Plenty Of Life In the Old Dogs
Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby
It was Quarter final night on Saturday night and without a doubt it was the old boys who were the focus of attention after they proved that they are still big players in the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
The opening quarter saw Ballymac Vic get across from a seemingly extremely tough trap draw and once in front he went on to an easy victory in 29:76.
The final heat saw the run of the night as the old warrior Tyrur Sugar Ray, who had final got his beloved red jacket, bomb out of the traps to make all in the fastest time of the night, 29:44. The two quarters in the middle saw the youth of Vulturi and the outright favourite Laughil Blake, lay down their own respective markers, Vulturi went on to win in 29:92 and Blake went on to score in 29:47.
The opening quarter saw Kisses for Cloda come in for the most support as the Ollie Bray trained runner went off the 2/1 jolly however, he was up against it from an early stage after a slow start and after bumping on the run to the opening bend, he failed to qualify.
Ballymac Vic was extremely easy to back on the night as he went off at 5/2 having been much shorter during the week in the betting shops and online. Vic did get a flying start and following Cloda’s slow start he was able to get across from trap four to make the bend.
Borneo who was out in trap six also started quickly and he was able to turn closest to Vic but, Vic was not for passing and he went on to beat Borneo by just under a length.
Pat Curtin is also represented in the final twelve after Ivy Hill Prince made the most of an ideal draw on the inside to qualify in third a further two and a half lengths back in third.
In heat two we had the gamble of the entire quarter finals as Vulturi headed to the traps the 6/4 favourite after being much bigger during the week. Liam Dowling’s runner is one of the bigger Ante-Post losers with the sponsors Boylesports and after an emphatic win he is sure to gain in confidence.
Pat Buckley’s Paradise Maverik was bidding to keep his unbeaten record intact but, faced a far from ideal draw after being drawn out in trap six but, he did go off the second favourite at 2/1. He did try to get across at the bend but, he did not come off the best of heavy trouble at the opening bend and he failed to get back in contention to qualify.
The talking point of the race was the opening bend where, the John Turner owned Jaytee Osprey pinged out of trap three and she was leading to the bend until she got dragged down from behind which caused loads of trouble for most of the runners, apart from Vulturi.
Into the back Vulturi found himself in front which essentially was race over and he went on to complete a double in the quarters for Liam Dowling by over six lengths. Also qualifying was Gerry Holian’s Emers Superstar in second and in third was Homeless Boy a further six lengths back.
The third quarter final saw the ‘Clash of the Titans’ as Laughil Blake and Mind the Net go head-to-head. From a betting perspective during the week there was little to choose between the two as they were priced up joint favourites but, on course the support came for Blake as he went off the 6/4 favourite and he justified the support as he went on to victory.
Mind the Net on the other hand went off at 7/4 after proving easy to back, he did break reasonably well but he never showed any of the pace he had shown in previous weeks and the outright favourite bowed out with little fight which would suggest something may not be right with him.
Blake was quickly into stride and he made the bend in front, from here it appeared an easy win was on the cards for the runner who has been touted as many peoples selection for outright honours but, in fairness, Deanridge Pennys stuck to the task in hand well and eventually just beaten neck.
Pennys has improved significantly with his last three runs and he may still be a big player in the remaining rounds. British challenger Droopys Ward also progressed after a slow start and trouble at the opening bend, Paul Young’s ultra-consistent performer did what he does best by finding a way to get his name in the hat for the next round and he progressed to the final twelve a further length back in third.
The run of the night came in the last quarter as Tyrur Sugar Ray proved he is still a major force as he went on to win by some seven lengths.
In the ring it was Skywalker Farloe who went off the supported 5/4 favourite but, again Farloe managed to qualify without producing the sort of form that saw him win this year’s Easter Cup. Sugar Ray went off the 9/4 second favourite but, you wouldn’t of guessed as the boxes opened and the roar went up from the crowd which suggested he too had plenty of supporters.
After getting away to such a flying start it was always going to be a matter of how far for the strong running Sugar Ray and he went on to produce the fastest time of the night. It was the first time the veteran had got his beloved trap one and if he can continue getting inside trap draws, the veteran could still prove very difficult to beat.
Farloe did encounter a slight bump at the opening bend but, down the back many were waiting for him to take off but, it wasn’t forthcoming, however, it is testament to how good the dog is that he is not at his best yet, he is still in the final twelve of the Derby.
Paul Hennessy’s Barefoot Agent also progressed as he managed to come from off the pace to stay on into third place a further length and a half back but, if he is to progress further he must start a little quicker in future.