Sarah Kinsella BoyleSports BSI

Sarah Kinsella’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Round 1 Recap

We have a BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby round 1 recap for you from BoyleSports PR Executive and greyhound racing expert Sarah Kinsella.

Fast And Furious Round 1

That was the quickest weekend of all time! We flew through 26 heats with 156 now becoming 96. Have you seen the derby winner yet? I’ve seen about ten haha. What an opening round it was.

There are always shocks, surprises and disappointments in the derby but I hope that Swords Rex will bounce back. And I wish a speedy recovery to any of our canine friends who picked up an injury.

Up The Dubs!

What a match! I watched it at home as I left it too late to get a ticket (I know, poor me!!). I was watching the interviews and the speech that Dublin captain James McCarthy gave, and I couldn’t help but feel that what Croke Park means to hardcore GAA fans is what Shelbourne Park and the derby means to us greyhounds fans.

It must be the most magical feeling walking by Hill 16 holding the Sam Maguire with your teammates. Although I bet none of them have experienced winning a BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby. The buzz, the adrenaline, and the pure feeling of achievement that your dream has finally come true.

For those of us who are yet to win that big title KEEP DREAMING and never give up! It’s going to happen someday whether its’ an All-Ireland, a Gold Cup at Cheltenham, a green jacket at Augusta or Shelbourne Park. It will happen. To be honest I’d settle for an A3 contest win at this stage haha.

That’s the beauty of greyhound racing, it’s full of dreams and hopes. That’s why I love to see so many kids at the derby and there was a huge increase in them getting into the presentation photos last weekend, so the future is looking bright.

BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Round 1 Recap

There were just so many brilliant performances in the opening round that I think I’d feel quite rude by picking the best one so I will give my Top 5 and in no particular order!! It feels like I’m about to announce the final result of Dancing with the Stars!

Kinsella’s Top 5 Performances Of The Derby’s Opening Weekend

Good Maestro

Patrick Guilfoyle’s Good Maestro is Good by name and good by nature. It was awesome.

I marked him down as a major player after watching him win in 29.24 with his outright odds tumbling into 16/1 from 50/1!! He came in under the radar, but he caught the eye so watch this space.

Michael J O’Donovan

Not his dogs but Michael himself!! What a trainer or as Damien Lonegan likes to refer to him as ‘God’. You might not be wrong Damo.

Michael is a terrific man with a greyhound. Look at how his dogs performed in the opening round. Coolavanny Hoffa, Another Holiday and Ryhope Beach. Three fantastic winners with Another Holiday boasting the fastest clock to the third bend in a FAST 17.01. Wow.

Coolavanny Hoffa retains favouritism and has been cut into 5/1 from 8/1, Ryhope Beach is 14/1 from 25/1 while Another Holiday is 16/1 from 66/1.

Raha Mofo

What a lady. When Susie Sapphire was at her best she was a joy to watch and although they have different running styles, Mofo has to be rated almost as highly as the great Susie.

Reigning Bitch of the Year, last year’s Sporting Press Irish Oaks winner and most recently the Time Greyhound Nutrition Dundalk International winner! She finished strong to win her heat in 29.66 and is 20/1 to win the derby! One of my ante post picks made his exit in that heat, Gaytime Hugo, so it’s back to the drawing board!

Ballinabola Ed

I just love him and I love the bond he has with Emma Buckley. Ed ran great and I’m delighted for him after his defeat in the Dundalk International.

It was great to see him bounce back, and he seems a stronger dog this year. 29.34 and now 12/1 joint second favourite alongside heat winner Clona Duke!


What a performance. A week previous he was beaten by Callaway Masters but he reversed that form in fine style to win by three lengths in 29.77. I love this dog and the craic his owners have along the way, so I hope to see you back in the winner’s enclosure.

Those are my Top 5 picks but don’t feel left out if I’ve not mentioned you because every single winner and qualifier were brilliant. Quick mention for Liam Dowling too. I made three presentations to Shane Dowling on Saturday with Ballymac Johnjo, Ballymac Finn and De Lahdedah all winning. Well done team Kerry.

We have five more weeks of action to look forward too, but it will be over before you know it so enjoy every minute.

Don’t miss me too much!

I won’t be at Shelbourne Park on Friday as I’m on Galway Bay FM radio all week live from the Galway Races but I will be watching HQ from Ballybrit and I wish all of you the best of luck in the second round. Don’t’ be afraid to send me any photos or tag me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

See you Saturday.

Love Sarah x

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