Ian Fortune

Exactly half of the remaining twelve greyhounds in the Star Sports/ TRC English Derby are Irish trained.

There were mixed fortunes for the raiding party on Saturday night with a couple of big names crashing out but Boylesports Bob and Ballymac Slick both managed to win with the former really taking off.


De Lahdedah was the 8-13 favourite for the final heat but a slow start and early crowding saw him struggle to get involved. In contrast, Boylesports Bob went up strongly on the outside of the field to turn a close second to Cooliogold.

Once doing so, there was a real inevitability about the result. The Paul Hennessy trained Boylesports Bob flew into the third turn to take over before powering clear in the style of a greyhound who is loving life. By the winning line, he had gone ten and a half lengths clear in a superb 28.68.

There was some crowding amongst the others at the third turn which aided De Ladedah, allowing him come through to take third, some two lengths behind the runner-up Coss Tokyo.


Ballymac Slick, who had come to the UK as a maiden ahead of his English Derby challenge, made it three wins from his four starts in the classic in Heat 3. The Other Kobe was the hot favourite and seemed set to add another wonderful success to his tally when taking up the running on the corner from Droopys Doughnut.

But the Irish Derby champ could never get far enough clear and looked vulnerable into the third turn as the powerful Ballymac Slick drew closer in third. Moving second before the final bend, Ballymac Slick flew up the straight to collar The Other Kobe for a length and a quarter success in 29.12.

Hawkfield Blue carried no luck for Ginger McGee in this contest, walking from traps before finishing last of the five runners.


The Irish were very much bit players in the opening two heats with Churchfield Syd and King Memphis running riot but defending champion Gaytime Nemo and Ballymac Gizmo both progressed, getting up to grab third in their respective heats.

Crafty Shivoo was a warm favourite in the opening heat but early crowding would effectively cost her chance of progressing. She managed to move third behind the fast-starting Churchfield Syd but was picked up in the dying yards by Gaytime Nemo, who flew from the final bend to the line to keep his chances of defending his title alive.

Churchfield Syd would go on to win by just over three lengths from Droopys Pivotel in 29.08. Gaytime Nemo would eventually finish four lengths further back in third. Sadly, it was the end of the road for Grouchos Duke and Superfast Gorden.

The former was second down the back straight but was run out of the frame after making a great effort to close on the leader into the third turn. Superfast Gorden was out of luck and could never get involved.


King Memphis was understandably a red-hot favourite for the second heat and it was soon evident he was going to emerge on top. He was challenged into the bend by Ballinabola Ed but shook off the rival on the corner and proceeded to dominate in 28.65.

Whyaye Man would eventually come through for second, while Ballymac Gizmo ran out his kennel companion Ballymac Finn to qualify in third for Liam Dowling, some three and three quarter lengths behind the runner-up.

Ballinabola Ed could never really get going after his opening bend crowding and failed to make the frame, while Hawkfield Abbie was also never a factor.

Star Sports/ TRC English Derby

Semi-final draw

Heat 1

1 De Lahdedah

2 Edwards

3 Gaytime Nemo

4 Whyaye Man

5 Coss Tokyo

6 Boylesports Bob (w)


Heat 2

1 Ballymac Gizmo

2 The Other Kobe

3 Droopys Pivotel

4 King Memphis

5 Ballymac Slick (m)

6 Churchfield Syd (w)