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Sarah’s BoyleSports IGD Quarter-Final Blog

144 greyhounds have become 12 at Shelbourne Park as the quarter finals of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby concluded on Saturday night and it was full of excitement.

Wild Price
The opening heat saw Ballymac Wild improve yet again to remain unbeaten in this competition. Wild was brilliant from trap three, he broke well, made all and not only recorded a career best of 29.07 but he also clocked his fastest sectional to the 3rd bend in 17.04.

The week previous he done 17.20. It’s no surprise to see the money coming for this Liam Dowling owned and trained star as his odds have crumbled into 5/1 from 8/1 to win another BoyleSports Derby for the Kerry man.

Girl Power!
Meenagh Miracle was an outstanding second for Michael Corr. She is running Shelbourne Park extremely well and is one of only two bitches left in the Derby. She might be 66/1 to win the title but she has done so well to get this far.

Catch Me If You Can…
Thomas Buggy qualified in third with Catchmeflying, a dog I highlighted before the Derby even started. This tough competition could be starting to take its toll on some of these greyhounds, and while he is lightly raced, he remains a dark dog in this Derby at 25/1.

Kilara Icon Wins His First Heat In The Derby
What a mad race this was, but my god did Kilara Icon show us all what he can do. He got up on the line by a short head to Glengar Bale, saving the bookies from a blood bath with the famous four-timer of all the favourites. 29.58, not the fastest clock but it doesn’t matter.

He is now into the semi-finals along with his kennel buddy Toolmaker Sydney for trainer Robert Gleeson.

That was Kilara Icon’s first heat win in this Derby. He is 33/1 from 40/1 to win the top prize of €115,000. Can Robert Gleeson do it again and win another Derby?

Glengar Bale 2nd

For the first time in this Derby, Pat Buckley’s star Glengar Bale was beaten but we still love him, he ran awesome. He has drifted in the outright betting however as he is 8/1 to win. We all know he can do a 16.93 to the third bend so he needs to break extra fast on Saturday to book his spot in the final.

Toolmaker Sydney won’t go away

He is one of those dogs that keeps qualifying and ticking over week after week. He is 16/1 to win the Derby, a slight drift from 14/1. He won his opening two heats coming from behind and wasn’t beaten far in the quarter finals. He deserves his spot in the final based on the work he has had to do coming from off the pace, but the semi-final heat he is in will be his biggest task to date.

Pestana, The 7/4 Ante Post Favourite
He just keeps delivering, doesn’t he? What a greyhound. 29.07 the same time as Ballymac Wild from a tricky draw in trap five. It made no odds to Pestana, he didn’t break as fast as other weeks but wow, when the sand got beneath his paws it was all over. I just love him. 16.90 to the third bend. He now has trap three in his semi-final so it’s no wonder he is the 7/4 favourite from 9/4 to add another Derby trophy to Owen McKenna’s mantlepiece.

Come on Pestana, we all want you in the final, you deserve it.

Ballymac Cooper Serious Value
I have said it before, and I will say it again. Ballymac Cooper is a brilliant price at 8/1 and I know plenty of his fans have backed him. Liam Dowling and his kennel are in fabulous form with Cooper running on strong to grab second place to Pestana.

I can see him in the final, drawn in trap five against Newinn Taylor who is in trap six. Dowling should have two finalists, it’s as simple as that.

Girl Power Yet Again!
Scooby Princess finished a brilliant third. Jennifer O’Donnell has seen more Derby greyhounds in her life than most of us. Her mother, father and aunty have all won the Derby so now it’s Jennifer’s turn.

I hope she qualifies it would be brilliant for her, all Scooby needs is a clear run but she will need a career best effort too as it’s a tough heat.

Newinn Taylor, The Next Lenson Bocko?
There is so much to admire about this greyhound. Well done to Graham Holland for keeping him sound throughout, especially after winning the Produce Stakes. Taylor’s journey through the Derby is remarkable really.

He produced a 29.11 and 16.79 in the third round and won his quarter final with ease in 29.19. He is powerful and really loves what he does. He has similar credentials to Lenson Bocko, last year’s champion and he is the 5/2 second favourite to win the Derby.

John Boyle And BoyleSports Xtra Still Dreaming Of The Big Win
I hope BoyleSports Xtra makes the final, can he lead up Pestana? He doesn’t even need to, he just needs to qualify. He ran brilliant behind Newinn Taylor and is another greyhound who has overcome some tricky draws.

He is staying better this year and all of BoyleSports will be cheering for him on Saturday to make the final for John.

Indesatchel Syndicate €1,500 Richer!
I received a video on Saturday night of the lads celebrating after Indesatchel qualified in third, meaning they are the last syndicate standing with €1,500 coming their way. The Pillar Syndicate, well done lads.

That was just his sixth career start and he could be running his eight career start in the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby final. He has trap four Saturday night and really needs to sharpen up at the boxes if he is to book his spot in the final.

There you have it, all four heats and all twelve qualifiers. It was a magical night. Best of luck too all the connections this Saturday and let’s hope we receive some good news from the government that we can allow some spectators to the final.

As well as the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby action on Saturday night, we were treated to four heats of the Michael Fortune Memorial Plate as well. €5,000 will go home with the winner and one of my favourite dogs is still going strong, Ballyhimikin Jet. He has returned as the ante post favourite too following his victory on Saturday night as he is now 9/4 from 5/1 to win it for trainer Graham Holland. Black Parachute, his kennel companion, is the 7/2 second favourite and although he didn’t win on Saturday night, he ran an absolute blinder to finish second.

His 29.18 win the week previous makes it very hard to ignore him however an still represents great value.

*Prices correct at time of publication.