John Boyle’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Contenders
In this post we preview the chances of John Boyle’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby contenders ahead of the tournament’s start this Friday.
John Boyle knows what success feels like. The Armagh man has been involved in the betting industry for decades. He got his first break in the sector when he purchased a small betting shop in Markethill, County Armagh, in 1982. His father loaned him £6,000 to help buy the premises and he has since built on that to launch more than 375 shops across Ireland and the UK.
The company has gone from strength to strength with over 2,500 employees and an impressive brand that sponsors the likes of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and the World Grand Prix of Darts.
As much success that John has enjoyed and is still enjoying, one important title is missing from his CV and that is to own the winner of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby. He came close in 2019 with BoyleSports King… agonisingly close. This big 83lbs black greyhound was trained by Dolores Ruth, a talented and high-profile trainer based in County Kildare.
Close Call In 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Final
BoyleSports King reached the final of the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby and managed that feat without winning a heat in the previous five rounds! He was known for his powerful pace and stamina – in most of his races he had to dig deep and come from behind. BoyleSports King was 9/1 heading to traps for the big final and it was an exciting race to say the least.
Run Happy set the pace from trap two for trainer Pat Buckley, but the 4/5 favourite Lenson Bocko was hot on his heels for trainer Graham Holland while BoyleSports King was in last place down the back straight.
Lenson Bocko was closing the gap bit-by-bit and between the third and fourth bends, it looked like Run Happy was going to need a lot of luck to stay in front. But out of nowhere, the King turned on the turbo power and made up so much ground that the run to the finishing line was one of the best we have ever witnessed.
Run Happy was still in front, Lenson Bocko was on his outside and running up to the line on the inside was BOYLESPORTS KING, who was coming with an almighty run and the three of them passed the post together.
Well it wasn’t the fairytale ending that John was looking for as Lenson Bocko was crowned the winner and awarded the €140,000 winners prize with just a neck separating the pair, with Run Happy another head back in third place. If this doesn’t excite you then greyhound racing is not for you. The commentary from Ian Fortune was exquisite. You can watch the race below.
Four years later through a pandemic and with three new winners of the derby, a new name is waiting to be etched into the history books with John sending three of his bright hopefuls to traps this weekend for the opening round of the 2023 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.
John’s 2023 Derby Trio
First up is Boylesports Gift who races from trap three in heat four on Friday. Born January 1st 2021 and a son of Ballyhimikin Jet – Hugh Dream.
A winner of six races in Ireland with his career starting at Kilkenny last September. He won his first race on the third attempt in Shelbourne Park with 29.27 clocked, but it wasn’t long until he improved further with more success at HQ over the 525 yards in 28.41. He has raced in Limerick and had a stint in the UK at Towcester during the English Greyhound Derby.
Since BoyleSports Gift’s return from across the pond he has raced twice at Shelbourne Park finishing behind the talented Trinity Junior in the BoyleSports Champion Stakes final and is looking to get back to winning ways on Friday night.
He has a very tough heat however with 2022 Consolation Derby winner Cryptopunk in trap one, speedy Romeo Hanzo in trap two, one of the fastest females in the country Up The Style in trap five and exciting young prospect Newinn Port in trap six. It’s a tough race.
His litter brother Boylesports Vic races from trap one in heat 24 on Saturday night. A winner of four races in Ireland with one of those victories a week ago when landing the spoils over the 550 yards in 29.94.
Vic can be fast away from traps with a decent 28.27 on his card for the 525 yards. He has just 14 races so improvement could be expected, but he has been handed a tough opening heat just like his brother.
The 2022 English Greyhound Derby champion Romeo Magico races from trap three while RPGTV 600 and Race of Champions winner Ballinabola Ed races from trap four. He will need to be at his sharpest to qualify, but he should book his spot in the second round.
John’s third derby contender is Boyleports Bob. An exciting son of Good News – Roanne Bess who was born on the 14th October 2021, so he is still a puppy with lots of potential.
He has just five races on his card with one win, but that win was pretty impressive. He clocked 28.04 for the 525 yards last month at HQ winning comfortably by four lengths. His recent race was nice form too as he finished three lengths behind De Lahdedah over the 550 yards and the winning time was 29.24, leaving Bob doing an impressive time of 29.45 on his first trip over the distance.
There is more to come but just like his kennelmates, it’s another tough one with Bockos Crystal and Bobsleigh Dream hugely talented ladies. Bob is seeded wide so trap six will suit and fingers crossed he qualifies.
BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Format
156 names went into the drum during the draw on Monday.
109 inside seeds
15 middle seeds
32 wide seeds
Three will qualify from each of the 26 heats PLUS 18 of the fastest 4th placings.
All John needs is a bit of luck and everyone at BoyleSports would like to wish all owners, trainers and connections the very best of luck in this year’s renewal. And of course, it’s a special renewal as it’s our 10th year sponsoring this AMAZING event.
Click Below For All Our 2023 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Betting. While heat betting can be found here.
Enjoy the next six weeks, I know I will!
*Prices Subject To Fluctuation
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