Nidge Wins But Not Impressively – Round 1 Review

There were plenty of spills and thrills from Round 1 of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby, from the disappointment of the injury to Boylesports Hero to the fastest time of the entire competition coming in the 23rd and final heat of the opening round by Laughil Blake.

The event has already thrown up plenty of surprises and it is sure to keep us entertained for the next 5 weeks or so.

Thursday night saw the opening 11 heats go ahead and from a betting point of view, it was the bookies who came out on top. Few, if any, could have predicted that if you backed Boylesports Hero, Skywalker Farloe, Kereight King, Cabra Buck and Ballymac Vic, you would not have backed one winner.

It was very much a night of shocks and big priced runners putting in big performances however, some of the bigger names probably need some more racing to be 100% race fit. However, Saturday was a much more successful night for punters as six favourites and three 2nd favourites won, which included English Derby finalist Mind the Net, Ante-Post fav Droopys Nidge and Laughil Blake who did the fastest run of the entire opening round.

Some of the star performances came from Kippers Usain and Vimmerby. Pat Buckley’s Kippers Usain was victorious in heat 7 where he went on to score a comprehensive victory in a quick 29:73. After a slick getaway the race was never in doubt as he led around the opening bend and never looked in any trouble throughout, winning by some four lengths and returning the 6/4 fav.

Usain is priced at 66/1 to win this year’s event. Vimmerby posted the fastest time of Thursday’s heat in the 11th and final heat on the card with a winning time of 29:66. The Johnny Kavanagh trained dog showed his natural early pace to the corner which got him out of any possible trouble from tricky draw in trap 5. Vimmerby went on to win by 2 lengths in the end but, the impressive fashion of how he won has seen him cut to as short as 16/1 for this year’s Derby.

Saturday saw the betting favour swing back to the punters and after a torrid opening night from a betting point of view, the punters came out well on top on Saturday night.

Ante-Post fav Droopys Nidge was victorious on Saturday night at 1/3, however, to the eye and on the clock, it was not what was expected from the Robert Gleeson trained superstar.

People are probably expecting too much from such a young dog but, when you consider what times he has already posted in his career one could be forgiven for expecting a bit quicker than 29:95. It is worth noting though that he hasn’t raced in a few weeks and is probably carrying condition as he raced at 70 pounds earlier in his career and was 74 on Saturday night.

Laughil Blake saved the fastest run of the entire opening round to the 23rd and final heat when winning in a scintillating 29:43. The Mick ‘Curly’ O’Donovan trained pup showed all the attributes of a main contender for this year’s Derby when making all to put some six and a half lengths between him and the rest of the field. He is now just 16/1 from 66’s for the Derby.

The 2nd round of the Boylesports Greyhound Derby will take place on Thursday and on Saturday with 8 heats taking place each night.