Five greyhounds and their connections still harbour dreams of glory going into Saturday’s Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby final, worth €140,000 to the winner.
Several thousand spectators are expected inside Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium for the finale of a competition that boasts an overall prize fund of €300,000.
The semi-final action saw identical winning times in both races, with the Graham Holland-trained Lenson Bocko winning the first semi in 29.32 from trap 5, with Michael O’ Donovan’s Mucky Brae following up with the same time from trap 2 in the second semi.
Killmacdonagh, Run Happy and Boylesports King, owned by the sponsors’ founder John Boyle, make up the field of 5. Our Surprise is a non-runner despite having made it through the semi-final stage.
Racing Manager with the Leinster Racing Office, Derek Frehill, commented: “The Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby final is the biggest night of the year in the Irish greyhound racing calendar. I have no doubt that this weekend will live up to its billing and the winner will certainly have earnt their prize. I want to wish the very best of luck to all finalists and their connections on Saturday.”
Representing connections at the traditional pre-Derby final lunch in Dublin on Monday, John Hyde said: “We’ll be here in busloads on Saturday from East Cork. It’s great to be here. We have a good bit won this year, but we’d like to win more. This time last year she was just in the yard, but it was then decided to put her back in training with Kieran Lynch and she’s never looked back.”
Jimmy Buckley, brother of trainer Pat who kennels Run Happy, said: “There won’t be a child washed for at least a week if Run Happy wins on Saturday! It’s fantastic for owner Tom Quinn and connections, they come over every year from the US. It’s wonderful to be involved with a Derby finalist.”
Mucky Brae’s owner, Mike Bandurak, commented: “We’re just very pleased to be there. We were lucky enough to be here in 2017, the butterflies are starting to form again. He was bought on his finishing times, but he’s now running out the traps really quickly and is a real stayer.”
Member of the Lochead-Ponder-Whelan syndicate, owners of Lenson Bocko, Graham Bocko, added: “Whatever he did this year was a bonus because of his age, he’s very young. The dream started but we never expected it to get to this. Hopefully this will be our year. The dream is on.”
Dolores Ruth, trainer of Boylesports King, said: “What a superstar he is, he’s destined for stardom. He just has the most amazing brain, he’s intelligent. He lives in the house on the couch. It can be the future in greyhound racing where people can have greyhounds and train them from the couch.”
Lenson Bocko is the current favourite to take the Derby crown with sponsors Boylesports placing him as an 8/13 chance. Both Killmacdonagh and Mucky Brae, are 4/1, with Boylesports King and Run Happy rounding off the betting at 10/1 and 14/1 respectively.
The 2019 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby final will be broadcast live on RTE2 from 9pm on Saturday as well as online on the RTE Player.
- Run Happy
- Mucky Brae
- Our Surprise (non-runner)
- Lenson Bocko
- Boylesports King
WATCH: The full semi-final action of the 2019 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby is available in HD here.
This is the sixth year of BoyleSports sponsorship of the classic event, which has been running since 1928, receiving classic status in 1932. The competition, which is run over a distance of 550yds, takes place in Shelbourne Park, Dublin, Ireland’s premier greyhound track.
Watch the 2019 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Final worldwide on RTÉ Player at rte.ie/player, or just search for RTÉ Player in your app store. For information on the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby visit www.gogreyhoundracing.ie.