The Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby came to the most fitting conclusion at Shelbourne Park last Saturday night as Susie Sapphire was crowned one of the most incredible winners in the long history of the classic.
The scenes that followed were heart-warming and pretty emotional for those that love greyhound racing. After a couple of very tough years, you could sense the relief from those in the stands to be back and they played their part in making this one of the most memorable nights at the famous Ringsend venue.
A week on, there is no time to reflect as both Shelbourne Park and Curraheen Park will play host to Ireland’s very best. Many of those that made the Derby so special are out again as the Irish Laurels gets underway in Cork.
Unfortunately, Derby champion Susie Sapphire won’t make the journey but the runner-up Singalong Sally should be a big draw. She improved through the Derby and seems right back to her very best after a seasonal rest.
With that in mind, she is nominated as the banker of the night from an ideal draw on the fence. If Pat Buckley’s star can repeat anything like her latest effort, there is very little her rivals will be able to do to stop her.
The layers believe that Good Cody is the one to bat in the southern classic. The Irish Sprint Cup champion disappointed in the opening round of the Juvenile Derby last weekend, crashing out in fifth, but he can justify his lofty position in the outright betting this evening.
Blessed with the most incredible pace to the third turn, he is as fast as any greyhound in the land and could play a starring role around Curraheen Park, which looks certain to play to his strengths, in the coming weeks.
There will be some hugely talented trackers standing in his way. Aside from the aforementioned Singalong Sally, the likes of Skywalker Barry, Ballymac Wild, Ballymac Fairone, Droopy Good, Epic Hero, Romeo Magico, Jacob Tashadelek, Rural Star and Broadstrand Ryan should ensure some magnificent racing ahead of the final on October 23rd.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s best and brightest young trackers will be in action at Shelbourne Park on Saturday in the second round of the Juvenile Derby. There were some magnificent displays last week, most notably Droopys Gloss as she posted a fastest of the round 28.06 and Serene Ace who he displayed the most amazing early speed on his way to a brilliant 28.11 success.
As fate would have it, the pair will clash in the second round. Throw in Off The Pitch and it really is the standout contest of the round. Serene Ace and Of The Pitch are likely to dual it out for the early lead but Droopys Gloss will be stalking the pair and might prove too strong from halfway.
Coolavanny Duke, a kennel companion to Serene Ace, remains unbeaten. He too was so impressive last week posting 28.11. He will bid to bring his career tally to six wins from six starts and looks likely to do so with only Spinosaurus to really concern himself with.
Crokers Spirit has the potential to be as fast as any in training. He seems likely to come on for last week’s outing and will be fancied to follow up. Grangeview Mac is an obvious threat but Crokers Spirit might have too much ammunition.
Another worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks and months is Feora Chris. He did very little wrong in his opening round assignment, leading before the turn to score in 28.29. It would be no surprise if he were to go even faster and he is another expected to come out on top.