It’s that time of year again, the renewal of the biggest race in the sport; The Boylesport Irish Greyhound Derby. We have entered a strong team of 17 into the draw on Monday lunchtime, including last year’s champion, Lenson Bocko.
Graham recently spoke with the Greyhound Star (numbers now likely to be 17). “I like to give myself every chance with the dogs who are being treated for little niggles. So at this stage I would say we have 11 ‘definites’ and up to 18 possibles. I realise that a number of them aren’t realistically capable of winning a Derby, but as a minimum I like to get the owners their entry fee back, which you can do if you get through to the second round.”
Last weekend was a mixed one, results wise, for the team with Ballyhimikin Jet and Lenson Bocko both beaten in the final of the Champion Stakes but Newinn Taylor landed the Produce Stakes by extending his career starting winning sequence to 12.
Holland said: “The Champion Stakes was just one of those things. Ballyhimikin stumbled at the start, Bocko missed his break and then moved in. Then Ballyhimikin cleaned him out at the first bend. It was disappointing but I would be much more disappointed if they go out of the Derby first round next week. I plan to take the middle seeding off Bocko and enter him as a railer. Last year he was going in a straight line to the bend. This year, for whatever reason, he hasn’t told me, he has started moving in. If it doesn’t work we will change back.”
Speaking of Newinn Taylor, currently second favourite behind Lenson Bocko for outright honors, Graham said: “Clonmel is a tough 525 and he stayed in front until the pick-up in the final. He is a bit like Lenson Bocko last year. He barely got the trip in the early stages but got stronger as the competition went on. I’ve had a few like him, but one dog who he definitely reminds me of, who wasn’t one of my own, is Laughil Blake. He seems to run the bends as fast as he takes the straights. Some dogs go to the bend, cut across and rely on the banking at the second bend. Taylor just drives through the bend. I think he is going to love that long run to the first turn.”
Of another champion, Wolfe, who has been off since success earlier in the year when winning the Ladbrokes Easter Cup in March: “He will be short of a run but he did a decent sprint trial and hopefully can improve as the competition progresses.”
All of our Derby entries can be seen enjoying the sunshine earlier today, click on the images to view full size image, in alphabetical order: Ballydoyle Valor, Ballyhimikin Jet, Black Parachute, Clona Blaze, Feudel Spirit, Gaytime Milo, Indesatchel, Lenson Blinder, Lenson Bocko, Newinn Lester, Newinn Session, Newinn Sheedy, Newinn Taylor, Rathcoole Fox, Romeo Speedy, Slippy Cian, Sweep The Yard, Wolfe.