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Sarah’s BoyleSports IGD Semi-Final Blog

Pestana and Newinn Taylor didn’t let favourite backers down as they obliged in their semi-finals and brought some sparkle to an empty HQ in these uncertain times.

144 Becomes 6
The wonderful thing about this year’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby is that it’s not just greyhound people getting involved. Through social media, I have received an enormous amount of kind messages from strangers who have no background in greyhound racing, but they go out of their way to let me know they are really enjoying the action.

RPGTV has been a huge contributor to this as well as it’s brilliant to watch the live action. My mam and dad are racing their entire lives and are both now into their 70s. The RPGTV coverage has given them a great boost as they can enjoy the racing from the comfort of their own couch.

Let’s hope RPGTV cover more of our brilliant classics in Ireland, the appetite is definitely there.

The interviews before and after racing keep us all up to date and even Tommy Bolton, the groundsman, was interviewed about all the brilliant work he does around the track. Greyhound racing is full of support, just look at the reaction on social media when BoyleSports Xtra was announced as a non-runner. Kevin Hennessy, son of trainer Paul, tweeted out the news and he received so many lovely messages. Little consolation for not being able to run but it shows you the solidarity of this industry.

Let’s take a look at both semi-finals:

Newinn Taylor Justifies His Short Odds Of 8/13
He was just perfect wasn’t he? 29.13 Sectional of 3.32 to the first bend, his fastest ever around HQ.

He has DERBY written all over him, just like his kennel buddy Lenson Bocko. Graham

Holland and his team must be so proud, winning the Produce Stakes and reaching the Derby final is a HUGE achievement so well done. He was paw-perfect and with trap six in the final along with being chalked up as the 5/4 favourite to win, the Derby is now Taylor’s to lose.

What did I tell you all last week? Liam Dowling will have two finalists. What a trainer, take a bow. Ballymac Cooper finished second in this heat, beaten two lengths. He is still 8/1 to win the Derby from trap five. He will have to produce a fast start if he is to win the title for County Kerry and to give Barry Drake the honours of winning this year’s charity bet at 14/1 for the IRGT!!

Meenagh Miracle What A Joy
The big trainers are always in the big finals, but Michael Corr is now joining the elite as Meenagh Miracle finished a strong third to make the final six, the Corrs’ first ever Derby finalist. She has a big heart and always runs on strong and has secured €1,500 for being the ‘Last Bitch Standing’, a wonderful incentive.

She races from trap two and is 33/1 to win the title for County Tyrone. The video posted online of the Corr family watching the race at home would bring a tear to a glass eye! Fantastic stuff, enjoy the moment guys as there are so many of us still dreaming of that feeling. They backed her each way at 120/1 so best of luck guys.

PESTANA – A Joy To Watch
Pestana flew from trap three as expected to justify his short odds of 4/11. He was backed heavy all day from 4/7 and with just five runners in this heat, the race was Pestana’s to lose. He didn’t disappoint.

29.39 however is his worst clock in the Derby so far but that doesn’t matter.

He could be tired and can you blame him!? Winning the BoyleSports Champion Stakes and reaching the BoyleSports Greyhound Derby final UNBEATEN would make any athlete tired.

He has a week of rest and he will come to HQ on Saturday bursting and ready for action. Plenty of punters are sticking with him to win with odds of 6/4 available, a slight drift from the 5/4 joint favourite with Taylor. I believe in you Pestana, trap four isn’t the worst draw, you have won from it before and should lead up the three dogs to your left. Like A Shot was Owen’s last and only Derby win, how aptly named as Pestana is like a shot from traps.

Ballymac Wild, It’s That Fella Dowling Again!
Ballymac Wild will be looking to get his revenge on Pestana by beating him in the final after finishing runner-up to him in the BoyleSports Champion Stakes. Wild finished two lengths behind Pestana in the semi-final and now has trap one in the final. Will he fly out and edge out to the middle of the track like he did before and cause trouble with Pestana looking for the rails? Who knows.

Many are anticipating this will happen which will make the race for Taylor in trap six.

Pestana is the fastest greyhound in the country, even the world.

Let that sink in. If he leads, it’s to lose. I can’t see him coming from behind. He just needs to produce one more epic break and the title is his. Ballymac Wild however is a great price at 5/1.

Robert Gleeson In Another Derby Final
Rob has done it before with Slippery Robert and Kilara Icon capitalized from a tiring Glengar Bale and Indesatchel to qualify for the final. He is 33/1 and races from trap three but owner Gary Hicks in Dubai will be cheering him home.

The fact that Pestana and Newinn Taylor avoided each other in the semi-finals means the final will be even more exciting. Two superstars. One wants the inside and one wants the outside. Both have incredible engines to the third bend and both enjoy winning. Oh man, what a final!!!

Let’s Make The Most Of It
Yes, it’s hard walking into Shelbourne Park every week knowing there is no crowd, no ‘Derby Roar’, no buzz, no bar, no bookmakers, no restaurant. We must not let this take away from the final though.

This is the biggest greyhound race in the world.

The greyhounds don’t know there is a virus out there so we can’t let it take away our spirit. If the government announcement doesn’t allow us to have spectators for the final, then so be it. Moaning and complaining isn’t going to make them change their mind or make the virus disappear.

It will be live on the BoyleSports mobile app and I will be streaming it live on Twitter. All angles are covered. We will bring you interviews, news, results, and most importantly the post-race interview with the 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby winning trainer and owner. We will never forget the 2020 Derby, how can we? Let’s hope we can welcome back the ‘Derby Roar’ in 2021 but for now let’s roar in our sitting rooms instead.

Join me LIVE
Join me on Saturday 19th September for the biggest live event of the year. My Twitter: @BoyleSportsSK – Instagram: SarahKinsella3 and Facebook Sarah Kinsella. I will be on Galway Bay FM on Monday night, CRY Cork radio on Friday and Radio Kerry on Saturday. I will also be recording my thoughts for all the BoyleSports shops broadcast, so keep an ear out the next time you are in our shops.

Stay safe.
Sarah x

*Prices correct at time of publication.