Newinn Taylor was crowned the 2020 Boylesports Irish Derby Champion on Saturday evening and whilst we are obviously delighted with prestigious victory our thoughts and well wishes go out to connections of Pestana who sadly suffered a significant injury during the race.
All dogs broke reasonably level but as Taylor forced his way to the front at the opening turn trouble behind saw Pestana come of worse and take a fall. Turning along the back Taylor was setting a blistering pace with Meenagh Miracle and Ballymac Cooper giving chase behind. Heading round the final turns Meenagh Miracle was running her heart out for the Corr Family and was closing all the time but Taylor, who has got stronger over the 550yrds with every run, held on to score by half a length in 29.61. A truly wonderful victory but slightly subdued following the way the race unfolded.
Owned by Simon Taylor and bred by Jim and Shari-Ann O’Donnell, Taylor has won 16 of his 18 races to date and becomes the first ever Produce Stakes winner to go on to Irish Derby success in the same year. A truly very special dog who were are proud to have in our team for Simon.
Speaking to the Greyhound Star, Graham said: “My first thoughts have to be with Owen McKenna and his family, I can’t imagine how sick they must feel with Pestana breaking a leg in a Derby Final. He is one of the fastest greyhounds I have ever seen and I can imagine how we would all feel if the same thing happened to us. I understand the he broke a fibula but will hopefully be okay. It just added to what was a bizarre night with no crowds to create the atmosphere. I felt sorry for the sport in general. Everyone tried so hard, particularly the IGB, and Covid robbed them of their best night of the year.”
He added, “Nobody outside the kennel knew, but his tonsils had been inflamed earlier in the week and I was slightly concerned at how he would run. He had improved by the end of the week but until they come out of the traps you just don’t know.”
“Simon Taylor knew Jim having bought Newinn Shadow, and Jim had said that he thought he had a very fast pup. It was immediately obvious that he was right. Even as a very young dog he was running away from good experienced open racers on the gallop. He has just got better and better. Clares Rocket was a phenomenally fast dog, but Taylor goes to the bend with an extra turbo.
“I have my own views on Taylor’s immediate future but I would prefer to have a discussion with Simon Taylor before I make any announcements. I didn’t get to spend much time with him last night.”
Not bed until 3am and up with the dogs at 7am, the family celebration will probably extend to a family night out at a local restaurant. Graham said: “It is all about the family. None of this would be possible without us working as a team. Most of us were at Shelbourne but because of restricted numbers, Christopher stayed at home and let dogs out last night. So I am looking forward to the meal, and then sitting and watching the replay of the meeting and taking it all in.”
Pictures with thanks to Imelda Gruer, Sarah Kinsella, IGB, Shelbourne Park and Rachel Holland.