Greyhounds: Fahy delight as Tyrurs dominate derby semis
It was the Tyrurs all the way at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night with litter brothers Big Mike and McGuigan winning the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby. They are now all set to go head-to-head for the honours in Saturday's final.
It was a marvellous night for young Conor Fahy to train the two semi-final winners in his first season as a trainer and for his father PJ, who owns and bred the litter brothers.
Big Mike was the talk of the track as he extended his unbeaten run in the classic and he is assured of pole position in the betting on the decider.
His victory in the first heat was the great performance of this Derby to date as he left his rivals standing for early pace and scorched to a five-and-a-half-length victory over Tullymurry Act in a sizzling 29.28, the second fastest time ever for the distance. It was a further half a length to Thurlesbeg Joker in third.
Fifteen minutes later it was the turn of McGuigan to hit the headlines as he produced an almost replica performance when winning in 29.63.
Again early pace was the big factor as McGuigan flashed out of the traps and was lengths clear of Barefoot Bullet around the bend.
Barefoot Bullet closed right up around the final bends and was on terms turning for home as McGuigan drifted wide. But McGuigan refused to concede and he stuck out his neck to win by a head from Barefoot with Krug Ninety Five staying on to finish four lengths back in third.
The draw didn't work out well for the Tyrur team as McGuigan will wear the white jacket and his wide running style could prove a real threat for Big Mike, which is on his immediate outside in four.
Potentially the best drawn finalists are Tullymurry Act in one and Barefoot Bullet in six.
derby final trap draw
1 Tullymurry Act
2 Krug Ninety Five (m) 3 Tyrur McGuigan (m) 4 Tyrur Big Mike (m) 5 Thurlesbeg Joker (m)
6 Barefoot Bullet (w)