There’s a real buzz around the kennels as Saturday draws ever closer. We had a wonderful time at the Derby Lunch yesterday and it’s a brilliant experience for owner of Gaytime Hawk, Deirdre O’Connor. I recently spoke to Floyd Amphlett at the Greyhound Star website regarding the Final:


I try not to get too high about events like Saturday’s Boylesports Irish Derby Final because over the years we’ve learned that the disappointments outnumber the good days.

Gaytime Hawk has a decent draw in trap five in Saturday’s Boyelsports Irish Derby and will probably start third favourite behind Farloe Blitz and Ballymac Matt. Hawk will be our second finalist, Cabra Buck ran second to Slippery Robert a couple of years ago. Buck led up in that final but we knew Slippery Robert would have a chance with a clear run. As it turned out, it was a five dog race and Robert found himself in second place going to the third bend. Our fellow moved off and he came past and beat us fair and square.

If Hawk gets that sort of run we will take our chance and I think he could go close. Common sense says Farloe Blitz will lead up and I am just hoping that we can follow him around the bend. Ballymac Matt (T3) is a high quality dog but he has possibly just gone off the boil a little bit in the last couple of races. He also has the four, Pergrine Falcon drawn on his outside and likely to move in.

At least that is one scenario. If Liam Dowling can get Matt back to his best, he could destroy them.

There is a lovely story behind Hawk. He was bred by Deirdre O’Connor from Cork. Deirdre is a school teacher and all her family pitch in with the greyhounds. They are really lovely people. Gaytime Hawk is a son of Westmead Hawk who is one of the all-time greats in my opinion. I loved to watch him run and I think our Hawk has inherited some of his famous track craft. Our boy will run a straight line to the bend and will bide his time until the gaps appear. He certainly isn’t the sort to cut across his field and get hampered.I love dogs with lots of stamina, hence why I loved Westmead Hawk. I was also a big fan of College Causeway for a similar reason.

As far as training is concerned, we aren’t doing anything special with him. His only concession was that I put a coat on him in the rain, but otherwise the routine remains the same. If you are going into a final with no chance, you might try something different. I just want him to keep doing what he has been doing. It has got him this far and if it ain’t broke. . .

My son Timmy will lead Hawk who is a lovely happy dog with no nerves. You don’t want anxiety travelling down the lead and thankfully the whole happy are pretty laid back.

I wasn’t always like that. In the early days, we had a cracking dog called Mickys Swan and I am surprised that I didn’t have a nervous breakdown when he was in a big race.

I am hoping to have at least six runners on the card including Ballydoyle Honey in a bitch’s race. As promised, we took her to Cork for a change of scenery and she clocked 28.09 in a 525 yard trial. This may be one of her last races over the standard distance. She is crying out for further and there is a 600 yard competition at Shelbourne in a couple of weeks.

Fingers crossed, we should also get runs for Rural Hawaii, Sidarian Vega, Sidarian Lisa and Calzaghe Clampet.

Whatever happens, I can honestly say we have enjoyed this week and will enjoy the night.

In other kennel news, Hovex Princess finished a credible third in a high quality Waterford Oaks Final last week. Whilst next weekend sees the start of the Cork Oaks where we expect to have a couple entries, and over at Harolds Cross we’ll be sending a couple for the Puppy Derby.

We’re pleased to be able to report Sidarian Blaze is doing extremely well in his recovery from a broken hock and will hopefully have an announcement on his stud future in the coming weeks. Sidarian Rhythm, already standing at stud, has another litter due on the ground any day now.