'Ballyanne' a Derby shocker
Amid a cauldron of excitement at a packed Shelbourne Park on Saturday night, 12/1 outsider Ballyanne Sim turned over the predictions when racing to an all-the-way victory in the final of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.
Owned by former Wexford All-Star hurler Eamon Cleary, Ballyanne Sim repeated his semi-final performance to deny Pat Guilfoyle's Magical Bale victory in the premier Irish classic.
It was a very special night at Shelbourne with a maximum crowd of more than 5,000 packing the stadium for a fantastic 13-race card.
The Derby was, of course, the highlight and three runners went to traps as the 5/2 co-favourites, Magical Bale, Slippy Cian and Jaytee Taylor. But the James Robinson-trained Ballyanne Sim had his own ideas as he flashed out of traps and led up from Magical Bale and Clona Blaze.
Sim was a length and a half in front of Magical Bale entering the back straight and he then shut the door on the challenger at the third bend.
It was the decisive move and Ballyanne Sim raced home a length-and-a-half winner from Magical Bale in 29.28 with Clona Blaze two lengths third.
The time was the fastest recorded in a Derby final.