Ian Fortune

And just like that there were 48 left in the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby. The opening two rounds of the classic flew by.

Less than a third of the original entry remains and, while we have lost some big names, it remains a renewal of real depth.

On Saturday night, the second round came to a thrilling conclusion. There was heartache for a number of runners, while there were also some exceptional displays, none more so than Coolavanny Hoffa as he cemented his place at the head of the market, while Bens Teddy matched him on the clock.

The other heat winners also impressed with Sober Glory, Undisputed, Undulation, Clonbrien Treaty, Ballymac Marino and Halo going into the draw for the next stage as second round winners. Below is a full breakdown of how the action unfolded. 


Sober Glory is just the most likeable greyhound.

Things didn’t fully go to plan in the opening heat but he displayed great pace, power and determination to emerge a good winner for Karol Ramsbottom and Sean Malone.

This race was affected by the moments before the start with a number of runners charging boxes. Ryhope Beach missed the kick on the outside of the track and was badly baulked on the turn, leaving him with a mountain to climb to even qualify.

In contrast, Dromana Dano got loose into the turn after a slick exit but his fate was sealed when Sober Glory charged into the turn, slipping up the inside of Da Bold Freddie to move second. Once turning as close as he did, it was only a matter of time before the powerful son of Droopys Sydney and Calzaghe Jan got to the pace-setter.

Dromana Dano continued to stride on down the back straight but was headed on the third turn by Sober Glory, who proceeded to power on for a three length victory in 29.42. Dromana Dano ran a big race in second while Ryhope Beach flew home to claim the all-important third qualifying spot, some eight lengths behind the runner-up. 


Brendan Matthews’ Undulation didn’t look a likely winner for much of the way in Heat 10 but she really put her head down in the second half of the contest to come storming through.

The daughter of Pestana and Unlock Unlock was actually disputing the lead into the turn, only to lose her position between rivals.

It didn’t dent her confidence or sense of purpose, however. The hot favourite and Champion Stakes winner Trinity Junior shot up the inside to take charge just before the turn and looked a very likely winner once doing so, although he was pressed hard by Ballymac Run.

Indeed, as the pair battled it out down the back straight with Hanover Phantom attempting to close in third, it seemed the winner had to come from the front three. But, as they hit the third turn, Undulation began to make giant strides, forcing her way past Hanover Phantom before charging at the leaders.

With Trinity Junior starting to tire a little out front, keeping Ballymac Run a little wide, Undulation made her move up the inside of the track. Storming up the straight, she led inside the final fifty yards to record a very deserving and mighty impressive winner by a length in 29.53.

There was a real battle for the remaining qualifying places with Trinity Junior just holding off Hanover Phantom and Ballymac Run by a neck and a short head. Your heart has to go to Ballymac Run as she lost out by the narrowest of margins.


Clonbrien Treaty was simply too good for his rivals in Heat 11, showing all the pace that saw him emerge a brilliant winner of the Con & Annie Kirby memorial earlier in the year.

The son of Pestana and Clonbrien Millie again gave his rivals a start but quickly moved through the gears to take over into the turn.

It was a procession thereafter. Scotty Scheffler did all he could to stay close to the pace setter but it was futile. Clonbrien Treaty raced right away to add another victory to his card for Jim and Muireann Murphy, eventually hitting the line seven and a half lengths clear in 29.57. Scotty Scheffler took second, a length to the good over Drombeg Ten in third. Millroad Bolger was agonisingly close in fourth but sadly made his exit. 


After the victory of her litter sister Undulation just a couple of races earlier, Undisputed produced a massive run to beat a top class field in Heat 12, following up her wonderful opening round effort. There is no doubt Pat Guilfoyle has the daughter of Pestana and Unlock Unlock in the form of her career and she was a more than worthy winner of this contest.

Making a flying start from four, she held a narrow advantage in the early yards over Another Holiday before driving the bend to dictate the pace into the back straight. It was to prove a decisive manoeuvre.

Another Holiday was forced to check wide and, while he retained second spot, his chance was gone. Undisputed is every bit as strong as she is fast and Wayne McCarthy and Paul Prendergast’s star ran right to the line to emerge a brilliant five length winner in 29.48.

Another Holiday ran another big race in second with The Other Kobe also running with real credit, after failing to lead, to finish third some two and a half lengths further back.

Heat 13 – MAGIC MARINO      

Ballymac Marino made light work of his task in Heat 13, returning to winning ways with a trap to line success.

The Liam Dowling trained son of Vulturi and Jamaica Joy was sharpest at traps, leading Droopys Got It into the bend before making every inch thereafter.

Droopys Got It ran a big race to the third turn, staying within two and a half lengths of the leader but he tired a little on the run in, allowing Music Glideaway to come through for second. Ballymac Marino was too good, however. Staying on strongly, the brilliant tracker, who is owned by the Metinthehalfway Syndicate, ran out a three lengths corer in 29.52. Music Glideaway was second with Droopys Got It third another length further back.


Pat Daly’s Coolavanny Hoffa is a hot favourite for Derby glory for a reason.

