Sunday 19 November 2017

Dreaming of Derby after thrilling Newbridge Cox Cup win


Anna Gleeson

Being a daughter of Denis Hoctor, it was pretty inevitable that I would be involved with greyhounds and I really got bitten by the bug when I was 15 and used to walk Ivy Hall Flash, supposedly for the pocket money.

I don't think I ever got paid, but they were great days. My father sold Ivy Hall Flash, but I used to do the dogs at home. I got married to Bosco Gleeson and in those days, Bosco's father used to buy dogs from our breed.

When I met Bosco, he used to think that greyhounds were a waste of time, but now he's worse than me. He never wants to sell a dog and he wants to make pets out of them.

The first good one we had was Redwood Lass, which we sold on. We had Redwood Rover, which got to the Cox Cup final back in 1986, it was the year the Comerfords had the first and second and Yellow Emperor won it from Blue Baron.

Our normal policy would be to run them in unraced stakes and then to move them on. The reason we held on to Redwood Mick and Redwood Miller was that there was very little interest in them.

The fact that Mick is a strange dog might be one reason. It was only when we brought him to Dublin that he started to show real promise, but he would shy away from strangers.

Still, we were a bit surprised that not more people were on about him. He started out as a bad breaker and a wide runner and we actually thought he would be a 575 dog.

At Newbridge, he bombed out in the semi-final, but didn't get away as well from six in the other two rounds.

Anyway, he got a good run up at Newbridge and he probably caused a lot of the problems on the first bend when he cut the field.

One of the dogs to suffer most was his litter brother, Redwood Miller. He was knocked to the ground and got a bad break. Unfortunately, we had to put him down. It put a damper on the night, but that is greyhound racing.

It was a great thrill to win the Cox Cup, especially at Newbridge; we love the crowd there. The Cox Cup is a lovely trophy and I intend to trace its history when I get a chance. Naturally enough, it was our biggest win.

Unfortunately, Bosco wasn't with me on the night as he had a bypass operation last Thursday and he is still recovering. None of the kids were there either for various reasons, but it was great craic despite being marred by the other dog's injury.

Now we are dreaming of the Irish Derby. It is a big thing for us, we don't have many Derby runners and hopefully he will go a few rounds.

We used to keep a brood bitch or two, but we gave up on that and now we buy a couple of pups every year, at about three or four months.

Luckily, we knew of Mick Goldrick's litter and picked Mick out.

I love rearing pups and it makes it all the better when they turn out like Mick.

Irish Independent

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