19 Aug 2022
After a long buildup, a week on the sidelines and so much study, the 2022 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby will get underway at Shelbourne Park this evening and those expecting Ireland’s best to tiptoe their way into the classic will be very wrong.
Instead, expect so many of the fastest greyhounds in training to begin their campaign with a bang. It’s been said ad nauseam that this year’s entry is amongst the best in the long history of the classic and a glance through the twenty-six opening round heats will support the fact.
Tonight, the opening thirteen heats will make up the entire Shelbourne Park card. All the eyes of the greyhound racing world will be on the famous Ringsend venue as a journey that will last five weeks, consisting of fifty-seven enthralling contests and providing a total of twenty-eight minutes of actual racing action gets underway.
As we look ahead to the action, it’s worth reminding you that the sponsors believe Ballinabola Ed and Coolavanny Hoffa are the two to beat with the dup the joint favourites at 14-1 for outright glory.
The action commences at 7.14pm and will conclude over three hours later at 10.35pm. Let the search for winners commence and, once again, we’d like to wish the best of luck to each and every person connected to one of the Derby contenders.
A heat by heat guide to tonight’s session:
JET TO TAKE OFF
Mustang Jet is a red-hot favourite to get the Derby off to a flying start in the opening heat.
His handler Dolores Ruth has twice tasted Derby victory in the past with the brilliant Razldazl Billy in 2006 and Razldazl George in 2011 and many believe Mustang Jet can provide her a third success.
The brindle has an impressive profile and his price reflects this. Boasting massive pace to the third turn, he should be too sharp for a talented field from an ideal draw in the stripes. Deadly Showtime is always capable of a massive run, especially when making one of his trade-mark flying starts, although he has been untypically tardy in recent outings. If he is to lower the colours of Mustang Jet he will need a flying start from trap three.
The very promising Garryvoe Joe is another worth a mention. His inexperience is a concern but the longer run to the bend should suit the Graham Holland trained black. He needs to be at his sharpest. Cryptopunk and Toolmaker Wilde are always capable of a big run but can’t afford any mistakes, while Own Spic will be a big price.
RAVEN CAN FLY
Heat 2 is one of the more open of the card, although Tullig Raven will start a warm favourite.
The Pat Buckley trained youngster has a lofty reputation after equaling the Tralee 525yd clock on debut. That run would suggest he has a far higher ceiling than his rivals.
In what is only his fourth career start, he faces some fast rivals, although there seems to be a lack of true early speed amongst his rivals. That could favour Tullig Raven and he is chosen to lead home the likes of Toolmaker Beach and Millridge Andy, in turn doubling his tally. Kingdom Bound, Sign On Rocket and Flying Honours will be big prices, although it wouldn’t take much for them to get involved in one of the weaker contests of the round.
ONLY CAN BE THE ONE
Recent Champion Stakes winner, One Time Only will be expected to lead home his rivals in Heat 3 from a favourable draw in three.
The Tommy O’Donovan trained Laurels champion I expected to start a long-odds on favourite and given his current form, looks the part.
He should have too much early zip for his rivals and is a confident choice. 2021 Derby finalist All About Ted has struggled to find top form this year but is clearly the main threat. If he were to repeat that sort of form that saw him come home clear in last year’s Derby semi-finals, he would b a serious threat.
Liam Dowling’s pair, Ballymac Joey and Killeacle Phelps stands out as the best of the remainder. Both Hunigassoon and Clampett Danny will need to repeat their very best form to land a blow.
MOFO TO RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
Oaks champion Raha Mofo hasn’t won a race since her career defining success but she can end that three-race losing sequence in Heat 4.
Blessed with massive pace and power, the Murt Leahy trained star has a favourable draw in five.
With Stefans Rock expected to edge inwards from trap four and Savana Hero likely to go up straight from six, Raha Mofo should have room to race in the opening yards. Normally a good trapper, the daughter of Droopys Sydney should be close to the pace and if turning in front of Savana Hero, which seems likely, she will take the world of beating.
The aforementioned duo of Savana Hero and Stefans Rock stand out as the main dangers but they will need to dictate the pace into the turn to lower the colours of the favourite. Insomnia, Whats Up Jack and Ringabella Boy complete the field.
BLAKE CAN MAKE ALL
Part Blake is set to go to traps the hottest favourite of the night in Heat 5.
