This report is taken from IGB Talking Dogs : The nominations for this year’s National Greyhound Awards have been announced and the only certainty is that Sidarian Blaze will be honoured as Newcomer of the Year.

Most of the top names have been included in the nominations, though there will be queries why some trackers have been excluded. However, this is only to be expected in such a scheme with eight people involved in the selection process.

The winners of the various awards will be announced at the National Greyhound Awards function in the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on Sunday, March 23rd. This will again be an afternoon function and tickets will be going on sale in the near future.

Irish Derby and Oaks winners Slippery Robert and Locnamon Bridie figure among the nominations for the Dog and Bitch of the Year Awards. The nominators met on Monday and deliberated on the seven categories which were open for voting. The other awards for Hall of Fame and Special Merit are decided by the Irish Greyhound Board Members.

The only confirmed award winner is Sidarian Blaze as he became the second winner of the Newcomer award which is specifically designed for the Rising Star of the sport, a dog that proves a real crowd-puller. Trained by Graham Holland he succeeds the initial winner Paradise Madison.

He is currently with Charlie Lister as he is being prepared for the William Hill English Derby but he will then return to Irish based trainer Holland for the Irish Derby and the remainder of the season. Sidarian Blaze burst to prominence late last year when favourite for the Munster Puppy Cup final and he then took Shelbourne by storm with a series of sizzling performances in winning the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake.

In the dog category Slippery Robert is joined by the hugely consistent Ballymac Vic and the leading young tracker Roxholme Bully whose career was ended by a serious hock injury.

Locnamon Bridie was an outstanding performer during 2013 as she completed the Irish Oaks and  St Leger double and also won the Roches Feeds Limerick Oaks. She is joined in the select list by marathon star Razldazl Marilyn and Rockburst Pearl.

Having lost out to Future Boy last year, Declan Byrne’s White Soks Roks is again nominated for the Stayer of the Year. But he is opposed by two brilliant bitches in Razldazl Marilyn and Shanless Becky.

The veteran and so-consistent Bulmers Baby is again nominated for the sprint sward and is joined by Knockglass Billy and Razldazl Rioga.

Full List of Nominations

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Dog Of Year

Ballymac Vic

Roxholme Bully

Slippery Robert

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Bitch Of Year

Locnamon Bridie

Razldazl Marilyn

Rockburst Pearl

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Sprinter Of Year

Bulmers Baby

Knockglass Billy

Razldazl Rioga

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Stayer Of Year

Razldazl Marilyn

Shanless Becky

White Soks Roks

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Stud Dog of Year

Head Bound

Hondo Black

Royal Impact

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Brood Bitch of Year

Dundooan Diva

Locnamon Nell

Steamy Windows