BETDAQ’s Sarah Kinsella fills us in on the all the latest Irish Greyhound Derby news ahead of the Final of the prestigious race this weekend at Shelbourne Park.

What a night it was in Shelbourne Park Saturday as the semi finals of the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby were on and it was a brilliant night. I had the day off and Mam Dad and I headed in to soak up the atmosphere, have a few drinks, place some WINNING bets and watch the Country’s finest and best greyhounds race and battle for their spot in the final.

The semi finals were cracking and full of excitement and anticipation. The stand was packed, the busiest I’v seen it so far in this years Derby and at one point I had to queue to get a bet on with Tadgh Hegarty imagine that, the bet in question was Laughil Blake and I backed him at evens, it was the bet of the night I thought and what a race he ran. Once this dog hits the ground he takes off, I love watching him race, he is like the Frankel of greyhound racing! His sire Brett Lee is also the sire of the 2010 Irish Derby winner Tyrur McGuigan and the 2006 Irish Derby winner Razldazl Billy so Laughil Blake definitely has what it takes to win this years Derby BUT as everyone is saying ‘Anything can happen in a final’.Greyhound Derby Launch Image 1

I attended the Pre Derby Lunch on Monday in Shelbourne Park and I had a lovely afternoon. Everyone was in great form and I sat with Kevin Hennessy, Danielle and Leon Blanche from Boylesports, Ian and Michael Fortune and Borneo’s owners and connections.

Greyhound Derby Launch Image 2

Liam Walsh spoke to Michael on behalf of Peter Cronin for BORNEO, Conor Fahy for TYRUR SUGAR RAY, Johnny Quinn for EMERS SUPERSTAR, Mary Jennings for LAUGHIL BLAKE and Shane Dowling for VULTURI and BALLYMAC VIC. Kevin Hennessy and Danielle presented all the six finalists with smashing Boylesports Jackets with the name of their greyhound on them and there was speeches from Phil Meaney, Michael Fortune and Leon Blanche at the start of the lunch. The food was gorgeous. We had Quail with black pudding, spinach and fois gras stuffing, scallion and cheddar soup in a cute little cup and fillet steak with all the trimmings for main course. The dessert was a butterscotch creme brulee, a shot glass (not alcohol now) of a trio chocolate mouse and a raspberry and cream shortbread biscuit. I had a few glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon to wash it all down, would of been rude not to. It was a delightful day and I can’t wait for Saturday.

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!

Here are the links below for each dog where you can check out all their stats on Greyhound Data.

1 TYRUR SUGAR RAY 72 lbs –
3 BALLYMAC VIC 79 lbs –
4 VULTURI 69 lbs –
5 BORNEO (M) 80 lbs –
6 LAUGHIL BLAKE (W) 73 lbs –

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”

This is a fitting headline for Tyrur Sugar Ray and Ballymac Vic. Here are a few statistics.

Tyrur Sugar Ray has reached the final 3 times now:

2012 – finished 5th and was slow away in trap 4 five lengths behind Skywalker Puma in 29.39
2013 – finished 3rd in trap 2 four lengths behind Slippery Robert in 29.49 broke ok but bumped at third
2014 – runs from trap 1

He has run from trap 1 18 times and has won 6 times and second 11 times.

Ballmac Vic has reached the final twice now and won the consolation once:

2012 – won consolation final in 29.46 from trap 3 by 1.5 lengths from Killbarry Rover fast away and always led
2013 – finished 6th in trap 1 from Slippery Robert in 29.49. Broke ok but checked at the third
2014 – runs from trap 3

He has ran from trap 3 11 times and won 3 times and second 4 times.

However, statistics are like bikinis—they show a lot but not everything.

Here is the final trap draw:

My prediction: 6-1-4

In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?”

I wish all the owners, trainers and connections of all the six finalists the very best of luck. Well done on getting to the final and may the best greyhound win!

See you all Saturday for some Original Rude Boys followed by some tremendous racing, the 2014 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Final, a few shots at the bar and then the Dandelion for a dance off. Just your average Saturday night then eh!