Ian Fortune

By this point, the vast majority are more than aware that Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby finalists Maries Wedding and Ballymac Finn are litter comrades.

There was a time that was unheard of but not so much in the modern era.

In fact, since 1991 it has happened seven times, while half-brothers have also twice met in the final in that time. Famously, Ardfert Mick and Ask Clare got the ball rolling in 1991, with the brothers finishing first and second.

Incidentally, Ardfert Mick was trained by Hall of Fame handler Matt O’Donnell, the late, great father of Jennifer O’Donnell, who is represented by Born Warrior in Saturday’s decider.

Matt O’Donnell was also responsible for litter mates Batties Rocket and Batties Spirit in 1995. It was the first and only time a brother and sister finished first and second in the Derby, a feat that Maries Wedding and Ballymac Finn are attempting to match.

A year later, Tina Marina captured the Derby with her brilliant litter brother Spiral Nikita back in third. As it happens, Tina Marina was jointly owned by Michael Butler, who bred both Maries Wedding and Ballymac Finn.

Brother and sister Droopys Kewell and Tinys Bud met in the 2001 decider with the pair finishing at the back of the field in one of the great Derby finals.

Incredibly, brothers Droopys Maldini and Droopys Marco met in the 2004 and 2005 finals with the pair finishing second and fourth in both years.

Five years later it was the turn of brothers Tyrur Mcguigan and Tyrur Big Mike to finish first and second. Big Mike was the hot favourite but Mcguigan was too sharp, leading from the opening stride. That was the last occasion in which litter comrades met in the Derby decider. It just so happens the pair lined up side by side in traps three and four, the same boxes that Maries Wedding and Ballymac Finn will occupy on Saturday.

In the subsequent years, half-brothers Razldazl George and Razldazl Bugatti finished first and fifth in 2011 and half-brothers Farloe Blitz and Farloe Rumble were second and third in 2015.

Maries Wedding and Ballymac Finn are certainly following in some famous footsteps and their respective connections will be hoping they can continue the great run of success from comrades in a Derby decider. Of the nine cases above, one of the pair won the Derby on five separate occasions.