Hawaii The Top Dog On Derby Final Night
What a result we had in the 2016 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.
Not only was the winner a good result for the ante-post book but he was also bred, trained and owned in the home of greyhounds, County Tipperary! It was a tremendous night for all involved and I’m sure both the O’Dwyer and the Holland families are living the dream at the moment.
The night started off on a good note for bookmakers on Saturday after one of the best backed dogs on the day Coconut Corker had no luck in the opener which was won by Slippery Louise. One of the major shocks of the night came in the second race as Aulton Jet overturned the warm favourite Ballymac Big Mike.
Burgess Dubh was a bad result for us in the puppy race after steady support on the morning of the race but things got back to normal when Imperial Express just held off Skywalker Manner in the open 525. Airmount Tess went off well supported jolly in race five which was an open 750, this was one of the performances of the night in my opinion. Ballymac Belle ran out a convincing winner of the open bitches race on the card after she exploded out of the boxes to lead all in a slick 28.46.
Urban Gossip was the gamble of the race here but left herself with too much to do after a slow start. The Consolation Derby proved a big winner for the bookies!
Roxholme Barkley was the only dog the punters wanted in the ring. He opened up at 7/4 and was plunged into Evens just before the off.
As the traps opened the cheering started as Barkley flew to the corner and had a healthy enough advantage off the second bend. The writing was on the wall however going into the third bend as the pack began to close rapidly. The Peter Cronin trained Ela Elecko hit the front off the last and kept on to win from the fast finishing Cahir Castle.
The final itself nearly worked out how we expected. The only thing we didn’t expect was Sonic to miss the kick. Rural was first to show on the outside and enjoyed an absolute solo, while the ladies in one and two were having their own private battle on the inside. Holycross Leah in one just shot the corner from Sidarian in two, which caused trouble for the middle runners.
Off the second bend it looked to be a two dog race. Holycross, in fairness to her, wasn’t going to give in too easy and closed a little into the third bend.
Heading around the final two bends I have no doubt every Rural Hawaii supporter in the stand held their breath for a moment to see if he was going to swing wide off the last.
And that he did as Holycross took the shortest route around the rails.
As always however, Rural found an extra gear once straightening up and raced to the judge a length in front of the game runner-up Holycross Leah and the jolly Sonic back in third. The place came alive as the winner was paraded down the track by Nicky Holland, the wife of the winning trainer.
Half of Clonmel made their way to the centre of the track to show their support for the mother and son team of Micheal and Helen O’Dwyer. Helen is a Clonmel woman and her son Michael owns a pub, Mulligans On The Blue, in Hawaii!
It proved to be a fairy-tale for both families as he was bred and owned by the O’Dwyer family and reared and trained by the Hollands. An unbelievable performance by both families which makes it all the more special. This is not the first time that Helen has received a big trophy from BoyleSports either! Hawaii won the 2015 BoyleSports Race Of Champions in Tralee and also won the Derby Trial Stake in Cork back in July. The dog clearly has a liking for John Boyle’s money!
The punters got a good run after the final with the likes of Tradition, Lenson Rocky and Water Fern all duly obliging. The last race however ended a great night for John Boyle and his family.
His own dog BoyleSports Duke went off a massive 20/1 and led all to just hold off the fast finishing Ballyhooly Henry in the Open 600.
What a way to cap off the night for the sponsors!
Overall we were thrilled with the way the Derby went. It did look a bit uneasy after we lost a few big names through injury at the start of the competition but things worked out well in the end. We hope all the runners that we lost through injury all recover and we will see them in action in the near future.
From a betting point of view the bookmakers came out well on top (a huge difference from last year). All that is left to say is a big thank you to all the customers who supported us throughout the event, all the dog owners and trainers who provided the runners and to all at Shelbourne Park who couldn’t do enough to help us along the way.
The countdown is now on to the coursing season which kicks off in Kilflynn on Friday the 30th of September. That’s when the real fun starts! #BetOnBoyle