Sarah Kinsella’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby 2020 Guide

The 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby is just a week away and although things will be very different this year, you can guarantee that greyhound enthusiasts will be living for the next six weeks of top-class action. But who will be crowned the 2020 champion?

Sarah Kinsella gives you the ultimate guide, below.

Fair play, BoyleSports

BoyleSports announced their official sponsorship of the 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park last Monday, bringing their association with the race to it’s seventh year in a row.

A jaw-dropping amount of €255,460 is the total prize fund – this is marvellous considering prize money across the globe has had to undergo massive reductions.

John Boyle is a tremendous ambassador for this sport and what a fairy-tale story it would have been had his dog BoyleSports King landed the title last year. It was one of the best finishes I have ever seen in a Derby final.

Last year’s event was won by Lenson Bocko, for trainer Graham Holland and the Lochead-Ponder-Whelan syndicate, who took home the €140,000 winning prize in a time of 29.40 seconds. Lenson Bocko was subsequently named ‘Dog of the Year’ at the 2019 National Greyhound Awards.

Market leaders

The early market with BoyleSports has Lenson Bocko as the 8/1 favourite while his brilliant kennel mate Newinn Taylor is the 10/1 second favourite, trimmed from 12/1 following his excellent victory in Clonmel last Sunday to win the Produce Stakes.

Newinn Taylor remains unbeaten with 12 wins from 12, an incredible record and an outstanding training performance from Graham Holland who boasts a terrific kennel of stars heading into this year’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.

Newinn Taylor will be bringing extra excitement coming into this year’s event and I hope he can remain unbeaten. What a story that would be.

But can Lenson Bocko win back-to-back titles for Graham Holland? It’s something that hasn’t been done since 1955 when Spanish Battleship won not only his second title but his third derby trophy.

What about Liam Dowling, David Murray, Patrick Guilfoyle, Owen McKenna, Thomas Buggy, John A. Linehan, Robert Gleeson, Karol Ramsbottom, Paul Hennessy, Mark O’Donovan, Marie Gilbert or Kieran Lynch? The Derby is the dream but who will the dream become a reality for?

May Kearns, what a woman!

This is the beauty of our sport, anything can happen. May Kearns, who has been attending Shelbourne Park longer than most of you reading this blog, could win her first Derby title.

What May has given to the industry over 70 or more years is something that we can only hope to continue for many years to come, and it would be amazing if she was to win it this year with her consistent and brilliant Beechview Cognac, who is 50/1.

The BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby this year will not be as we know it. We have to wear masks, we have to keep our distance, we can’t hug each other when we win a race and we can’t have thousands of greyhound fans flock through Shelbourne Park’s doors to fill the stands and cheer home their favourite greyhound.

Stop with the negativity

Now is not the time for self-loathing, for negativity, for feeling sorry for yourself. It’s going to be hard for thousands of people that won’t be allowed attend the Derby this year, but myself, BoyleSports and the Irish Greyhound Board will do everything we can to make sure we bring the action to all of you watching from home on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Plus, SIS will be showing all the heats along with RPGTV who will be showing it live from the third round.

Now is the time to stay safe, respect the rules and realise how blessed and lucky we are that we can race our dogs and attend our local tracks. Other industries can look at ours and admire our ambition, dedication and above all, passion.

Everyone played their part to get the industry up and running, an industry that most people would of thought would be last to come back. We are a resilient bunch, so rather than complaining about the current restrictions, be thankful that we have any restrictions in the first place.

We are racing safely and that will remain the priority. This is a hard time for everyone and we are all trying to adapt for a new way of life and a new way at the dogs, including the staff so be kind.

Well done, Shelbourne Park

Shelbourne Park has outdone itself with the measures taken to ensure their restaurant can open. I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I can promote the industry and attending HQ over the last six weeks or so has really got me through these strange few months.

I missed the racing so much, I got use to not going to pubs or shopping centres, that was the easy part. The hard part was not being able to head into Shelbourne Park. It’s a part of who I am, it’s what I love, it’s what I know, and my Derby dream is still alive, COVID-19 or not! I hope yours is too.

Derby draw

The draw for the Derby takes place in Shelbourne Park this Monday, August 10th. There will just be a handful of us there to carry out the draw, but it will be streamed live. The link is:

No tickets – so get on the waiting list

The IGB Sales team are currently operating a waiting list for Derby customers, and once they have received further confirmation on the numbers, they will offer these customers the opportunity to purchase a ticket based on their place in the list. Give the Sales team a call via

I will be back with more content after the draw where we can take a look at some of the most competitive heats and I will cover the prices in more detail.

I hope to see some of you there for the opening heats on August 14th. I know it’s going to be really hard for most of you who can’t attend with the COVID-19 restrictions but as I mentioned, I will do everything I can to bring the action to you at home. Stay safe and enjoy the 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby!

Key event dates

First Round – Friday, August 14th & Saturday, August 15th

Second Round – Friday, August 21st & Saturday, August 22nd

Third Round – Saturday, August 29th

Quarter Finals – Saturday, September 5th

Semi Finals – Saturday, September 12th

Final – Saturday, September 19th

BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby 2020 Outright Betting, HERE.