Lenson Bocko is the 2019 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Champion!
This wonderful, brilliant, brindle superstar displayed incredible courage and determination to earn his place in history, getting up in the final strides to claim victory.
Mucky Brae, repeating his semi final run, shot from trap three to lead early, but despite missing the break slightly Lenson Bocko and Run Happy were soon into full stride and putting Mucky Brae under pressure from both sides. Lenson Bocko moved second despite taking a bump. The race was now on as Run Happy set a blistering pace up front, Lenson Bocko was now clear second and right on the tail of the leader as they entered the back. There was a two length gap back to Mucky Brae. Run Happy increased his lead to a length and a half into the third turn but with Lenson Bocko chasing him hard in second and he started to close the gap as they hit the final turn.
Lenson Bocko closed on Run Happy and out the turn into the straight, the pair bumped but it didn’t deter Bocko as he finally headed the long-time leader. The race wasn’t over there as Boylesports King kept coming. Finishing like the proverbial train, Boylesports King was closing fast on the front two, the trio flashed past the post finish line under a blanket. To the eye it looked as though Lenson Bocko had just held off the fast finishing Boylesports King and the shortly after it was confirmed. Lenson Bocko held on by a neck to be crowned the 2019 Boylesports irish Derby champion, stopping the clock in 29.40. The team had claimed our second Irish Derby victory!
There were joyous scenes on the presentation area as owners Beverly Lochead, Austin Whelan and the hugely popular Len Ponder were joined by family and well-wishers. Lenson Bocko, who was bred by Patsy Collins in Ballylongford, will go down as a brilliant Derby champion.
Everyone at the kennels would like to thank everyone who wished us luck and congratulated us on the win, so many messages from family, friends and fellow trainers and owners, and we really appreciate it. What a fantastic competition it has been!