The Graham Holland trained star has a favourable draw in trap two and is expected to go up fast. Scooby Duchess will be a clear second choice in the betting but needs to find her trapping boots to get the better of Part Blake.
Importantly, Part Blake is drawn inside Scoby Duchess which should allow him hold his rivals into the turn. In truth, it’s difficult to make a case for any of the others. The slow starting Famous Eight is drawn on the fence. He will finish fast but his presence on the rail will only afford Part Blake extra room in the early yards.
Hanover Phantom certainly has the pace to get involved but a trap four draw is far from ideal. If he is to turn close enough to the pace, he must produce the fastest start of his career. Kilcolgan Comet is also very useful but he too may struggle to turn close enough to the pace, while All About Annie, drawn in the strips, probably needs further.
MAGICO MAKES HIS RETURN
Graham Holland is bidding for a fourth Irish Derby success in seven years and his team is led by English Derby champion Romeo Magico.
David Firmager’s Towcester hero won’t have things all his own way but is expected to start a warm favourite to win Heat 6.
Drawn in two, the brilliant son of Magical Bale needs to be on his toes on his comeback run with Well Met certain to go up strongly from trap three. The Other Kobe is known as one of the tightest railers in training and is likely to cut inwards from four.
This could potentially see things getting very tight on the inside of the track. Patient Crusader and Gortkelly Nestor are both well drawn in five and six. Gortkelly Nestor was just a length away from making the 2021 Derby decider, finishing fourth in his semi-final.
He is a year older and doesn’t seem to be in the same form but any traffic on his inner would aid his cause. Patient Crusader has impressed at Shelbourne in the past but needs to return to his very best form.
Moorstown Jet completes the line-up. He has shown plenty of ability around Clonmel but will need to step up on his latest trial to land a blow. In what looks a bit of a puzzle, Romeo Magico is chosen to make his class count. The Other Kobe is a serious threat, however, especially if coming away racing from trap four.
CODY CAN COME GOOD
Many are expecting to see the very best of Good Cody in the coming weeks and he begins his Derby journey in Heat 7 where he stands out as the one to beat from an ideal draw on the fence.
It’s no secret that he can be a little inconsistent at boxes but, if trapping on terms, he should have too much ammunition for his rivals which include the talented Ballymac Finn and the brilliant Priceless Jet.
Priceless Jet will be having his first outing since finishing fourth in the English Derby. Always capable of a massive run, the Towcester 500m track record holder may need the run this evening but is expected to safely progress.
Ballymac Finn has shown plenty of promise and ability. A good winner in 29.56 last time out, he is perhaps the main threat to Good Cody. But Good Cody can really move. The 2021 Irish Sprint Cup and Kingdom Derby champion seems a stronger greyhound this year and can commence his Derby campaign with a bang. Coolboy Rusty, Petersburg and Conamara complete the field. Of the three, Coolboy Rusty boasts the best recent form but he needs a flying start to contain Good Cody in the early yards.
CALVN DRAWN TO SCORE
An inside draw can favour Coolavanny Calvn in Heat 8 and the Michael O’Donovan trained star is expected to come home in front of some talented rivals.
A natural starter with plenty of stamina, he looks set to race prominently and can see off his kennel companion Skywalker Barry.
Da Bold Freddie is clearly the best of the rest although he needs to return to his fast-starting ways to cause what would be small surprise. Skywalker Barry was knocked to the ground in his latest start and charged traps in his prep trial but remains one of the best in training. He is a worthy adversary to Coolavanny Calvn but, one suspects, the latter will be too sharp.
Deadly Destroyer races from trap three but is really struggling o find his best 2021 form, while Gymcrack and Bulletfromagun need plenty of luck on the outside of the track.
JET HAS HIS OPPORTUNITY
Peter Cronin will be hoping to send out a couple of winners on the night.
While his best chance of a winner comes in the form of Kildare, he will also be hoping Emilys Jet can come to the fore in one of the weaker contests of the round in Heat 9.
It should provide Emily Jet with an ideal opportunity to add to his tally. Produce Stakes winner Gaston Pecas, who disappointed at Dundalk on Monday, is seen as the main threat but he can’t afford to give Emilys Jet a start.
Peter Cronin’s second runner in the heat Decs Guinness will look to go up fast on the outside but he has stamina concerns. If he fails to dictate, he might struggle to even make the frame. Instead, Kilcolgan Zeus is nominated as the main threat to Emilys Jet. He has been running well and would emerge as a big danger of repeating his best form.
