Ian Fortune

Liam Dowling and the De Lahdedah were the toast of Towcester on Saturday night with the latter running out a brilliant winner of the Star Sports/ TRC English Derby for Ireland in a track record equaling time.

Liam Dowling has been chasing one of the great prizes in greyhound racing for many years and it finally came on Saturday, thanks to a sensational run form the brilliant son of Lenson Bocko


This was a contest that effectively ended off the second turn as De Lahdedah struck the front before powering clear for the most deserving of victories.

A notable drifter on the night, De Lahdedah would eventually got to traps the 5-1 third choice in the betting but those that remained loyal to the sensationally fast tracker were richly rewarded.

Not the fastest into stride, De Lahdedah was afforded room to race into the bend with the war6m favourite King Memphis completely fluffing his lines as he came out dead last. The extra space allowed De Lahdedah to improve his position into the corner behind the fast-starting Churchfield Syd and the wide running Boylesports Bob.

Once clearing the inside pair of Whyaye Man and Ballymac Gizmo, De Lahdedah would find himself in the perfect position to strike on the opening bend. At this point Churchfield Syd held an advantage of almost two lengths but De Lahdedah and Boylesports Bob were sitting too close.

De Lahdedah stayed close to the rail to take over from Boylesports Bob in second before making what to prove a decisive maneouvre as they hit the back straight. Joining and passing Churchfield Syd into the back straight, De Lahdedah quickly made it clear he was on his way to achieving his destiny.


A greyhound with untold ability, it was obvious at this point that De Lahdedah was going to come home clear of his rivals. Churchfield Syd did all he could to stay in touch but his race was run.

Two and a half lengths to the good at halfway, it was nothing more than a procession for De Lahdedah for the remainder.

He began to ease further clear of Churchfield Syd around the last two bends, although Boylesports Bob did close the gap on the run in. But not a single soul in the stands of a packed Towcester were in any doubt that De Lahdedah was home and hosed.

The home-bred son of Lenson Bocko and Ballymac Sarahjo maintained a merciless gallop to the line to run out a thoroughly deserving two and a half length winer over Boylesports Bob in a record equaling 28.58. Whyaye Man ran on well to take third, a further three parts of a length adrift, while Ireland’s third representative and kennel companion to the winner Ballymac Gizmo would eventually finish fifth.

There were wild scenes at the presentation. Liam Dowing was clearly the most relieved man in Towcester as he finally realized his dream of capturing the biggest prize on offer in this part of the world.

Winning owners, the Garsuns Syndicate, comprising of John McAuliffe and his son in laws Kevin O’Connor and Stephen Hanrahan, were in disbelief at what had just happened. It was yet another famous night for Ireland and one that will live long in the memory.