Milkshakes & Nuggets All Round After Newinn Taylor’s BoyleSports IGD Win

It’s hard to believe that six weeks ago we started off with 144 greyhounds chasing the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby dream.

It was down to six finalists on Saturday evening at HQ but only one could be crowned the 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby champion and secure the €115,000 prize.

Newinn Taylor was awesome from start to finish. Massive congratulations to Graham Holland and his wonderful family, owner Simon Taylor and breeder Shari-Anne O’Donnell. This greyhound came into the Derby unbeaten with 12 wins from 12 starts. He added huge excitement with his powerful pace and all-round class.

The videos on Instagram made me smile with team Holland treating Newinn Taylor to a milkshake and chicken nuggets. I absolutely love to see stuff like that not to mention his favourite toy. The kennels are immaculate, the pens in which the dogs are kept are perfect patches of green and the standard to which their dogs run is always of the highest quality.

I hope you are feeling extremely proud. You are all a credit to yourselves and the industry, well done.

I must admit however, as one who has remained upbeat and positive since the return of racing, and since the start of this horrid virus, that was one of the strangest nights I have ever spent at Shelbourne Park. No Derby roars. No after-party in the Oaks suite, no hugs, no filling the winning trophy, no bookies.

You almost feel guilty to celebrate such a wonderful winner and Newinn Taylor deserves the spotlight. The love story that we have all written over the past few months is no secret. We fell in love with Pestana and one of the worst things that could have happened, happened.

Owen McKenna, Des Grace and Owen’s family, who I was standing a few metres away from on the stand on Saturday night, I’m so sorry. My heart is broken for you, it really is.

We all know how you feel, as greyhounds every day meet injury, just like people. But Pestana was the love affair that was brought to an abrupt end far too soon. I just hope you are all doing OK and more importantly I hope Pestana makes a fast recovery. He was in all our thoughts last night. Here is the latest update from IGB.

Well done to team Holland for showing compassion after Newinn Taylor won. Your Derby dream becomes a reality, but the first thing Graham and his family think of is not the victory, but Pestana.

This is a Derby we will never, ever forget.

We have faced challenges this year. We had no racing for a while, but just as we have done numerous times before, we bounced back and we made this one hell of a Derby, one that will never be forgotten and for that I’m super proud.

Yes, it has been a tough few months promoting the sport under these strange times. There were tears, late nights, tantrums, mistakes, losers, and broken hearts, but I wouldn’t change any of it, only Pestana.

Massive congrats to all the finalists, especially Meenagh Miracle. What a race she ran, inches away from victory. We haven’t seen the last of her that’s for sure. Special mention for Liam Dowling getting three finalists through that he bred himself, take a bow. His son Shane too, you are a brilliant ambassador for our sport.

There are so many people to thank, so many people to mention but John Boyle is the main one. Thank you for your generous sponsorship. You have given us all a glimmer of hope in these dark times and your dedication to the sport is unrivalled. Thank you for letting me take the lead on promoting our Derby, it has been a pleasure.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support, the messages, the engagement and the social media sharing. It has all meant the world to me. When you have people from Australia, America, India, Pakistan and the UK contacting you to tell you that I have made them fall back in love with greyhound racing, it makes you realise that you have done your job.

I have a passion for this sport that will never leave me. I still dream of winning the Derby just like most of you and I hope and pray it will happen someday. The celebrations would last for months!

Until next year my friends, thanks for everything but the biggest thanks go to all the greyhounds. They are the true stars.