Local runner Ringthemoon rarely runs a bad race and faces a favourable draw on the fence but he seems to prefer a little further these days. The lightly raced Cabra Kronk races from three and needs to improve on form to date.
HOFFA TO STRUT HIS STUFF
Michael O’Donovan has a strong hand in the Derby but the market suggests that Coolavanny Hoffa is his best hope of claiming a third Derby success following the victories of Judicial Price and Laughil Blake.
Hoffa is very similar in terms of racing style to those two stars from the past. Blessed with incredible speed into the turn and down the back straight, the son of Droops Sydney is, without doubt, the one to beat in Heat 10.
The promising duo of Tullig Cyrname and Droopys Cashout are the obvious dangers but they may struggle to match the favourite for early dash. If getting loose to the turn, it would be no shock if Coolavanny Hoffa were to lay down a real marker. Carrauntoohil, Millridge Bryce and Drumcrow Winx complete the line-up and all three need plenty of luck.
KILDARE TO SHOW HIS CLASS
Kildare, who chased home Romeo Magico in second in the English Derby, is set to make a winning start to his Derby challenge in Heat 11.
In what will be his Shelbourne Park debut, Peter Cronin’s wonderful tracker can assert in the early yards before increasing his advantage down the back straight.
Two impressive trials suggest Aidan Comerford’s star is fit and ready which should allow him repel the likely challenge of the brilliant Droopys Nice One. The latter is more than capable of turning over the favourite but that would depend on her repeating her best form.
Former Leger champion Epic Hero also lines out in this contest but needs to recapture top form to threaten, while Disco Pants and Townview Syd must step up on previous form to worry the judge.
BAREFOOT TO RULE SUREMO
After an unlucky exit from the Easter Cup at the semi-final stages and the English Derby in the quarter finals, supporters of Barefoot Supremo will be hoping his fortunes turn in the coming weeks.
Blessed with an incredible engine, he is nominated as one of the bets of the night in Heat 12.
Ballymore Border is the obvious threat but one suspects his latest trap to line success might give punters a false sense of confidence. There’s no doubt his 29.50 run for the 550yds was most impressive but he very rarely sets the pace. If he fails to make a similar start this evening, he will be vulnerable.
Barefoot Supremo should be fresh after a layoff since his English Derby elimination and he can come through the in the second half of the contest. Benalmadena Roxy might be a big price but she is always capable of a big run. She could outrun her price from trap one. Ardfert Josie and Early Pilgrim need luck, while Gaytime Nina is reported a non-runner and a reserve may run.
REX AIDED BY CROKER’S WITHDRAWAL
Swords Rex trialed poorly some three weeks ago but is set to take his place in the last of tonight’s thirteen heats.
One of the stars of the opening half of the year, the Kirby Memorial champ can send out a reminder that he is a major Derby contender.
Boylesports reported shrewd money for the son of Droopys Sydney in the ante-post market in recent days, suggesting he has shrugged off whatever problem he may have had in his trial. Crokers Spirit would have been seen as a major threat but his withdrawal this morning will serve only as terrific news for supporters of Swords Rex.
Fernandes is now seen as the main threat. He has a kind draw in five with a slow starter on his outside and Cu Mochua likely to edge inwards from trap four. The Brendan Matthews trained powerhouse is entitled to respect but Swords Rex should have his measure if anything close to his best.
Beach Avenue is certain to finish fast although he was a little disappointing when last seen, while Cu Mochua and Bockos Palace need to find a flying start to threaten.
Cape Cloud and Crokers Spirit became the latest withdrawals from the opening round of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
Cape Cloud was pulled from the classic on Thursday afternoon, while word of Crokers Spirit’s withdrawal came through this morning. Cape Cloud was due to race from trap one in Heat 18 on Saturday, while Crokers Spirit was also due to wear the red jacket in tonight’s Heat 13.
It was confirmed this morning that both Bockos Melody and Gaytime Nina have been withdrawn from the Derby this morning.
Bockos Melody was due to ace from trap 2 in Heat 11, while Gaytime Nina was due to race in the following heat from trap 5. There is likely to be reserves in place but they can’t be confirmed until weigh in.
As always, sponsors Boylesports have offered a number of special markets for the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby.
