Irish Greyhound Derby

Sarah’s Saturday Night BoyleSports IGD Round-Up

As if Friday wasn’t enough excitement for us greyhound enthusiasts, we returned to HQ on Saturday evening for another 12 heats of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby and this time it was Coolvanny Chick who recorded the fastest time of the night in 29.39.

Let’s take a look at the action race by race.

Race card order…

Coolavanny Chick 33/1 from 50/1 for Derby
Noel Hehir’s bitch ran a patient race, waiting for her moment to chase down the leader Newinn Lester in trap six. Chick and Lester broke sharp but it ​was the latter who had more speed into the first bend. As he looked a winner heading down the back straight, Chick went back to third place with Razldazl Monarch going second.

However, it was evident at the third bend that Chick has plenty of fuel left in the tank and coming off the last bend Lester ran wide and Chick, as Coolavanny as she liked, powered up the home straight to grab the win by half a length.

It’s worth noting th​at Newinn Lester recorded the third fastest sectional to the third bend across the weekend with a brilliant 17.09 but this win has earned Coolavanny Chick a move into 33/1 from 50/1 to become the Derby champion.

Degrom has it all
There was plenty to like about Degrom’s performance, clocking 29.63 with sectionals of 3.35 and 17.35. He opened up a nice lead to win by three lengths in the end, but it was a dominating victory from start to finish for owner Tom Quinn and trainer Pat Buckley.

I have already mentioned Pat’s extremely talented young kennel of stars and Degrom is another to add to that list. That’s three wins from ten starts and this May 18 son of Pat C Sabbath – Cabra Fifi looks a nice type. 40/1 for the Derby. Coolavanny Kyser, Soldier Spy and Glengar Mary (another Pat Buckley youngster) all qualified.

Karol Ramsbottom in flying form
Bhoireann but in a gutsy effort to claim heat 15 for trainer Karol Ramsbottom with 29.68 clocked, a career best for the Gavin Johns owned black beauty. He broke well along with Manuka Mann in trap one but Bhoireann was fastest into the first bend and drove on with sectionals of 3.48 and 17.25. Ballymac Tas flew home for second while Sweetheart Deal was fourth.

Rathcoole Fox grabbed fourth, but he was the 4/6 favourite who was running his first ever 550 yards race. He has 28.12 around HQ for the 525 trip so there is more to come from him.

Hugh Cahill from RTE has picked him as his charity bet so the best of luck Hugh, he is 33/1.

Feudal has Spirit
Graham Holland and Larry O’Rourke have a lovely dog in Feudal Spirit who won his heat in 29.72, sectionals 3.49 and 17.33. He broke brilliant but it was Ballymac Lowry who led. Feudal wasn’t going away that easy though and the pair were nip and tuck down the back straight. Between the final two bends, Feudal took the lead and ran on to score by 1½ lengths with Monbeg Zinzan, Traceys Bob and Calzaghe Sonic all qualifying.

Ballyhimikin Jet all class
This was the race I was most excited about, it was unfortunate that Holland had four in the same race as Newinn Session and Black Parachute didn’t manage to qualify. Ballyhimikin Jet was pure class to win in 29.58 after catching his kennel buddy Wolfe, who ran an absolute stormer.

Wolfe had not been seen since his Easter Cup win in March and he led for most of the race but Ballyhimikin had a few runs under his belt and the writing was on the wall near the last bend as Jet powered on to win by three lengths. 20/1 for the Derby while Wolfe is also 20/1.

Great Name That has all the luck
Liam Dowling had his first winner of the night with Great Name That in what was an unusual race. Great Name That was 5th at the first bend and ended up first past the post. Lemon Boris led, Frankies Jet caught up with him down the back as did trap one Zingers and none of the three could pinch a lead. While these three were battling in front, they failed to see Great Name That in fourth place looming closer and he got a glorious run off the last two bends, creeping around on the inside to win in 29.94. As Ian Fortune put it, an eventful contest!

Great Name That is 50/1 for the Derby.

Newinn Sheedy makes all but Run Happy is out
I really liked Newinn Sheedy’s performance, 29.47 with 3.40 and a very good 17.12 sectional. That was his 9th start and now has four wins. A beautiful blue coloured dog owned by Larry O’Rourke.

Pat Buckley’s Knocknaboul Syd actually went off the 5/2 favourite and ran a good race in second but Sheedy done well and is 33/1 for the title. It was sad to see last year’s finalist Run Happy bow out early of the Derby and I hope we see him back soon.

Float Like a butterfly and sting like a Killer Bee
Killer Bee showed his staying power to win heat 20 in 29.92. The 4/5 favourite Outnumbered was slow away and was unable to get involved so he has made his Derby exit. Trap five Killahan Ganster was very fast into the first bend to take the lead with Ardrahan Pinokio.

These two led down the back with Slippy Cian and Scooby Princess closing them down. While these four battling for the lead, Killer Bee was gaining all the time and he got up on the line by a neck to Ardrahan Pinokio, another eventful contest!

Ballymac is Wild
Ballymac Wild was Dowling’s next winner on the card as he showed incredible pace to win in 29.56 coming from behind. Great Eastern led, like he usually does but he doesn’t stay so he was the perfect candidate for Ballymac Wild to hunt down.

He hit the front at the third bend and it was all over. Newline Cody in second was a bit unlucky I thought so he is one to watch, a speedy youngster for Robert Gleeson but it was all about the BoyleSports Champion Stakes runner-up who is 16/1 for the Derby.

Antigua Sands dominates
Liam Dowling recorded his third winner of the night with the beautiful fawn Antigua Sands. She was gutsy as the brilliant Clona Blaze led down the back and it’s hard to pass a dog of his calibre. It was easy for Antigua Sands though as she led out of the third bend to win in 29.75. A great effort. Well done Team Dowling and thanks to Shane for the video interview.

Marie & Skippy Gilbert qualify
The du​o of Marie and Skippy Gilbert are well known around the Dublin track and their Doolin Duke for owner and friend Pat Flanagan was just what they needed after Oran Don failed to qualify. Doolin Duke never came out of the boxes as fast with 29.61 clocked to Our Surprise in second.

I was delighted to see Laurence and Brian Jones’s dog run a great race, a finalist last year that was unable to run with an injury, everyone is ro​oting for this dog.

The Eagle has landed
Da Bold Eagle is quickly becoming one of my favourites and is just 16/1 for the Derby. Mark O’Donovan is doing well for himself and has an exciting type here. Da Bold Eagle won in 29.82.

He wasn’t great from traps but the burst of pace into the first was tremendous.

3.52 and 17.24 splits for his first trip over 550 is nothing to be sniffed at. Magical Jasper for Patrick Guilfoyle was second, with this trainer winning the Irish Sprint Cup final about an hour previous in Dundalk. Well done Patrick, how is my beloved Magical Bale I miss seeing him race and hope his stud career is flying.

So there you have it, a brilliant weekend full of high qualify winners and qualifiers with the odd bit of drama thrown in. This is Shelbourne Park. This is greyhound racing. This is the 2020 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.

See you all Friday.
Sarah x

*Prices correct at time of publication.