He may have been having just his second start of the year in Heat 14 but it was scarcely evident as he left his rivals standing once again.

Showing electric pace off a moderate start, the Michael O’Donovan trained superstar was a couple of lengths to the good over Bockos Crystal into the bend and he quickened away from his rival down the back straight in the style of a greyhound that meant business.

Posting a fastest of the Derby 17.01 to the third turn, he continued to pile on the pressure turning for home before emerging a nine length winner in a joint fastest of the night 29.31. Rank outsider Freeway Charlie ran a huge race, staying on well to grab second off the tiring Bockos Crystal in the closing yards. The latter held on to qualify despite the attentions of her kennel companion Romeo Hotshot, who was rewarded with two qualifying trials after the race.  

Heat 15 – READY, TEDDY, GO!

Bens Teddy equalled the clock of Coolavanny Hoffa in the very next heat.

Not known as an early pacer, it was curtains for his rivals when he powered up the fence to lead on the corner.

Raha Mofo broke fastest and led into the turn but she was surrounded and was forced to ease her stride. It nearly cost her a place in the Derby but she rallied in the closing yards to grab third on the line.

Instead, Tommys Hewick gave chase down the back straight but he was never going to threaten the pace-setting Bens Teddy. Trained by Pat Buckley for Kim Prichard, the son of Droopys Sydney and Beechgrove Bell was different class from the third turn.

Bens Teddy eased on to win by an ever-widening six lengths from Tommys Hewick in 29.31. There was a further four length gap to the fast finishing Raha Mofo in third as she denied the gallant Boylesports Vic by a


Early speed was the key to success for Halo in the final heat of the round.

A costly loser in the opening round when heavily backed in the ring, he made no mistakes on this occasion, shooting clear into the bend before holding Hawfield Blue in a tremendous finish.

Hawkfield Blue was forced to check his stride on more than one occasion as he and the pace-setter chased the same racing line. Add to that the fact that Halo kept on giving for his owners Basil and Bernadette Holian and handler Matthew Harte and he wasn’t headed.

In a driving finish, Hawkfield Blue made one last gallant effort but the line came in time for Halo and he held on for a deserving short head victory in 29.72. Hawkfield Blue had two and a half lengths to spare over the staying on Callaway Masters in third.



The Kingdom had a rare win over the sky blues of Dublin in the Kerry v Dublin Match Race over the 750yd trip with the hugely exciting Ballymac Katie running down the brilliant Jacktavern Bella.

Match races so often turn out to be a damp squib but this was engaging, exciting and a really high-class affair.

As expected, Jacktavern Bella used her superior four-bend pace to lead the pair around the corner and she opened a three-length lead by the third turn. That was never going to be enough, however, as Ballymac Katie is immensely strong in the second half of the contest. 

Starting her move as they entered the back straight, Liam Dowling’s daughter of Ballymac Anton and Ballymac Merkle began to eat into the leader’s advantage before pouncing on the inside of Jacktavern Bella into the fifth bend.

Taking over at this point she went on to beat a rallying Jacktavern Bella by two and a half lengths in 41.39. It was great to see two wonderful six-bend performers going toe to toe and well done to all connected for making it happen. 



Early speed was the key to success for Galloping Sydney in the twelfth race as he dominated from the opening yards.

Breaking smartly, Una Creed’s son of Droopys Sydney and Mags Image shot to the bend to open a clear advantage over Droopys Trouper.

Once doing so, there was never a threat to the Graham Holland trained speedster. Droopys Trouper actually ran out of steam in the latter stages, allowing Urban View to come through for second but Galloping Sydney was too good as he took the verdict by five lengths in 28.50.


Just a few minutes later, Graham Holland completed a quick last two race double with Swords Fudge coming in as a reserve to win the finale in fine style.

Barbara Lowndes’ son of Lenson Bocko and Riverside Honey rarely sets the pace, instead tending to come from off the pace, but this time he got loose.

Showing great determination up the middle of the track, he forced his way to the front before the turn. Once doing so, it was all very straightforward. Swords Fudge eased further and further clear to eventually see off Millridge Nadia by eight lengths in 28.57.


Kevin Losty sent out a good winner in the form of Cash Gal in the ninth race.

A strong running daughter of Good News and Coonough Bell, she went up fast from the outside box and made virtually every inch of the 550yd trip.

Owned by Paul Gavigan and Steve Henry, she was threatened into the third turn by KIlcolgan Zeus but kicked again off the final turn to emerge a comfortable two and a half length winner in 29.69. The manner in which she finished out the race would suggest she could stay a little further.


Bonkersinyonkers may have been all out in the final fifty yards of the 550yd tenth race but the Murt Leahy trained son of Droopys Sydney and An Cailin Alainn held on to make all over the fast finishing Ballinabola Una.

Owned by the McLean Avenue Syndicate, the July ’21 whelp broke smartly to dictate from the start, opening up a near four length lead at halfway. Despite tiring, he held on to score by a rapidly diminishing length in 29.82.