The usual winning trainer, winning seed, track record to be broken and top bitch markets are available.
Add to them the winning prefix, a dog to go unbeaten through the classic, a bitch to win, a dog to reach the final without winning a heat, a dog to win the final without winning one of the preliminary round and the various trainer markets and there is something there for everyone. The full list of specials and their prices can be found below:
5-2 Graham Holland
10-3 Pat Guilfoyle
7-2 Pat Buckley
4 Michael J O'Donovan
6 Liam Dowling
8 Martin (Murt) Leahy
10 Peter Cronin
10 Jennifer O'Donnell
10 Paul Hennessy
12 Karol Ramsbottom
12 Robert Gleeson
14 Owen McKenna
20 Brendan Matthews
25 Thomas Buggy
25 Thomas O'Donovan
50 Marie Gilbert
Track Record To Be Broken During The Derby
A Bitch To Win The Derby
6 Raha Mofo
6 Singalong Sally
6 Droopys Nice One
8 Maries Wedding
8 Crafty Kokoro
8 Bockos Crystal
10 Bobsleigh Dream
10 Droopys Nextone
10 Droopys Gloss
10 Bockos Leah
12 Bockos Melody
12 Scooby Duchess
14 Skywalker Cilla
20 Stream Of Sydney
40 Cricket Score
40 Benalmadena Roxy
40 Dream Step
40 Gaytime Nina
40 Drumcrow Winx
40 All About Annie
66 Ardfert Josie
66 Elite Crystal
66 Outdoor Rainbow
Top Graham Holland Trained Runner
9-2 Swords Rex
9-2 Romeo Magico
5 Bockos Budsit
5 Part Blake
8 Bockos Crystal
10 Bockos Melody
12 Bockos Leah
12 Garryvoe Joe
16 Bockos Palace
16 Coolboy Rusty
16 Disco Pants
20 Galloping Sydney
40 Drumcrow Winx
Top Pat Buckley Trained Runner
7-4 Ballinabola Ed
7-2 Tullig Cyrname
9-2 Singalong Sally
6 Tullig Raven
7 Bobsleigh Dream
12 Gaston Pecas
25 Stream Of Sydney
25 Cushie Concord
Top Liam Dowling Trained Runner
3 Hoodoo Browne
7-2 Ballymac Finn
4 Ballymac Fairone
6 Ballymac Leon
8 Ballymac Ben
8 Killeacle Phelps
8 Ballymac Joey
8 Ballymac Bronze
Derby Winner To Be Unbeaten In Every Round
A Greyhound To Make The Final Without Winning A Heat
A Greyhound To Win The Derby Without Winning A Heat
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Enniscorthy have been doing things the right way for some time and once again they are ahead of the curve this week as they are advertising a number of deals for this Saturday night.
Of course, the south eastern venue doesn’t normally race on a Saturday but they open their doors this weekend.
There is some fine racing on offer at Enniscorthy, while you can also watch all the Derby action from Shelbourne Park via the intertrack service. As an added incentive, they are offering some tempting ‘Derby Groupd Deals’. These include admission for 6 people and a buckets of long neck bottles (6 bottles) for €60. There is also a deal offering admission for 15 people for €100
Their wonderful €20 deal is also available, which includes admission, a bet on the tote, a free drink and a burger thrown in for good measure. Those interested in any of the deals should be aware that they must be prebooked and prepaid before tomorrow, Friday, August 19th. If you wish to avail of any of the offers, contact the office at 053 9233172.
To streamline services and to ensure the timely operation of trial activity at stadia, RCÉ wish to advise Owners and Trials of plans to introduce online pre-payments for all trial sessions.
This will commence on Thursday 25th August at Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadia and the current arrangement of payment on the day at the track will be unavailable from that date. This will be rolled out to include all RCÉ locations over the coming weeks. Notices of the roll-out will be posted on www.grireland.ie.
All trials will be strictly by appointment and can booked online via https://www.grireland.ie/YourKennel/
Online Trial Bookings and Payments:
Step 1: Select the track where you want to make the booking
Step 2: Click on a trial session to view available slots
Step 3: Choose the slots you want to book
Step 4: Pay for your booking
Step 5: Your booking is complete.
Please note that your booking is only confirmed if you proceed to the last step.
Should an Owner or Trainer have any difficulty with online pre-payments help is available on 061-634 200 on the following days and times:
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm and 5pm to 10:30pm.