Rocket Faces His Toughest Test Yet

We are now down to the last 24 in this year’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park.

Things can’t get much worse from a bookmaking point of view! Our only saviour last weekend was Good News being beaten. The whole world and its mother were on the accumulator of all the shorties so there was someone looking down on us!

Clares Rocket yet again set the standard with a run of 29.58. There was a lot of talk on the stands and on social media afterwards that the track was 0.30 or 0.40 slow. Yes it was slow but I wouldn’t be saying it was that far back. To be honest I reckon the track has been on fire this past few weeks so the times on Saturday night were closer to normal.

Heat 1
Burnt Beans was all the rage in the opening heat but failed to live up to his supporters’ expectations. Instead it was the Graham Holland trained Sidarian Fern who dictated the pace from the off and ran out a comfortable length and a half winner over Ballymac Sarah Jo in second and the gambled on favourite Burnt Beans back in third. 29.98 was the winning time.

Heat 2
Tyrur Harold was all the rage in the market in this following the withdrawal of Cable Bay. After a level enough start Tyrur Harold was simply too good as he stayed on strongly to maintain his unbeaten record in the event by three lengths in 29.60. Black Farren took the third qualifying spot a further two and a half lengths adrift.

Heat 3
From a horrendous draw in 6 we were keen to take on Native Chimes in the third heat. We got it badly badly wrong! Clona Kid set the pace on the inside and led down the back, but Native Chimes was in his slip stream.

Once turning second it was basically race over! Chimes cruised up to the leader near the bottom two bends before going on to victory. He pulled two lengths clear of Clona Kid up the home straight stopping the clock in 29.81. Milldean Skip qualified back in third.

Heat 4
Things worked out the way many people thought here. Skywalker Manner broke in front, turned severely left from trap five and basically made the race for Jaytee Jet on the outside. Once Jaytee turned in second it was all over.

For the last two weeks Manner has led and got caught close home so you could sense he was going to be vulnerable up front. Jet powered up the straight to assume control before crossing the line two and a half lengths clear in 29.79. Skywalker Manner held off the fast finishing Hovex Mick by a length to take second.

Heat 5
Droopys Cabaye produced another smashing effort to maintain his unbeaten record in the classic when winning this heat. It was Droopys Noah which led up from Good News and Droopys Cabaye but Good News was forced to check when Droopys Noah cut the bend.Droopys Cabaye was second on the bend and, as usual, he kicked at this point and was in front early in the back straight.

Good News, meanwhile, ran the back straight hard and moved second at the third bend. He ran on strongly but couldn’t catch the Larry O’Rourke owned, Graham Holland trained Droopys Cabaye which won by a length in 29.80. It was then two and a half lengths to Swithins Brae which came through on the run-in to finish third.

Heat 6
Priced at 1/6 in the ring, the Graham Holland trained Clares Rocket was all the rage for this contest and he won it as easily as his odds suggested he would. He broke well from the outside trap and was in front after a stride. He hit the corner a few lengths in front of Pension Plan with Drumsna Star in third.

Now the Full House Syndicate owned son of Confident Rankin and Lemon Madrid he turned on the gas and moved clear. He was six in front at halfway and, fair play to Pension Plan, the margin only increased to seven lengths by the line in a time of 29.58. Pension Plan ran a cracking contest and he was three lengths in front of Drumsna Star.

Heat 7
Making it a fourth heat winner on the night for Graham Holland, Sonic gave an exhibition of power and tracking ability in winning Heat 7 and he would have to be rated a threat to his illustrious kennel companion which had won the previous race. Sonic broke reasonably but was no match to the bend for Buckos Dream and Hey Bound but he took the bend in third place.

He was almost six lengths off the lead entering the back straight but it was from here that he produced the fireworks. Motoring along the back straight he switched inside Hey Bound to go second at the third bend and then adroitly moved out to challenge Buckos Dream on his outside turning for home.

Marion Moloney’s star then absolutely stormed up the straight to win by three lengths from Buckos Dream in 29.69 with Hey Bound two lengths third.

Heat 8
Kilgraney Ace upset the Graham Holland part in the final heat. Many expected it to be a match race between the two kennel mates Clonbrien Hero and Drive On Tipp but Thomas Buggy had other things on his mind! Kilgraney hit the front going to the corner showing exceptional early pace.

Off the second bend he moved two lengths in front of Drive On Tipp with Clonbrien Hero third. Kilgraney then proceeded to move right away down the back and he was five to the good from Drive On Tipp at the third bend with Clonbrien still a close third. Typical Ash was now beginning a drive from the back.

Kilgraney Ace powered home a six length winner in 29.70 from Drive On Tipp. Typical Ash got up to deny Clonbrien Hero of third place by three parts of a length.

Looking ahead to this week’s quarter finals I make Kilgraney Ace the NAP. He has a dream draw in six with Native Chimes on his immediate left where he can go smash on the outside and sail home in front.

Clares Rocket will be odds on yet again but not as short as previous weeks. He looks the winner but he won’t have things his own way. With the early on the inside he might have to work hard to get to the front!

Tyrur Harold will be slight favourite to win his heat while Sonic can continue his winning run in the opening quarter-final. All four heats are priced up as well as the ante-post and a number of specials. Get your bets on as early as possible and expose our mistakes! #BetOnBoyle

*Prices correct at time of publication