Award adds to remarkable year for Dowling
Capping a quite fantastic year for him, Kerry's Liam Dowling was last night named the Greyhound Personality of the Year at the launch of this year's Irish Greyhound Review at Shelbourne Park.
Following the brilliant performances of his Ballymac greyhounds throughout the year, Dowling was followed in the voting by Brendan Matthews and Gerry Holian.
Highlight of the year for the man from Ballymacelligott was the BoyleSports Irish Derby success for Ballymac Matt and that dog also collected the Gain 600 at Shelbourne.
Dowling completed a remarkable double with Ballymac Bonnie as she won the Gain Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross and then travelled across the water to become the first Irish-trained winner of the TV Trophy which was staged at Towcester. He also won the Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby with Anopheles and the GM Puppy Oaks at HX among others.
The winnings may not be finished for the year yet as the Dowling team will be aiming at the Night of the Stars next Saturday with Ballymac Matt, Ballymac Bonnie, Vulturi and Anopheles.
The award was presented by Minister Tom Hayes, who also handed over the Stud Dog of the Year award to Michael and John Dunne on behalf of first-time winner Kinloch Brae.
The American-bred dog has had a massive influence on the Irish tracking scene since arriving from America.
His winners this season included Irish Independent Laurels winner Midtown Raffa, Easter Cup hero Sidarian Blaze, Comerford Cakes star Bubbly Zeus and Tipperary Cup winner Curious Boy.
The 38th volume of the Irish Greyhound Review was launched s in conjunction with the presentation of the awards.
It contains all the regular features and includes interviews with Liam Dowling, fellow trainer Murt Leahy, racing manager Tom Kinane and Hawaii-based owner Mike O'Dwyer.
Stars out to shine
Declan CAREY reports a record number of entries for the Night of the Stars - so much so that and he faces quite a task in reducing each of the eight €10,000 to the winner races down to the required six runners. The draws will be made today.
Meanwhile, there will be three Irish-trained runners at Wimbledon's Sky meeting
Pat Buckley has the two favourites in the final of the RFS Puppy Derby in Droopys Roddick and Droopys Nine and they are the class acts of the race.
Their styles suggest they should not clash with Droopys Nine all about early pace, while Droopys Roddick is a powerful finisher. Droopys Roddick (7.59) gets the vote, while John Tuohy's Trade Biscuit (7.43) must have real prospects in a supporting open.