11/8)
The worst result for us! Introduced at 50/1 into the market back in July after a 28.38 first look around HQ. Was beat in round one of the Derby when up against kennel mate Clares Rocket and Trade Freddie. Hasn’t looked back since however.
Has the fastest time in the Derby so far (29.36 in round 3) and looks to be getting smarter at the boxes. Made his debut in Youghal back in April as an 80lbs raw pup but now is a lean mean racing machine tipping the scales at 76lbs. The draw worked out well for Sonic, three will be turning left and five is a slow starter. He will need a smash break to keep in tabs with the trap 2 and 6 on the run to the bend. A deserving favourite and I have no doubt he will go off shorter on the night.
5. Escapism (10/1)
GMHD unraced stake winner in Tralee back in March. Another good result for us who looks to be the strongest runner in the field. An easy winner in round one when turning second to Ela Alecko but really impressed in the third round when coming from well off the pace to beat Ballymac Matt.
Has to perk up a bit at the traps if he hopes to get involved, can’t let the early pacers get too far clear. Could probably pick up anything in the field that leads bar Sonic. But, if he say turns within two lengths he would definitely push him all the way. Connections are very happy with the draw, the last thing they wanted was to be on the outside of Rural Hawaii. Might represent the each-way value in the line-up.
6. Rural Hawaii (7/2)
The most consistent dog in training over the last two seasons? You would struggle to pick one ahead of him.
Already has over €52,000 in the bag so far in his career, of which €15,000 came when he won the 2015 BoyleSports Race Of Champions in Tralee.
Owned by the mother and son team of Helen and Michael O’Dwyer. Should again get an absolute solo on the outside and try string them out down the far side. Wouldn’t be the strongest stayer in the race and gives away vital ground off the last bend. The third of the Graham Holland runners in the line-up. A juicy five figure winner for us.
We have a wagon load of specials available on the final itself including match bets, seeds, a bitch to win, to finish last and betting without market. The Derby looked a bit bleak three weeks ago when we lost the likes of Clares Rocket, Jaytee Jet and Droopys Roddick but the final has really blown the whole thing up again.
Yes Sonic is the stand out favourite but you would take him on. I think both Rural and Sidarian will be in front of him going to the corner and that could make a race of it. I’m certain that the winner will be trained in Tipperary! As the crow flies Owen McKenna and Graham Holland are only 4 or 5 miles from each other so the trophy will be travelling down the M8 on Saturday night.
If I was to put my head on the chopping block I’d have to side with Sidarian Pearl. I think she will lead on the inside, rail like a cat and we will be holding our breath up the home straight.
All that is left to say is best of luck to everyone involved in the final, owners, trainers and kennel hands. We hope all goes well this week and we look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday evening. May the best dog or bitch win!
*Prices correct at time of publication