Sarah’s Saturday Night BoyleSports IGD Round-Up

Sarah Kinsella looks back on a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday night at Shelbourne Park, in Round Two of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.

Atmosphere at HQ

The atmosphere at HQ on Saturday night after Pestana broke the track record was wonderful. I was standing in the weigh room, ready for the opening heat of the night with just a handful of trainers and kennel hands watching the TV screen.

Pestana broke from trap one and he came out that fast that the camera man almost couldn’t keep up with him! It was one of the most paw-perfect displays I have ever witnessed. Ian Fortune’s commentary added that extra bit of excitement. When he announced the 16.83 sectional to the third bend, I thought Ian was going to lose his voice!

The anticipation of waiting for the clock to show the time was brilliant. We all knew it was going to be fast but 28.99 just blew us all away. Rachel Hennessy was standing a few metres away and we just looked at each other. It was certainly a jaw-dropping moment. Greyhound racing, you just have to love it.

We were 5/4 initially for the track record to be broken. Damien Lonergan, one of our greyhound traders at BoyleSports, cut it into Even money following all the support and then it happened. We are now offering 4/1 for it to be broken again. Can it be done?

Pestana was sensational for trainer Owen McKenna but so was Newinn Taylor, who ran a cracking effort to finish second for Graham Holland. Waikiki Keano was third for Peter Cronin.

A fantastic start to the night’s action and even though it was behind closed doors, over in the kennel area I never even noticed that the stands were empty. We made our own atmosphere and that is the beauty of our sport. Pestana is our new favourite at 11/2, cut from 8/1.

Ballymac Anton gets revenge on Wolfe

This was a cracking race for so many reasons. Ballymac Anton and Wolfe are the same age, born in November 2016 and have become huge rivals, a rivalry we all love to see.

Wolfe led but Anton got into a beautiful position and took up the lead between the final two bends with great ease to cruise across the finishing line in 29.45 by three lengths.

A superb performance from the Leger and Gold Cup hero for trainer Liam Dowling and it must be noted that he is one of the most stunning greyhounds I have ever seen. His size, colour and temperament. You can tell he knows how good he is. Wolfe was second and Soldier Spy put into some effort to finish third.

What a night for Kerry man Liam Dowling

Liam Dowling is some trainer. His son Shane Dowling has been doing all the work from Shelbourne Park and had a busy but successful night on Saturday with four winners. Oh, and Liam bred Pestana, too.

Heat 11 was all about Ballymac Wild and I think this is one of the best races I have seen him run. He broke brilliant, accelerated into the first bend and drove on to win by 5½ lengths in 29.15. That is just five spots off the old track record of 29.10. You couldn’t have predicted the wonderful action from HQ for the second round, it just gets better and better.

Indesatchel was a classy second with Iconic Rory third for Patrick Norris, both lightly raced sorts with huge futures.

Ballymac Wild, pictured below, was runner-up to Pestana in the BoyleSports Champion Stakes and now he is through to the third round of the Derby, improving with every run. Wild is 10/1 to win the Derby, cut from 16/1 after his 29.15 victory.

Ballymac Cooper gives Dowling quick-fire treble

You have to love Ballymac Cooper, a warrior of a greyhound and one of the fastest around HQ. This was evident on Saturday as he equalled the old track record of 29.10. He is also 10/1 to win the Derby. It’s all heating up now!

Razldazl Annie was second and Deerjet Sydney was third after breaking extremely well from trap three but diving over for the fence. We will see something special from him from trap one as he has already clocked 29.40 wearing the red jacket.

Neilus O’Connell is absolutely flying

Razldazl Peaky ran a blinder to record 29.45, and after finishing second to Pestana the week before, there was no doubt he was going to run a big race on Saturday. He is a gutsy type who really battles hard when he is in front.

Meenagh Miracle finished second and Calzaghe Sonic third for Martin Lanney and the UK syndicate, who are buzzing for the third round.

Great Name That strikes again

We thought he was lucky to win the week previous, but he wasn’t lucky to win his heat in the second round. He ran a stormer and is a massive stayer for the future.

He picked up Da Bold Eagle, who set a searing gallop into the first bend but was starting to run out of juice coming home. Great Name That monopolised on this and struck the front to score in 29.50.

Scooby Princess was second for Jennifer O’Donnell and Da Bold Eagle third. This was Dowling’s fourth winner!

BoyleSports Xtra

The camera man missed most of the race won by the John Boyle-owned BoyleSports Xtra. We saw the start from the traps and the remainder of the race from around the third bend, so from what we saw it was awesome!

A win is a win, so well done to Team Hennessy. Xtra is so consistent at the traps he is like lightning quick. Mustang Firmino was second and Traceys Bob, third.

29.24 – a career best for Xtra. Well done to the boss!

Feudal has serious Spirit

What a way to end the night. Pestana started off the night breaking the track record and Feudal Spirit ended the night clocking 29.29 on just his 10th race and blew them all away.

He pinged out and nothing was going to catch him. He was 14/1 to win his heat! He is now 20/1 to win the Derby.

Lenson Bocko, the 2019 champion, was second and Ballymac Tas third, meaning Dowling has six dogs through with Graham Holland having nine. Holland is 13/8 to become the winning trainer and Dowling at 11/4.

You can bet on the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby HERE.